Monday, April 19, 2010

Greening Up

Post by NCW Member Jenny Sundstedt

I’m sitting at my desk sipping my shade-grown coffee with local Morning Fresh Dairy milk and thinking about how writing, compared to many other professions, is pretty eco-friendly. As writers, our toxic waste comes in the form of SFDs (shitty first drafts). Animal testing means reading our work aloud to our pets. And easy opportunities to make writing even greener abound. For example, you may wish to:

• Seek out agents, editors, publishers, and contest coordinators who accept electronic queries, submissions, and entries. This has saved me lots of paper and many trips to the post office;

• Refill your printer cartridges, and donate them to a good cause when refilling is no longer an option;

• Purchase office supplies made of recycled, and recyclable, materials;
• Opt for energy-efficient electronic gadgets;

• Bring your own coffee/tea mug to the NCW studio;

• Grow something outdoors. Many writers find that their creativity blossoms when they garden. If you’re not sure it’s your thing, start by planting a pot. (Please note that reads ‘a pot’—this is not a suggestion for a Weeds spin-off.);

• Start a compost pile. It’s the perfect place to bury those SFDs;

• Ride a bike to your favorite writing spot. Wear a helmet! (I imagine the dreaded writer’s block pales in comparison to a head injury.);

• Use a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. The human brain is approximately 70% water by weight. A thirsty brain is much less help in rescuing your heroine from the flooding sewage treatment plant—and may be the reason she’s there in the first place. Bottled water, however, is an environmental disaster; and

• Read something that inspires you. My selections for this week are Thoreau’s Walden and Going Green - True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers, edited by NCW member Laura Pritchett.

On Thursday, in observance of Earth Day, I’m going to turn off my computer, go outside (weather permitting), and write with pen and paper. Yep, real old school. And if I get stuck, I’ll play solitaire using an actual deck of cards. How quaint.

I’d love to read your tips for writing green.

8 comments:

Julie Hedlund said...

Solitaire with a deck of cards. I love that - lol! :-)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Use a green pen!)

You've compilled a great list. I'm not sure I can still write with pad and pen, but maybe I'll try it on Thursday.

Jenny S. said...

Thanks for your comments.

I haven't written more than a grocery list with pen and paper in a long time, but maybe a green pen will help!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm not as green as some. But I keep trying with little things.

Patti Struble said...

Kerrie, I love this whole idea. I would add one thing: find a place where you can 'recycle' your old books (the ones you can live without) and purchase new/old ones. Antholgoy in Loveland is a great place to do this. Although, I will admit that I am remiss to let any of my booklings leave the nest. So, I am a match short of a catastrophe.

Patricia Stoltey said...

All great advice -- and you'll be pleased to know I just bought myself one of those ceramic cups with a lid that looks like a Starbucks cup. Sometimes I even remember to take it to the studio with me. :)

Kerrie said...

Jenny--great post. I take recycling the SFD's to a new level. I shred them, my son uses them for his guinea pig's cage and then when he cleans the cage, he composts the shredded paper.

Pat-did you bring your fancy new cup to the studio today? I will be bringing mine there tomorrow. :-)

Jon Paul said...

Kerrie--looks like you've got the bases covered for going green; I may follow your lead on doing things out of doors on Thursday.

The one downside of being a writer is all the inside time!

Nice post, and thanks BTW for stopping by my place and becoming a follower. I appreciate it.

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