Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Update: The Label Maker

Label Making has been really effective in keeping tabs on things, and it is also very gratifying. Our label maker cost about $34, and the reels of label tape cost about $12. This was because we use a particular stationery company, rather than because this is a great deal. Even though it means getting another "thing" in the office, another use of resources-- financial and environmental-- I think it was really essential for being more effective and less wasteful in the long term. It makes filing quick, easy, and fun.

Beginning to think about recycling has been slower than I expected, because I do it when I'm not doing anything else at work.

In thinking environmentally, my observation is that once a paper is printed, as things are now, it will not be recycled. It may just sit around the office and cause more paper to be printed if it does not have a clear place or is shredded immediately. The trick is to make finding the paper easier than printing a new copy, particularly for the busiest people in your office.

I haven't been playing environmental music in the office or putting off the lights while my coworkers are on the phone-- it's much harder to persuade people that taking good, conservative care of resources is as important in the office as at home. It's hard for me personally because I'm not interested in taking paper home to recycle, etc. Admitting that makes it easier to just throw away stuff that doesn't seem important to our day-to-day functioning.

I try to remember that I am wasteful in other parts of my life, so it's not a matter of making someone guilty for their priorities. It's not even a matter of educatiing my coworkers. It's a matter of figuring out together what is possible and practical in the context of our office, and pushing very slowly in one direction.

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