Paperless? No, But Use Paper Responsibly!

Paper is a big part of our lives, we use it in business and we use it at home. In recent years we have realized that we need to be more responsible with our paper use. Millions of trees have been destroyed and will never return, and that is a fact. But we can start to help the trees that are still left, and use the paper in a way that ensures the damage to the environment is minimal. Here we look at some of those ways that we can make things a little better.

The Facts

Using less paper will save you and your business some serious money, you just need to think a little more about the way you are using this material. Recycling paper helps to save the trees, but still uses energy and harmful bleaching agents. There are programs in place to replant trees to replace the ones we remove for paper, but this is the exception, not the rule.

The next time you feel like printing some documents from your computer, think about any alternatives that may be apparent. Regarding your home situation, how many paper bills do you still receive from the postman? Most of these can be switched to a paperless version without any extra cost and little effort. In fact, many banks will reduce any monthly charge they may have in place for converting to online bills instead of the paper option. Your utility bills will also have something similar in place, so just check their websites for more information.

Working With Paper 

Any busy office will generate a lot of paper, and some of this is unavoidable. Despite the increased use of computerized filing system, we will be using paper for important documents for the foreseeable future. You should look at the non critical output you are creating on a daily basis. There are some simple steps you can take to reduce the paper wastage you generate in the office:

Use Paper Responsibly: Lack of money is the root of all evil George Berna…

Use Paper Responsibly: Lack of money is the root of all evil George Berna…—artist in doing nothing (Flickr.com)

  • Always check you work for any mistakes, run a spell checker and read the content carefully. Many sheets of paper are wasted through careless writing and poor editing.
  • Ask yourself – ‘Do I really need to print this document?’
  • Start to use paper that has already been printed on one side, if the paper is not for official use.
  • Instead of printing all of the pages of your email or document, just print the page that has the vital information, you usually do not need the extra 10 pages of terms and conditions.
  • Instead of the premium paper, use the recycled medium instead.
  • Ensure that your paper is stored in correct conditions and this will reduce the printer jams that occur all too often.
  • If you need to scribble some notes down, take a few sheets from the recycling bin instead of using a new sheet.
  • If you are not sure that you need to print a document, store it electronically until you have confirmation of this fact.

Joe Root provides shredding services in Canada. An environment lover, he makes people aware about different environmental issues via his blog. He also actively participates in various awareness drives.

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