Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Dream of Green

It's been nine months since I first dreamed up the Green Writing Challenge, and with Earth Day coming April 22 I've been reflecting on changes I've made to reduce the impact of my love of reading and writing--and what needs improvement.
My Green commitment for the first year was as follows:
1. Submit only electronic queries/manuscripts.
2. Keep lights off at night.
3. Publish eBook only for 1 year.
4. Read more eBooks.
5. Do a walking book tour to promote green living in the book community.
6. Limit the amount of snail mail promotions and correspondence.

Thus far I have kept these commitments,except the walking book tour. Since I also committed to publish eBook only, I did not know how best to do a live tour without print books in hand. I could tout my 2007 print release, VISIONS, but that would involve ordering a run of books up front and the fuel to ship them to my house...with the likelihood of either wasteful over-ordering (not that my publisher would find that a waste!) or running out before the tour is finished and then what? I'm very proud that VISIONS uses POD technology, a more eco-friendly method than mass market. But my goal for the walking tour is to be even lower impact. So, I'm still conceptualizing the best way to adapt a traditional signing tour for this.

As for keeping lights off at night...I admit that's been a bit tougher than I'd hoped as well. I do a good deal of writing work late at night, and it strains my eyes to squint at a bright computer screen with the rest of the room shrouded in darkness. I experimented with candles and a battery-operated camping lantern, but wound up switching over to the new spiral energy-saving bulbs and simply keeping nighttime lights to a minimum. Progress, one step at a time!

In addition to minimizing the paper, energy, and fuel use of snail mailing, I'm also seeking ways to reduce energy consumption on electronic communication devices. I'm purchasing a solar recharger to power my cell phone, PDA, and music player; eventually I'd like to upgrade to a unit capable of powering laptop and desktop as well. We use solar lighting on our patio, which makes for a nice spot to sit with the laptop while working on a book or promoting.

Naturally, my dream of green extends far beyond the pages of the books I love, and my household is gradually switching to sustainable forms of living like recycling, reducing vehicle use, growing food, buying more local goods, etc. Many good resources are out there for home conservation, but I found none when looking for eco-friendly reading and writing. So I started the Green Writing Challenge to show that everything we do likely has a greener alternative.

Whether you are a reader, writer, or publisher, consider celebrating Earth Day this year by signing up for the Green Writing Challenge to show your support for green all aspects of life.


Becca Furrow said...

About six months ago I bought a pda, and it has really increased my enjoyment of reading ebooks! I've been buying nearly all my reading in ebook, except for backlists of authors I like that were never pubbed in ebook form.

I freecycled a ton of books from my shelves, too, and know that I won't be repalcing them so quickly.

Lisa Logan said...

That's excellent, Becca! And I love freecycle, too. You definitely win the green writing challenge! Consider grabbing a winner graphic like this one: . Thanks for being green!