Brett Burney has a great article at Law.com today, Getting Law Firms to Boot Up Green, that doles out practical advice for reducing power and paper consumption in your law office. His tips include:
Replace your CRT monitor with an LCD. LCDs consume 1/2 to 2/3 less energy, and they look much cooler on your desk.
Turn off that screen saver. "Burn-in" is no longer an issue with modern monitors, and running the screen saver consumes just as much power as full use of the computer.
Adjust your power settings to turn off your monitor, then your hard drive after a set period of inactivity.
Print double-sided. This is a big one. Most people don't know their printers can even print double-sided. Try setting your printer driver to print duplex by default. If you're just printing a draft, a case, a law review article, or an e-mail for your paper file, then why print single-sided? Printing duplex cuts your paper consumption by half.
Use print preview. How many web pages have you printed with one line on the last page?
Brett mentions a couple of applications that will automate some of these settings for you.
Although he doesn't mention it in this article, the ABA has introduced a green tech initiative for law firms called the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge. This program encourages firms to reduce paper consumption, recycle waste paper, replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, purchase Energy Star compliant equipment, and more.
A lot of these tips are money saving as well as environmentally beneficial. Larger firms could save thousands of dollars per year "going green." It's just a matter of changing some of our habits.