How to Save the Environment, One Paper at a Time

Automatic spiral binder

Paper is one of those things that we can use over and over again and never really consider how much we are using. We print a piece of paper without checking it and then realize there is a mistake, throw it away and print another one. The process goes on and on and we end up using up a ton of paper before we’ve even realized it. Or maybe the automatic paper punching machine at work messes up a whole stack of papers so you have to redo the whole thing. Here are some tips for saving a little bit of paper when you can.

Print Double Sided
If you print on both sides of a page or somehow combine your pages together, you will be saving paper. There are ways to even combine four pages to one piece of paper. Lots of places have a printing quota that you are not allowed to exceed so another great thing about combing your pages is that it will take you a lot longer before you reach the printing maximum for yourself. Not to mention, this will make your paper punching machine last longer. In fact, all of the following tips will help you in those other areas as well.

Go Digital
If you need to send documents, instead of faxing or mailing them, find out if there is an option to email them. You could either use a writing program or PDFs. Then, you won’t have to print them and send them. If they are documents that need the be signed, you could consider using an electronic signature. You can also set up a fax to email gateway. This means that even incoming faxes will be transcribed and directed to your email inbox instead of coming through the physical fax machine.

Send E-things
E-card, e-vites, etc. For Christmas and birthdays you can send cards through your email. You can still even take holiday pictures and send them out that way. If you are inviting someone to something, you can also do that online. It’s actually even better to do it that way because the e-vite will usually remind the person again on the day of the event. It will also automatically pressure the person for an RSVP if that is necessary. Gift cards can be bought online and emailed to people. There are so many ways that you can remain digital even through gift giving and card giving.

Use Whiteboards
If you have to give a presentation to your team at work, instead of having handouts, simple write everything on a white board. Or alternatively, you could set up a PowerPoint presentation and use a projector to shine it on a screen. If someone wants the information personally, you can email them the PowerPoint. This saves you from printing, using a paper punching machine, staples and more. You could also use a whiteboard to jot down notes and things to remember. Avoid the sticky notes and wire binding machine and shredders by having something that you can just wipe away when you’re done.

Recycle
You didn’t think this one wouldn’t be mentioned, did you? The most important thing you can do when it comes to saving paper is recycle. Have recycle bins placed in prominent areas so that people can’t forget to use them.

If everyone followed these tips, we would be able to save so much paper. The amount of paper that is used every single year in the United States is incredulous; 9,125,000,000 tons. Think about how much could be saved if every person in America saved just one sheet of paper a day, after you break down the math, about 3,650,000 tons. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much of a dent but it all adds up in the end. Just like saving a dollar a day might seem like nothing and like you aren’t making any money but if you look back in years to come, you’ll have put away a nice little chunk for your kids. That’s what saving paper is about; investing in the future. So when the paper punching machine gives you a less than perfect binder, try to figure out another way to fix your bundle rather than throwing it away.

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