I try to run a fairly environmentally conscious office. We recycle everything possible, use low-power CLF lighting, work on laptops and LCD monitors exclusively (with the exception of our server), and only turn on the (water cooled) AC when we really need it. We’re not exactly “cutting edge” on the environmental front (like Adobe for instance), but I try to do what we can.
It occurred to me today that the one area that we have been really successful is in paper use. We are essentially a paperless office. We don’t even have a printer in the office, and I don’t really miss it. Documents are all passed around electronically via an interesting combination of SVN, file sharing, email, and bluetooth. Everyone has a second monitor, so it’s usually fairly easy to reference one document while working on another. The only real paper we use is notepads that people use to sketch ideas and take notes. Even that is being partially replaced by tools we’ve built in-house like “gTimer”, gTodo, gDocs (our internal shared notes tool), and others.
I’m lucky right now because my condo is only a minute away from the office, so the occasional item that really needs to be printed (contracts mostly) just gets printed at my place and walked over. I think when we move I’ll set up a printer in the office, but keep it off the network to minimize the temptation of printing things off for quick reference.
I thought this was kind of interesting, because it made me think back to my first web job where we printed mountains of documents, and this was during the height of the “paperless office” hype. I’d be interested to hear if other people are also finding that their dependency on paper is decreasing as screen resolutions increase and the technology for sharing and organizing documents gets better.