Green Freelancing: Fact or Fiction?

Ever wondered what it really means to be “green”?

A decision we made a few years ago was to go entirely paperless. What does that mean? First of all, we don’t do fax machines. We do scans. Did you know that digital signatures are binding in a court of law? The way we look at it, that’s good enough for us.

But there’s a lot more to being “green” than just not using fax machines.

Going paperless is actually harder than you might think, but there are several  things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint as a freelance writer. For starters, stop accepting physical mail. Have your bank statements sent to you via e-mail. Credit card statements, cell phone bills, any bill at all…have it done paperless through e-mail.

Don’t do contracts via snail mail. Do them via e-mail. If someone absolutely has to have a physical signature on a piece of paper then get them to accept a scanned copy of your signature. Again, these are binding in a court of law so clients have absolutely no reason to claim they need a “physical” signature on file. Mailing contracts is not only a waste of paper, it’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of your time to have to schedule a trip to the post office and stand in line to have the package weighed and scanned and eventually sent. Envelopes are bulky, clunky, and they cost an absurd amount of money to send. Meanwhile, simply scanning a copy of a document and then e-mailing it costs whatever your ISP and all-in-one printer/scanner/copier cost you, and that’s it. Not to mention, envelopes and snail mail are just so…20th century. And they contribute to the continued deforestation of the planet, which is one of the leading causes of global warming.

One of the best parts about being a freelance writer is the fact that there is no commute. That means no emissions from a car. No pollution, no money wasted on purchasing fossil fuels that deplete our natural resources, no related car insurance and maintenance fees or monthly payments or worrying about the cost of parking. The only thing you have to worry about is your ISP and a laptop/desktop.

There are other ways as well, but these are just a few tips to get you started on the path of being a more environmentally-conscious writer.

T.W. Anderson is the founder of Complete Writing Solutions, and is a freelance writer specializing in travel writing, website content, interior design and home improvement, green-related topics, as well as anything else potential clients need him to be.

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