Natasha Wilson

359 Things – Who Really Needs Phonebooks?
April 7, 2009, 20:37
Filed under: 365 Things

phone-booksIt started with the familiar sound of heavy steps on my front porch, accompanied by the audible thud that I’ve come to expect around this time every year. What follows is my mad dash through the living room, tripping on wooden blocks, slipping on abandoned mittens.  I fling open the front door, and fly down the front steps (in my socks), in an entire picture that is far from graceful and leaves my neighbours wondering where the fire is.

“Hello!” <huffing and puffing> “Can you please take these phonebooks back?  I don’t need them.”

A better strategy would have been to pick up the phone and dial my local phone service provider, to let them know in advance that I wouldn’t be needing any phonebooks.  Nonetheless, here I was, the proud new owner of 1200 pages of post-consumer recycled print.  I had to do something.  I’m striving to do 365 things – and this was the one thing I needed to do today.

Let’s be realistic.  When’s the last time you used a paper phonebook?  And if you did, was there a laptop, desktop, Blackberry, iPhone, or landline near by?  In this day-and-age, it’s hard to justify receiving these phonebooks, every year, when so many other information/directory options are available to us.

Here are a few quick tips for managing your mail:

1. Have a personal conversation with your mail carrier – ask him/her to cut back on the amount of “junk” (advertising mail) you receive

2. When the phonebooks (or the junk mail) hits the front porch, make an effort to return them to the carrier

3. Call ahead to indicate your preferences

4. Lobby your local phone provider to make phonebooks and “opt-in” service, not an “opt-out” service*

* Instead of delivering these phonebooks to every single household, how about letting households who need them, request them?  Surely most of us don’t need them, and/or don’t care if we have them, but don’t cease delivery.  It would seem that opting to receive it would make a lot more sense, than opting to not.

360 Things – Scribble Digitally
April 7, 2009, 01:28
Filed under: 365 Things

paper-pileI mentioned in an earlier post (“365 Things – Pick One”) that I was  looking for 365 things that I can do to in my life (and I hope you can do in yours) to mitigate environmental impacts.

As I sit at my desk, working on other projects, its become painfully obvious that I consume a lot of paper in my day-to-day work routine.  Now I’m generally an organized person, and when I say ‘consume paper’ I’m talking about the number of things I write on everyday, to keep myself organized.  Do you have a ‘post-it’ note problem?  It’s kind of like that.  I have a written task list problem.  Moving from left to right across my desk, I count 2 open notebooks, 3 file folders, 3 pads of paper, and handful of printed reports or articles waiting to be proofed and edited (yuck).

Now, I would never consume paper products like this at home (post-consumer recycled, or not) and so office paper waste has no excuse.

As it turns out, I have a suite of digital products available to ‘green’ my daily desk routines.  A paperless office is not as hard as we think, with a few quick changes to the way we work.

I think if I took the time (and I will) to study my workflow habits, I could find more efficient, more responsible ways to work at work.