You may be surprised to learn that writers can contribute to paper and plastic waste. Printing out pages of your latest work, drinking your “to go” writer fuel (aka coffee) in a paper cup, or tossing empty disposable pens into the trash are just a few ways you might unwittingly add to environmental issues. The research experts at Writer’s Relief have found some great ways writers can go green and be eco-friendly. Here’s how you can do your part to cut down on air pollution, fight climate change, and reduce your carbon footprint.
How Writers Can Go Green And Be Eco-Friendly
With paper becoming more expensive, cutting back on your consumption benefits you as well as the planet. Instead of handwriting every draft of your short story, essay, poetry, or book manuscript, consider using a computer word processing program. Editing your work will be a breeze, and having all of your work in your computer is also a timesaver when it comes to sending out your submissions, since most literary journals and agents request electronic submissions.
Use Both Sides Of The Paper
Of course, sometimes you do need to see drafts of your work printed out. When you’re printing your writing for editing or review, be sure to use both sides of the page! Keep a pile of draft pages where you’ve only used one side. If you need to jot down some notes, use the blank side of these used pages. You can also recycle these pages by loading them into your printer when you need to print out a draft.
Sip From Reusable Mugs
When you’re out and about on the hunt for inspiration, you can still be eco-friendly! Instead of using a disposable plastic or paper cup, fill a reusable travel mug. Some coffee shops even offer small discounts for those who bring in their own cups. Depending on how often you buy coffee, tea, or hot chocolate while on the run, you may save a few bucks throughout the year.
This goes for cold beverages too! And while you’re staying hydrated, think about filling a reusable tumbler or mug before you leave home, instead of drinking from a disposable plastic bottle.
Recycle Ink Cartridges
Some local office supply stores will accept and recycle empty ink cartridges—and more!—and offer you cash back on future purchases in return. Many towns and municipalities also host recycling events where you can turn in your ink cartridges and old tech to keep your outdated computer or laptop out of the landfill.
Write With Reusable Writing Tools
Instead of using disposable pens, consider switching to something that will last longer. A good, solid fountain pen can last you for years and will create far less waste when it comes time to refill (especially if you use ink bottles). Plus, let’s face it, you’ll feel like a bona fide writer when using a fountain pen to craft your next great work. And a fountain pen allows you to autograph books with an earth-friendly flourish at book signing events!
You can also go green by replacing disposable plastic ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pens with those made out of bamboo, cork, or other biodegradable materials.
Buy And Donate Used Books
Shopping at used bookstores is a great way to be eco-friendly! Whether you’re buying a historical book for research or donating books that have been collecting dust on your shelves, by patronizing used bookstores you’re saving books from being tossed into the trash. You can also donate your used books to thrift stores, local schools, and even the library (many libraries hold used book sales to supplement their funding).
Use An E-Reader
Instead of filling your bookshelves with books you’ll only read once, fill your e-reader! An e-reader can hold hundreds of books—think of all the trees you’ll save! Use apps that let you read books on your smartphone or tablet. And while reducing the environmental impact caused by printed books, you can use the space you’ve saved on your shelves for a few green plants to help clean the air.
Write About Environmental Issues
Your writing skills can help spread the word about environmental issues, sustainability, and the importance of being eco-friendly. Eco-fiction includes works about nature and environment-oriented works of fiction, such as The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Whether you write short stories, essays, books, or poetry, you can delve into the topics of climate change, recycling, and reducing your carbon footprint.
When you’re ready to submit your eco-friendly writing for publication, the research experts at Writer’s Relief can pinpoint the best markets for your work and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Over 90 percent of our short story and poetry clients have been published with our help! Learn more about our services, and submit your writing sample to our Review Board today!
Question: How do you “go green” in your writing life?