Ways to Reduce Paper Waste the Green Way

Ways to Reduce Paper Waste the Green Way

Ways to Reduce Paper Waste the Green Way

Dira Eco-Friendly, Going Green, Green Living, Home & Office

Living sustainably is an absolute necessity nowadays as we’re plowing through resources at a faster rate than ever before and soon, they’ll all be finished. If you ask the average citizen, they don’t think that they’re contributing enough of an impact on the global resources and would easily point their finger to the corporations or big companies.

While corporations or companies use resources at a faster rate, the real effect to the environment comes from our little actions. Something, like leaving the tap on while you’re brushing your teeth or leaving the fan on when it’s not in use, can accumulate to have an astronomical effect on the environment.

If the papers used by the average American were piled vertically, they would form a 100 feet long tower annually. Paper wastage is a huge issue in itself as 5 Trees, 19,000 gallons of water and 390 gallons are used to make just one tone of the paper. Now Imagine that figure and multiply it by 600,000. 600,000 tons of paper is used just for supermarket receipts.  America alone used 90 million tons of paper every year. That number is simply not acceptable anymore.

If you feel insignificant, know that you probably contribute to this figure. But here’s the thing, imagine the astronomical effect your contribution has to the environment. Now imagine how much good you can do as well, and how it can be a part of something huge. Today we’ll discuss a few of the small, greenways you can help reduce paper waste and do your part in saving the planet:

Use The Internet For Communication

12.1 trillion Sheets of paper are used by American offices every year. A massive chunk of this paper Is used for in-office communication and back up data. The practice of communication of sending paper reminders and notices is old and simply inefficient. Why on earth would anyone use an office circular anymore? Sending a quick message through an IM service, a centralized office communication system, not only is it faster and efficient, you’ll be saving HEAPS of paper.

Stop Taking Receipts

All businesses need to keep all receipts but it this also applicable for individuals. As an individual when have you really used a receipt when you bought something from the store?

Maybe for a more expensive purchase, you need the receipt to return the product when it’s defective or for when you file your tax return but do you really need physical evidence of a purchase of a pack of potato chips?

Think of what you do when you accept a receipt, you carry it around maybe in the shopping bag but you’ll eventually throw it away! Now think of all the receipts you go through in a month and how they’re piling up, contributing to waste. As we mentioned, the amount of paper produced just for recipients in 600,000 tons.

Do your part, as little as it may be!

Purchase Recycled Paper

Take part in the in an already established movement purchase recycled paper, whether it’s for your home or work. Some workplaces such as law firms need to go through paper as a necessity, that doesn’t mean they can’t go through recycled paper! Plus, a paper recycles receptacle can be bought and placed around the office for convenience. Paper can be printed on both sides to reduce wastage as well.

Choose Digital Alternatives

paperless billing and online contracts You can opt out of your banks sending you physical copies of records of statements by having them send you digital ones instead. You can do this for any service you use and can implement it in your own workspace. A physically printed report is just an assurance, make it a point to your bosses to have it in soft form.

If you’re a student and if you’re going to be spending the money anyways, purchase the soft form of your course book. You’ll be working on your laptop anyways and it’s extremely convenient to have a soft version of your book, makes looking up problems 10 times easier.

Your utility bills too can be opted to be paid digitally.

Reuse, Recycle

This, of course, is a no-brainer. Re-use paper and make sure to throw the paper away in dedicated recycle bins for it to be taken to recycling plants. Use a reusable travel mug for your daily morning coffee and for the coffee or tea you have at work.

Americans use 23 billion paper cups yearly. It’s quite staggering how just coffee drives so much paper waste. For grocery shopping, use reusable bags instead of brown bags. Reusable bags are pretty big and can carry almost all of your groceries with ease.

Think Before You Print

Paperless Billing and Online ContractThis is a very important golden rule in the world of recycling. Do you really need that document, paper printed? Does that message, that will only be printed once, really need to be printed?

In the office, printing as seen as a means of convenience as printing a document will save time rather than sharing it another way. When in reality, you’ll actually end up spending thousands on paper and paper waste. Using something like Google Docs, an extremely convenient file sharing method will make it easier to communicate with one another.

Only print documents that are extremely important, like a final submission or a big presentation. Even then you can use a projector for your big presentation!

Back Up Your Physical Data

For important physical data, it’s a good practice scan documents to back them up digitally anyways. You don’t even need a scanner, there are several apps on the App Store and Play Store that exist that can scan any paper document like any scanner. And for any new incoming data, back them up digitally before they need to be printed at all or not. You can even then prevent the information from being printed at all.

Final Thoughts

The planet is going through its resources at a faster rate than ever before. Doing whatever we can do help shouldn’t be considered little at all. Every step you take helps in saving the planet for future generations. Saving paper, water, electricity and other resources will help preserve our earth for a brighter tomorrow!

 

Thank you for taking some time to read this article. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.

Sources:

http://www.earthshare.org/2008/09/shortening-the.html

https://wwf.panda.org/get_involved/live_green/fsc/save_paper/office_paper/

4 Comments

Jane September 1, 2018 at 12:08 am

Now that I think about it, you are right. There are products from which we don’t really need a receipt like the example you mentioned. One thing that we need to improve at work, myself included, is the amount of paper that is printed and left at the printer which later goes to the shred bin. It is a complete waste of paper. I know its a problem that is very common in many organization. How can we improve the situation?

Reply

    Dira September 14, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Jane,

    It’s actually really simple: Go Digital!
    Many documents are better stored on a server or cloud than on hard copy.
    And for the instances where you need to print something for review how about you use recycled paper. All that paper you find on the printer use the other side that is not printed on. Some companies have printers where you have to put a code to get your prints out but the idea remains to use less paper.

    Reply

Dave September 20, 2018 at 11:15 pm

“Think before you print” I like this statement and I’m going to use it at work if you don’t mind. I think it takes time and effort to change. Effort on the company’s side because changing to digital can only be possible if employees get access to digital platform for file management and the internet.

Reply

    Dira October 2, 2018 at 1:57 am

    That’s the spirit Dave!
    Yes,of course feel free to use it and once again thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us.

    Reply

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