21 Ways Expert Authors Can Go Green

What Do Writing and Earth Day Have in Common? Green!

You make an impact on the world with your writing, so why not take it a step further by making a positive impact on your environment, too?

Check out these 21 ways to go green with your article writing efforts!

Save Paper

How much paper are you tossing every week? According to the EPA, paper makes up 27 percent of our trash and much of it can still be recycled.*

In addition to recycling paper products, here are 6 tips you can use to save some of that paper from making it to the trash.

  • Print less by going digital with an eReader (iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc.) for books and other reference materials.
  • Cancel the delivery of hard-copy periodicals and switch to online-only subscriptions.
  • Stop junk mail from reaching your door.**
  • Print less paper by using the “print on both sides” feature of your printer.
  • Use post-consumer recycled content (PCR) paper (recycled paper).
  • Get more out of your smartphone or tablet by downloading task reminder apps for notes, lists, and brainstorms.

Conserve Energy

If you practice a little energy conservation, you’ll also practice a lot of wallet conservation. Here are 10 tips to save power and your green:

  • Turn down the brightness of your screen to a reasonable setting (so you’re not straining your eyes to read the content, but it’s not blazing at full power).
  • Shut down programs that don’t need to be running in the background, including Bluetooth.
  • Unplug devices (like tablets and phones) once they’re charged.
  • Eject any discs that are not being used if you have a CD or DVD drive.
  • Turn devices on the sleep or standby mode if you’re not actively going to be using it in the next 20 minutes.
  • Use a power strip and use it to turn off all devices before you leave work for the day or before you go to bed.
  • Use a desk lamp that utilizes a compact fluorescent bulb and switch off that overhead light.
  • Turn the thermostat down (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit should still be comfortable) during the winter. Throw on a warmer sweater or a scarf and allow the brisk air to help you stay alert!
  • Turn the thermostat up a few degrees during the summer and allow your body to acclimate. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
  • Microwave the water for your tea rather than using the stove to consume less energy.***

Produce Less Waste

Sometimes the best waste prevention is to not have something to waste in the first place! For every item you consider buying or ordering – even if it’s free – consider whether it’s recyclable, how much energy it consumes producing it, and whether you’ll dispose of it responsibly. Here are 5 questions and tips to consider:

  • Do you have to use the gas? Create a stellar writing space to write at home and make your own coffee/beverage to save the gas from the commute rather than going to coffee shops to write. If you need to get out, don’t drive – walk or bike!
  • Do you need to waste that cup? At the coffee shop and getting coffee to go? Say “no” to disposable to-go cups and bring your own (clean) travel mug.
  • Do you really need to use a plastic water bottle? Stay hydrated during your writing session to maintain focus with a reusable water bottle or even go old school with an actual glass!
  • Do you really want to throw that out? Donate or dispose of electronics properly by recycling them (check with your local recycling facilities how to do this properly).
  • Do you really need a pen? Choose the classic wooden pencil over plastic pens. Pencils last longer than pens and conserve much more nonrenewable resources to produce.****

There you have it! You don’t need to perform all 21 ways to go green with your writing efforts at once. Simply take one step at time to make it a part of your routine and form a long-lasting habit.

EzineArticles Asks: How do you save paper, conserve energy, and produce less waste? Please share your “go green” tips below – we’d love to hear from you!

Help Others Go Green With Your Next Set of Articles

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* Environmental Protection Agency. Common Wastes & Materials – Paper Recycling, EPA
** Direct Marketing Association. More Than Just Mail DMAchoice
*** Munger, Dave. What’s better for heating a mug of water: The stove or the microwave?, Science Blogs
**** Cockfield, Josh. Pens versus Pencils, Green Lifestyle


Mark writes:

I’d like to see restaurants swap out Styrofoam to-go boxes for recycled paper ones. Those Styrofoam boxes are terrible for the environment and the food is cold by the time you get home anyway.

Comment provided April 22, 2014 at 9:46 AM


That’s a great point, Mark!



David Croucher writes:

Nice list for Earth Day – thanks. I’m glad to see that I’ve taken on almost all of these. My problem now with re-using paper is that it’s piling up faster than I can use it.

A comment on the CF bulbs you recommend: occasionally, one of our local shops has the equivalent LED bulbs on sale, so that they get affordable. These are swap-out compatible with incandescent bulbs of all kinds, and are smaller than the equivalent CFs. Power consumption is like this: If regular incandescents are 100 units, halogen are 80, CF are 20 and LED are 16 – all roughly. LED swapouts for this tiny halogen bulbs all over modern kitchens and lounges use about 1/3 of the energy, so it’s now worth throwing every halogen bulb you’ve got immediately, replacing the $2 halogen bulbs with $15 LEDs. You’ll get the money back in a couple months and be coining it thereafter.

Comment provided April 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM


Thanks for the tips, David.



David Croucher writes:

Thanks, Vanessa. This applies to your offices, too, of course. You can expect to see LEDs steadily taking over from other lighting sources from now on, as the prices come down – think of LEDs rather than CFs for laptop and TV screens in the last couple of years. In this case, the better efficiency (longer battery life, lower power bills) over CFs drove these markets early. But I expect that within 20 years, almost all artificial lighting will be LED-powered: all round every home, office, factory and store and even with street lighting. It’s not just more efficient, but it’s instant-on, long life and the least power-hungry we have right now.



Useful information on Earth Day. Candle light dinner gives the twin benefits of saving energy and adding value to the mind.
Using one sided paper for scribbling and printing is the practice in my office . “Power saved is equivalent to the power produced” is the slogan of one electric company.

Comment provided April 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM


Randall Magwood writes:

Going green is the norm now. Whenever we have the opportunity to go green and make a more habitable planet – we should do so. These simple ways that we can go green with are articles are creative – and are things that we should start doing right away. I’m big on recycling. So any plastic or pizza boxes that i would normally discard… i now take them to the recycling facility near where i live.

Comment provided April 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM


Steve Wilson writes:

So much business correspondence is sent on good quality paper only printed on one side. If it is in good condition keep it in tray by the printer and use for those one off printing jobs which are for your own consumption. If you are printing off several sheets like in an Ebook then you would probably need new paper. Paper that has already been printed on one side tends to stick to the next sheet-must be static I guess-not much good for printing en masse. However, I save a lot by using S/H paper when I need to print.
I have my own workshop and not much goes to waste there but I do run out of room and have to be brutal sometimes.

Comment provided April 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM


kizi writes:

It’s not often I take some new information away from reading an informational article. I’m sure that’s because most writers tend to write the same thing over and over. You have presented new, fresh ideas.

Comment provided April 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM



I like writing on paper and this concept of keeping and reusing papers. I actually have a file and clipboard then I simply stick the paper I would like to recycle to the file or board and use it as a makeshift notepad.

Comment provided April 27, 2014 at 8:07 AM


Gracious Store writes:

Thanks for these lists. There are many tiny ways to save energy which I had never though of.

Comment provided April 30, 2014 at 8:35 PM


amber cross writes:

Never thought of going green. Learnt something new today. Thanks

Comment provided May 14, 2014 at 1:01 AM


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