In this guest post, Erin Doland, editor-in-chief of the home and office organization blog Unclutterer.com, shows us how we can use Post-it-style reminders, without creating unnecessary waste.[/i]
I love sticky notes. I put them on my front door to remind me of things I need to take with me to work. I stick them on my husband's phone to let him know he needs to check his voice mail. I use them while reading books for my book club to flag interesting passages of text.
They're extremely convenient, but my constant consumption of them cannot be helping the environment, especially since I'm not in the habit of saving them for reuse.
Here is a list of alternatives to sticky notes that will hopefully help you-and me!-do what we can to make our offices and homes a little greener:
1. If you're someone who sits behind a computer all day, consider using a sticky note software program to create virtual notes. One Mac version is called Stickies and comes as part of the operating system. Direct your browser here to read about features of the program you may not have already discovered. If you're using a PC, consider spending $20 and purchase 3M's Post-it Digital Notes program. The 3M software has a message board where you can leave notes for other people and organize groups of notes by topic on targeted pages. There is a 30-day free trial available if you want to test-drive the program.2. Keep a non-toxic dry erase marker in your bathroom to write reminders on the mirror above the sink. A reusable rag dampened with water will easily remove the text when the reminder is no longer needed. If you use a back door to your house as your main entrance and it has a storm door on it, keep a dry erase marker nearby to put your reminder directly on the door's glass.
3. Use paper clips to flag passages of interest in a book. When you're finished reading the book, remove the clips and bring them out when you start up your next literary adventure.
4. If you carry a cell phone, e-mail yourself a text message with your grocery list or errand notes. Teenagers have this technology mastered, so if you need assistance getting started ask any 15 year old for instructions. You also can check out this tutorial for suggestions.
5. Write directly on a paper instead of slapping a sticky note on it. I often receive articles clipped from magazines or newspapers where someone has attached a message on a sticky note to the article. In most every circumstance, a written note on the inch or two of white space at the top of the page would have been just as effective and not as wasteful.
All of these examples leave some sort of footprint, but they are at least friendlier on the environment than their excessive, free-wheeling, sticky-note wasting counterpart.
Difficulty level: Easy