Natural Model: Poorwill
Photo credit A bird known as the poorwill can cool itself with minimal energy. It’s fluttering of the gular pouch causes air to move over a membrane of its throat. Together, convective as well as evaporative cooling helps the highly vascularized area to lose heat .
Little changes can add up to large energy savings. Replacing light bulbs to more efficient CFL bulbs, turning off computers and other electric appliances over night and weekends, increasing insulation to reduce heating/cooling.
For graphic design jobs there are possibilities beyond the design office. Print your work locally and with printers who are at the forefront of energy and materials use. Look for printers who have FSC chain of custody certification. Those forward thinking companies have reduced their carbon footprint in many ways like printing with low VOC inks, recycling paperwaste, improved the layout of the printshop to increase efficiency, etc.
Chose paper that has gone through minimal processing like deforesting and bleaching. Graphic designers can make a difference as well by ensuring that print jobs don’t have mistakes on them that require printing of new proofs, or reprints of a final product.
Another important factor is timing and ensuring the deadlines are respected to prevent waste of energy through, for example, the press to run during off-hours and/or requiring people to drive to work on the weekends (see step 1 of the naturefactor steps).
Re-nourish is a great resource for graphic designers. It provides valuable and practical information as well as tools that helps designers improve a project to prevent material waste. The project calculator, for example, helps in determining size and paper grade. The site also features case studies as well as articles that can provide graphic designers with current, informative, and inspirational information.
Energy and resource saving methods are also mentioned in “Nature replicates strategies that work”