By Steven G. Mehta
Since March 17, 2009 (St. Patrick’s Day), my mediation office has gone green. After several months of working on conservation, I have several observations about being Green.
First, going green isn’t that hard. There are many small changes that you can make to save resources.
Second, Some green measures will cost you more than other traditional alternatives.
Third, getting your office staff to buy into the concept helps immensely to going green.
Fourth, there are small inconveniences that are easily overcome.
The following is my non-exclusive list of going green in mediation
- Fax confirmations are emailed (not faxed, because that is two pieces of paper per confirmation: one for you, one for the receiving end). If you must fax, then efax works best.
- Print briefs double sided. I had a mediation that had 480 pages of briefs. That is one ream of paper. Printing double sided saved a lot of paper.
- Provide filtered water in glasses instead of bottles. 1 out 5 plastic water bottles are recycled. Plus, there is a cost to each bottle.
- Use a program like Skype to allow non-essential participants to participate.
- Install ceiling fans or portable fans to circulate air to conserve on air conditioning.
- Use Ceramic coffee mugs instead of paper or Styrofoam cups.
- Purchase sugar in large quantities and use a sugar bowl.
- Tint your windows to save on heat coming in through the windows
- Change lightbulbs to fluerescent bulbs
- Have the lights on motion sensors
- Upgrade computers to energy efficient computers.
- Turn off computers at night and weekends.
- Use Recycle bins
Lessons Learned From Going Green
- Clients appreciate your effort to conserve resources
- When emailing confirmations, make sure to email to clients, and their administrative staff. This way you can avoid the possibility of a busy attorney missing the email (or going in spam), but the staff member will get it.
- Ask for reply emails confirming receipt.
- Having signs around explaining that you have gone green help.
- The office plants flourish with any extra water not used in the pitcher during mediation.
- You should make sure to periodically check on clients to make sure that they have enough water
The article How To Green Your Law Firm is also helpful in going green.
Let me know how your efforts to go green went.