Tape stucks (Day 276)…

December 1, 2007


This post is dedicated to my dear friend Kelly, who’s currently working across the pond in London. Things Kelly loves include Old Dutch potato chips, The Drowsy Chaperone and wearing fake glasses. Things he hates include peanuts (he’s allergic), conversations about cat pee and/or poo, and the sensation of tape on his skin.

Well, he’ll be happy to know that I’ve decided not to use any more tape, whether masking or Scotch, no matter how handy it would be in wrapping gifts this holiday season. Instead, I figure I’ll just buff up on my origami skills and try some artful folding techniques.

Granted, I’ve already pledged to not use any paper when wrapping presents unless it’s scrap from around the house, but still, I think this makes for a good Simple Saturday change.

Image courtesy of these dudes.

Addressing the real problem (Day 273)…

November 28, 2007


I need to start keeping an address book. For months now, I’ve desperately wanted to get a Moleskine because all the cool kids have them and I want to hang out with the cool kids. But, with their bleached paper and oilcloth or leather-bound covers, plus the pen and ink required to write everything down, I just feel it’s not a very eco-friendly purchase.

So until Day 366, I’m going to keep all my addresses in a text file on my computer, and back up the file on my handy thumb drive.

In this technologically advanced age of Interwebs and bit-torrents and paperless offices (I’m hoping to one day make the National Post an office-less paper, too, because commuting all the way to the suburbs is not very eco-friendly), there aren’t many occasions where I need to send something by mail — and there are even fewer occasions where an address book is the only place an address can be found.

Still, one of these days, those postal codes and apartment numbers may come in handy. Maybe I’ll get married and want to send out proper invites to everyone, or maybe I’ll decide to spontaneously show up on an old friend’s doorstep (people like that, right?). Anyway, at the very least, keeping an address book, whether on paper or my desktop, will make me feel organized, no matter how many times I lose my biodegradable pen.

Image courtesy of Paul Watson on Flickr;
Office-less paper joke courtesy of my editor

Not a mag lady anymore (Day 268)…

November 23, 2007

waiting room

I couldn’t help but notice in the comments section the other day, after I mentioned how the rubber band from my rolled-up newspaper might work as an emergency ponytail holder, a reader was in shock — SHOCK! — that I still got a “newsPAPER” every day.

Well, what can I say? I work at the National Post, the management gives me a complimentary subscription, and the online version kind of sucks (but is currently being relaunched, so who knows, maybe I’ll convert); plus, I truly love the tangible quality of flipping through a broadsheet every morning and getting ink on my fingers.

However, I do think that I’m receiving a few too many magazines at the moment. While I’ve already committed to not buying any junky tabloids and GreenDimes has cut back on my Victoria’s Secret catalogues, I’m still getting stuff like Fashion, Time and the Condé Nast Traveller.

These really aren’t essential. I do still want my deliveries of Plenty, E/The Environmental Magazine and Toronto Life, but that’ll do me just fine.

The problem is, once you’ve paid for a subscription, it seems silly to cancel it outright. So what I’m going to do is take the ones I get and donate them to a doctor’s office (I’m thinking my doctor’s office could definitely use a few mags that aren’t four-year-old copies of Macleans). Then, when the time comes to renew the subscription, I won’t.

Image courtesy of richpix on Flickr

First past the Post-It (Day 246)…

November 1, 2007


Did any of you ever see Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? Remember how Michele (Lisa Kudrow, in her prime) had this whole made-up story she was going to tell about how she invented the Post-It note, and then it totally backfired? Haha, that was great.

Sorry, I know, one too many pop culture references for a green blog.

Anyway, there’s no question that everyone likes Post-It notes. You can write a single idea, message, picture or phone number on that little piece of happy yellow paper, then put it up where you can see it and take it down when you no longer need it — all without the complication of thumb tacks, staples, tape or scissors. They also make great bookmarks, or sometimes even art installations.

But they also encourage wasting paper — what’s written on a Post-It can often be written down in a day planner, or entered on a cell phone or PDA, or simply remembered. There’s also the issue of that thin layer of glue on the back, which seems to be recyclable in most cases (although those plastic sticky tabs are not).

Either way, I’m going to try not to use any more Post-It notes, and instead try to find smaller bits of scrap paper, extra space in my homework book (sorry, my planner, whatever) or just use the back of my hand.

World Famous Drawing on a Post-It note courtesy of this guy

Chalk one up for the environment (Day 206)…

September 22, 2007


This past week, I’ve been attending daily writer’s workshops where, for the most part, people seem to be fairly green-conscious, printing their short stories on both sides of the page and using glasses and mugs rather than disposable cups. But one major vice that’s just killing me is the flip chart. We use it to draw plot graphs or character sketches, but most likely, when one page is full, the person flips it over and starts to scribble on the next instead of turning the whole stand around and using the back.

Although our moderator has said he’d prefer a whiteboard, I think even these aren’t much of an alternative, what with the toxic fumes that come out from those dry erase markers. No, the best idea when it comes to illustrating an idea for a group of people is either using your vocabulary and a bit of imagination, or writing it out on a chalkboard.

So from today on, whenever I’m at a workshop, a lecture or meeting, I’m going to make a point of requesting that we illustrate our points the same way teachers do in the classroom — use a chalkboard. Or, if none is available, rely on a lot of sweeping hand gestures.

Photo courtesy of Private Ale on Flickr