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The Scratching Post: Feeling Green

Posted Mar 18 2010, 08:24 PM

Between the first glimpses of Rochester spring and this weeks celebration of St. Patrick's Day, it almost seems a little ironic that the Ambrosia office has it's own green initiative underway. And, no, I'm not talking about the science experiments that sometimes get started in our refrigerator over the weekends.

Spearheaded by our ever eco-friendly IT guy, Jake (the same Jake who decided we were responsible enough adults to parent a highway), we have been recycling all that is recyclable and progressing rapidly toward a "paperless "office! As anyone in corporate America knows, it takes a very short period of time for paperwork to accumulate, and a significant amount of time to move it along. Most of it, for legal purposes, ends up shuffled off to a filing cabinet where it is seldom, if ever again, dredged up. These cabinets fill. Things begin to stack. Before you know it, you're the disparaged king of paper mountain.

As discussed last time, removing clutter from my office has been a major spring project. Thanks to a little diligent coding from Jake and our intern, Will, we have developed a system for scanning all purchase orders directly into our database. So far, it has been incredibly satisfying to scan, then shred or recycle most of the paper that comes across my desk. The larger project has not necessarily been documenting orders as they come, but digging into past files, organizing them by company and date, and-- eventually-- scanning each one of them into its appropriate database. In short, this means going back 3+ years into the past and making sense of what appears to be mild chaos.

Another great thing Jake has done is making our fax machine paperless. This has been one of my very favorite office improvements, as a large portion of whatever still gets faxed to the office is advertising, and goes directly to the recycle bin. Now, all I have to do is check the e-mail I receive from our fax machine and take appropriate action. Nothing is wasted and, best part, no empty trays or paper jams!

Recycling has been Jakes pet project for well over a year. Those of us who deal with the paperwork around here have welcomed the blue bins into our offices, and the bin in the kitchen gets its fair use, as well (although some of my coworker's definitions of recyclable are a little questionable). In addition to the blue bin recyclables (standard paper, etc), Jake has also implemented a box for #5 recyclables, for things like yogurt containers, which cannot be put into a regular bin. Because we like Jake, and know it helps him sleep better at night, we've all been diligent little rinse and recyclers.

It all seems like little steps, at this point, but I have already noticed a marked difference around here. As a software company, we tend to do most of our business digitally; so it only makes sense to transition our office to a similar format--instead of shuffling less paperwork from desk to desk, it can just be forwarded along to their inbox. Although it will take several months of sporadic sorting and scanning, watching the stacks become clear desk space, and streamlining our database is actually gratifying. Now if only the sunshine would stop peeking in my window and distracting me!

[Editors Note: As a special bonus, here is a larger version of the photo above to have your own smiling spring-time Kat]


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Hey, I think this is a great idea. Recycling is very important for our environment. Even when just some people do recycle, it's better than if nobody does.

On Mar 26 2010, 07:27 AM, by silke

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