Minimise Your Paper Trail While Helping Business

Wizard forestHow much paper does it take to make the world go round?  More to the point here, how much can we harvest our forests before the world stops going round?

While we leave a carbon footprint, we are also leaving a paper trail. 42% of all wood harvested for industrial use is because of the pulp and paper industry.

Minimising how much paper you use is easy, especially in the digital age. Consider how photographs, emails, newspapers/magazines, texting, essays and other documents require far less actual paper than before. Even banking doesn’t  require paper anymore because of Internet banking and debit orders.

Paper reduction is a great environmentally-friendly strategy to implement in your home, and even more brilliant to implement in the office. If minimising paper usage at your place of work is not already being done, why not suggest this to your boss? S/he will appreciate your initiative once you explain how much of an asset this can be to the business.

The Benefits of Paper Reduction in the Office

  • Trimming down on excess paper usage effectively decreases expense. Each employee uses nearly 160kg of paper per year. The cost is not just from buying paper, however, but also through copying, printing, storage, postage, disposal and recycling.
  • Conserving the environment generates good publicity. People like to hear about who is and who is not doing the planet a service.
  • Involving employees in a planet-saving initiative boosts morale.
  • You gain credibility with customers and investors, who appreciate working with a responsible business.
  • You are sending a message. By leaving a heritage for the Earth’s inheritors, you tell the world that your business too is here to stay.

If you want proof that minimalizing paper wastage helps businesses save money, read how since 1994, BankAmerica (now Bank of America) saves more than $1million every year. How to Implement Paper Reduction

So by reducing paper wasting, we not only help Earth, but business as well. An efficient strategy might take some time getting used to, but once implemented properly is easy to follow through with.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Reuse and recycle paper whenever you can, especially by printing on both sides.
  • Keep printing down to a minimum, as the case is often that that print button need never even be pushed.
  • Use email wherever applicable, and avoid printing messages.
  • Rather than sending out stacks of invoices every month, use a system like debit order collection, which also streamlines admin and regulates cash flow.
  • When editing documents, do so electronically with word-processors’ editing functions.
  • Adjust default document settings to use smaller font and narrower margins.
  • Cancel subscriptions that aren’t necessary, and use a sharing system.
  • Use electronic forms and filing systems. This also reduces admin hassle.
  • Use recycling bins and encourage employees in the use of them.
  • Use recycled paper rather than paper made from 100% virgin pulp.
  • Use paper that uses safe bleaching processes, such as totally chlorine-free (TCF) or processed chlorine-free (PCF) paper.

As you can see, all these tips make use of three basic principles: using less paper wherever possible, recycling what paper you do use, and using paper only from an environmentally-friendly source. Through this, not only will you be helping the planet, but your business as well.