"Going green" is not just a hip buzzword. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said, "Green is the new red, white and blue." In response to global warming, economic pressure and eco-conscious clients, law firms and legal professionals across the globe are establishing green initiatives that cut expenses, reduce their carbon footprint and promote social responsibility.Environmental law or "green law"
is a growing practice area
and many firms are establishing niche sub-practices in fair trade, organics, renewable energy, green building and climate change.
Going green is not only a wise move for your firm, it can also help your career. By implementing environmentally friendly practices at your law firm or corporation, you not only help the earth, you can reduce costs, boost the bottom line and attract new clients. These tips and resources can help you get started.
A busy law practice creates a great deal of paper waste and paper use leaves a significant carbon footprint. The life-cycle of one ton of office paper, from production to recycling, results in the release of about nine tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent gases, which contribute to global climate change; as well as other air and water pollutants, according to the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge Waste Wise program. Therefore, reducing your paper consumption is a great way to save the environment. These easy tips can help you minimize paper use in the office.
Purchase energy efficient office equipment and set computers, printers, and photocopiers to enter standby mode when not in use. Shut down or unplug equipment before you leave for the evening. Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, and turn off lights when you leave the room. Even better, install motion sensors that activate the lights only when someone is present.
Recycle materials whenever possible including paper, packaging and supplies within the office. Use mugs and utensils instead of disposable plastics ones. Replace disposable cups with reusable cups made from 100 percent corn plastic. Use refillable rather than disposable pens. Avoid bottled water and opt for filtered water or a water cooler instead.
Rethink Your Communte
Join a carpooling group, use public transportation, walk or bike to work. Work from home when possible to minimize transportation costs and reduce office expenses.
Use Environmentally Products
Use environmentally friendly products in the workplace such as paper made from paper pulp recycled without the use of chlorine and environmentally frienldy detergents, soaps, and other cleaning products.