From the June 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

It Can Be Easy Being Green

Despite what kermit the Frog sings, it's not so tough being green. Below is a list of some small and relatively painless steps that you and your clients can take in your business and personal lives that can lessen your impact on the planet.

- Go paperless. You don't have to print every e-mail message you receive, and probably not that many at all. If you download a report in PDF format, only print out the one or two pages you actually need, not the entire thing. Use the print preview function to make sure you really need it on paper before you print it. PC Magazine estimates that the average employee prints six totally useless pages every day. Look around the communal printer in your office and you're likely to find many documents so important they had to be printed, but not really important enough to pick up.

- Use energy efficient lighting. Where possible, replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescents (CFLs), which are more expensive to purchase but are four times more efficient and last 10 times as long as incandescents, making them cheaper in the long run. Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half-ton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb.

- Pay bills online. According to the PayItGreen Alliance, an association of banks and other financial institutions, if 2% more of American households switched to electronic bills, statements, and payments, the collective impact would save more than 15 million pounds of paper annually and avoid producing 196,040 tons of greenhouse gases.

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