You cannot hide it way back in the 21st century. The whole world is going green. Living digitally has allowed us to cut paper and it is used significantly. It’s now possible to receive almost all bills online instead of receiving it through the post. This also gives you the freedom to view them from anywhere making it a welcome change.
The question of graphic designers like us would be: “If this movement is on a global scale to help protect our planet then, what can we do to help?”
Why do we need to Change Immediately?
In the 1920s, the global population was around 2 billion. But in 2000 a mere 80 years later, the population had reached 6 billion. This wasn’t because of the increasing birth rate and falling death rate. This wouldn’t be a problem if natural resources stood a chance of keeping up but they didn’t!
By recycling one single aluminium can, it’s possible to power a TV set for up to six hours.
The Advantages of Changing
Luckily for you, the amazing from within in doing something good for the environment isn’t the only advantage you’ll get from going green.
This one is fairly simple. Start by using less paper. The lesser you use, the lesser you need to buy. Next, electric bills will be lower as well as water consumption.
We already know how big ‘green’ is. As a graphic designer, it can be advantageous to us. Let people know about your commitments towards the planet and see the improvements afterwards.
Both of the points mentioned above makes a perfect sense yet, implementing them isn’t as easy as reading them. Below we’ll discuss the best ways to make the necessary changes.
The Ways to go Green
Deciding never to use paper again is probably going to be considered an unrealistic goal. Deciding what really is necessary however, is much more feasible. Do you need to print out everything for a client when in fact you can email it to him? All those tiny changes you make to your mock-ups are just adding more and more paper to the excess already used so, stay digital!
Even things like invoices can be done paper-free nowadays and there are more than plenty of websites to assist in that area.
Billing Boss is an excellent service that allows you to send and track invoices without ever having to touch a printer.
The invoice machine allows free signups and has a sleek interface for creating invoices.
FreshBooks is an online invoicing with a difference. It has a handy application to time track as well as an iPhone app for invoicing on the move.
SimplifyThis is the first paid service we’ve featured. I like this because everything is in one place so, it’s efficient and convenient.
Modern lighting for cost saving
If you have a good natural light source throughout the daytime, position yourself in a location to that allows you to best benefit from it. Many of us would like to work at night and at the same time, many don’t have an adequate light source in the daytime. Running a series of 50W spotlights probably isn’t the best idea if you’re going green. Technology comes to the rescue again. You have a number of good options to illuminate your workspace in a green manner so, here’s two of what I consider the best solutions.
LED technology has come very far and is being constantly improved. It’s now possible to swap out your old high wattage bulbs with LED alternatives that typically operate at 1-3W and are easily just as bright as the wattage bulbs but it’s more practical.
This method also has the benefit of not having to replace any fittings. LED bulbs come in all common sizes.
These are the more traditional style of energy saving bulbs. They’ve been around much longer than the LED bulbs. This technology is very advance and they cost lesser. On the other hand, they release poisonous chemicals when broken so definitely not for the clumsy designer and also use more electricity than an LED bulb.
This type of light is most commonly found in kitchens and costs lesser to run. The disadvantage of this type of lighting is like the bulb version. The chemicals released when broken are damaging to our health. And if you don’t have the correct fitting near your workplace, you will need to have them relocated in the proper place which will add to the overall cost.
Choosing a new method of lighting from those mentioned above will save you money in the long run and this will make you save the planet earth instantly.
Web hosting is something that is overlooked very often. Some hosting companies are run entirely by wind and solar power making them as green as it can be. Below are some of the companies that utilize wind and solar power to run their servers.
Host Gator offers a great value package and has an excellent customer service.
Super Green Hosting offers a carbon neutral green hosting.
When it comes to electricity, ways to save involves a greater interaction. If you have a printer but you won’t be using it, you have to unplug it. Same with all electronics, anything that you won’t be using needs to be unplugged.
But this can be a hassle because usual technology can jump in to save the day or at least make it a lot easier. I’ve listed some devices that can unplug remotely at a push of a button.
ByeBye Standby has received many positive reviews and it comes in an array of packages consisting of 1 to 3 plugs and a remote control.
This can do as much as the same as the device above, choosing either a product based on personal preference.
It’s easy to see why going green is a good idea and the steps to take in doing so are obvious but implementing them is more difficult. Using the solutions shown above will allow you to cut your emissions quickly with lesser effort. Some solutions can be considered investments as they may involve upfront costs but will pay over the long term.
Do you have your own tips to go green? Please be sure to let us know your suggestions.