How can you reduce paper usage?

How can you reduce paper usage?

While paper-free electronic mail may be the greatest invention to ever happen to the tree, it is also becoming an increasingly potent weapon in
the battle against global warming.

E-mail transfers information at the speed of electricity, which is very convenient when your time is limited and the issue is
urgent. Today’s e-mail—sent and received through all kinds of stationary and portable devices—is the primary form of communication for government and businesses.

It’s actually quite easy to send a daily e-mail to government or businesses, urging action against global warming. Many environmental organizations, such as Environmental Defense or the National Resources Defense Council make it
simple to be an effective advocate by periodically sending an e-mail when
current environmentally sensitive issues are up for a vote in Congress or in the

Simply sign up on their website to receive these notifications. If you are interested in responding to a particular issue, these websites will
quickly walk you through sending a prewritten e-mail message to the head of a
corporation or select group of your government representatives.

These organizations have done all of the research for you, and they know who your particular representatives are, according to your zip code. All you have to do is follow some simple instructions, and presto!

There goes an e-mail in your name to someone who could and should do something about global warming. And it’s
possible that your e-mail could, with one click of a “Send” button, reach hundreds of government and business leaders who increasingly see email as an important means of feedback from their constituents and customers.

Even if you don’t have detailed knowledge of the science and policy related to global warming, you can make an impact without ever leaving your virtual desktop. If you’re a more independent type and prefer to author your own correspondence, it’s also easy to send a daily email to one of the people or organizations you think needs to act on an issue.

You can start with what you
personally feel most passionate about: You might want to ask your state representative to support higher mpg and lower emissions standards for vehicles, or you may feel behooved to urge a local supermarket chain’s management to buy green power and fewer products from overseas that could be procured locally.

Virtually every medium-to large-sized corporation today has a website with a “Contact Us” page that enables customers to e-mail suggestions, questions, and

Most local, state, and federal representatives also have websites and email addresses, and some feature user-friendly feedback forms on their websites.

At, you can find out who your national as well as state representatives are, and you can write your e-mail to them right from that site!

You can also use Internet search engines such as Yahoo and Google to find email addresses for your local/municipal officials, corporate executives, nonprofit, or agency staff, and just about anyone else you want to reach about global warming.

When writing your e-mails, consider these guidelines, most of which are found at

When writing a corporation, begin by letting them know that you are a customer (if this is true). E-mails from loyal customers have the most
clout with intelligent companies.

If you haven’t purchased their
products in the past but are considering a large purchase (such as a car), let them know this. Customers with the financial means to buy and who are shopping in their market are extremely important to corporations.

When writing an elected official, find out if there are bills or resolutions currently being discussed that relate to your concerns. (Visit and if you are from USA. If not check your country’s official government sites.

You may also read about a bill or resolution on the floor or in the process of being written up.
(Bills/resolutions are usually titled by “HR” or “HB” in the House and “S.” in the Senate, followed by a few numbers.) If so, reference it in your letter, and state whether you want your representative to support or oppose it.

Be polite. Don’t be overly harsh or use profanity. Not only is it rude, but likely you won’t be taken seriously. If you also offer a compliment for something else (i.e., “I have enjoyed using your product for 15 years”), you will come across like a reasonable person and the main point of your letter will have more impact.

Be concise. Even if you are passionate enough to write a short essay on the subject, don’t. Get to the point in a few paragraphs.

Project Vote Smart ( is a great resource for learning how your elected officials are voting on environmental issues, allowing
you to target your writing campaigns accordingly.

Even if you don’t own a computer or have much knowledge of e-mail and the
internet, you can send e-mails from most public libraries that offer free computer access and assistance.

Free email accounts (such as gmail at
are easy to acquire—anyone can have one within minutes of logging on to a computer. It’s great for our planet that e-mail offers tree-less, car-less correspondence! And it’s fortunate that most government officials and corporate executives count
e-mails and take them very seriously.

Make use of this simple, yet powerful tool for change!

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