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The Contract Certainty Blog

The Green Lawyer

The Green Lawyer
The Green Lawyer

May 04, 2010 Justin Lipton Document Generation  

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past few years, you'll be aware that corporates, governments and consumers alike are taking environmental concerns very seriously. So given that you're already recycling everything, walking to work and growing all of your own food, what can you do as a lawyer to help save the planet? The following tips should help:

  • Don't print. Printing is evil - it wastes trees, toner and energy. Edit and review your documents on screen (PC, E-reader or iPad) instead.

OK, so you can't cope without a paper copy. You just love the feel and warmth of freshly printed pages. You need to print less. Here's how:

  • Print more than one page per physical page. Most people can easily handle two and many can handle four pages to one physical page.
  • Print double sided. With two pages to a physical page combined with double sided printing you've just reduced your paper consumption by up to a quarter and the toner used by half.
  • When drafting, use an environmentally friendly font such as Ecofont which can use up to 25% less toner. In conjunction with multi page printing your toner cartridge could last 8-16 times as long. If you've styled your documents nicely switching font is a very simple operation.
  • Use recycled paper whenever you can.
  • Recycle your paper (including shreds), plastics and other waste.
  • Use document assembly with pre-approved content. Less drafts mean less paper, less emails, less phone calls and much less wasted power.
  • Use e-signing for signing. Web based services like EchoSign make this easy. No printed copies required.

If you feel guilty while not following these suggestions there are always carbon credits.


Justin Lipton is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Exari. @liptonj