The Earth-Conscious Writer
We hear it all the time these days: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We're asked to keep the health of our planet in mind when doing tasks as varied as building a house or brushing our teeth. Do you wonder how you, as a writer (and thus bound to using mass quantities of resources and energy in writing and marketing your books), can make a difference?
So did I.
My realization that I Was Not Helping Matters came when I cleaned out my office of old manuscript copies, contest entries, and rejection letters. I had a forest or three of paper kicking around, and I was horrified. What could I do? What can YOU do?
Well, you can use the unprinted sides of that paper for notes. You can get a good shredder and whip it into packing material for shipping. You can send all that shredded stuff to your recycling center. You can try your hand at editing on your computer, instead of by printed page. (It takes a while to get used to, but a decent monitor can go a long way toward making the transition comfortable on your eyes.) You should also consider using paper that has post-consumer recycled content.
In addition to the paper problem, you can limit energy use by putting your computer on Energy Saver settings like Sleep or Hibernate, so that when you walk away from the desk, ol' Clicky takes an energy-sipping nap. When looking for editors and agents, try submitting your manuscript or query electronically, if the option is available. Carpool to conferences and meetings.
One of the best things about my publisher is that they offer books in eBook format. Not only are eBooks less expensive to produce and distribute than paperbacks, but they help reduce the use of paper, inks, glues, fuel, and all the other myriad resources that go into producing and distributing a printed book. After a short period of adjustment, I got quite used to reading books on my eReader or on the computer. I still like a book in my hands once in a while, but eReaders are getting better all the time, and their comparison to a printed page is exceptional.
Lastly, think about those trips to the library, post office, office supply store, etc. Combine trips if you can. Support local small businesses, which helps to limit the carbon output of shipping merchandise long distances. Buy organic and biodegradable items where you can. Spread the word to other writers. You can and do have an impact on the earth with every choice you make. The smallest change is still a step forward.
Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources. She found her passion in writing stories of romantic adventure, and combines that with her love of the environment. Her works have won several awards, including the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest. Her first book, “Earth,” is on sale now in print and eBook through The Wild Rose Press.
“Earth” tells the love story between Kincade Murphy, a Montana rancher whose paranormal gift has mysteriously vanished, and Allyson Hamilton, a plant biologist who won’t stop until she discovers the truth about him. When Allyson uncovers a plot to force Kincade off his land, the reticent cowboy must risk it all--including her discovery of his gift--to protect her.
For more information on her books or upcoming events, visit Nicki’s website at http://www.nickigreenwood.com.