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Enciby Enci

Office Space

About three years ago I was cast in the play “Voices From Chornobyl” adapted and directed by Cindy Marie Jenkins, based on the interviews from the book “Voices From Chernobyl” by Svetlana Alexievich.

I met with Cindy at a local coffee shop to pick up the script. She handed me the pages and as I leafed through them, my eyes lit up. She printed the entire script onto recycled paper. And by that I don’t mean recycled paper but paper that she re-used from her office. I thought I was the only one doing it. I’ve never seen anybody else use old paper, especially not if they are handing the paper out to someone.

It turns out that she salvaged all the paper from the trash bin from work and used them for all her scripts and all her work. She was happy to save some money and also to save some paper from the landfill.

Office supplies are often taken for granted with generally not much thought put into being green, except for the paper recycling.

Yet, there are so many ways to use less, be more economical and to be kind to our planet while working in our office.

Here are a few tips:

  • Print on both sides of the paper.  Whenever I receive sides and I’m done with the audition, I keep that piece of paper to do test prints on or to print directions out on.
  • When you print a letter, be it to your Agent or to a Casting Director, or to apply for a job, adjust the margins. The margin is generally set to a default of top & bottom 1” each and left & right 1.25” each. That leaves only 6 inches in width and 8 inches in height to write on. That is a lot of space wasted, especially if you have to start a new page for just a few more lines or your signature. Adjust the margin by clicking on “Format – Document” from the menu, click on the margins tab and adjust it to 0.6 on all sides.  This will save you not only money but also lots of paper from ending up in the landfill. (If you print a resume on an 8.5×11 and then crop to 8×10, set the margin to 1” on each side.)
  • If you have a cell phone or iPhone with internet access, avoid printing out your destination map and just save the map on your phone or type the address and the direction into your phone and save yourself the paper and the ink.
  • When you buy paper, notebook, pencils, envelopes, etc. make sure they’re recycled. Every store sells them nowadays and though it might cost a bit more, you will be more frugal about wasting it by printing on both sides, right?
  • Write your to-do and your shopping list onto your phone or into your daily planner. Or use a used envelope to write on. (You can even cut up old envelopes into equal pieces and staple or sew them together to make a little notepad.)
  • Recycle your old ink cartridges. Staples will give you $3 back for selected inkers but you can give them back all old cartridges. Btw, They will also recycle your old batteries and cell phones. Way to go!
  • Bring your own mug and utensils to the office and try to bring your own lunch instead of eating out. Most places that give you carry-out food will package it in styrofoam with plastic forks and knives, and they will bag it in a plastic bag. Yuck!
  • If your printer allows, try using Soy Ink.
  • Get yourself a Stapleless Stapler for better organizing.
  • Turn your computer off or put it to sleep when you are away.
  • If you use wireless keyboard and mouse, make sure you use rechargeable batteries and recycle them when they are dead.
  • Have cloth as well as recycled paper towels in the kitchen. This will give people the freedom to choose and will save some paper from the landfill. I usually shake my hand out and dry it off on my pants or my skirt. 🙂
  • Use public transportation, ride your bike or carpool to work. I guarantee that you will make at least one new friend in your daily travels than if you drive. 🙂 If your employer pays for all or part of your parking, ask your employer if you are entitled to the parking cash-out choiceGet paid to not bring a car to work!

Remember to recycle everything, including old machinery, electronic equipment, light bulbs, batteries, etc. These items are often times easier to dump into the trash but are also the most harmful to our environment because they leak toxic waste!

If you have equipment or furniture that you don’t need anymore but that is still usable, give it away to a charity of your choice or post it on Freecycle.

For more interesting office tips visit Earth 911.

Conservatree can give you lots of advice on what paper to use for what occasion, photographer printing tips, environmental tips, myths on paper, etc. Check them out!

And if you are not busy in the month of April, sign up your theater company or your work or your school to do a reading of the play “Voices From Chornobyl”. I have been part of this wonderful project for three years now and we are performing at several venues around L.A., including at the Earth Day Festival in Hollywood on April 26th.

I would love to hear who inspired you to live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. I would love to hear from you about article ideas, green living solutions and tips and tricks in your acting world.

Happy April! Be inspired!



Enci is a Mother, Actress, Artist and Activist.

Contact Enci with article suggestions or find her on Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites to connect. When contacting her, please introduce yourself and tell her you read her column in the Networker.