Cutting Back on Paper: 7 Ways to Use Less Paper

paper stack

Whether you have concerns about your ecological footprint or are in need of cutting spending at the office, working on saving paper is an excellent objective. There are two main things you can do to save paper: converting paper use to technology use and cutting back on thoughtless paper consumption. We hope that the following tips will help you implement these goals in concrete ways, save some trees and help you spend less money!

1. Create Awareness

The first step to change is always knowledge. Start your campaign to save paper in your office by conducting an audit of paper use. Pick a day where everyone keeps track of all of the paper they use, categorising paper by necessary, wasted, and convertible to internet. A clear understanding of how paper is wasted will help you focus on cutting back on waste.

2. Use Technological Communication

The majority of paper used for communication can be replaced by the Internet and other technology. Send emails instead of printing out memos. You can leave voice mail messages as well. Email documents instead of printing and passing them out. Use document sharing technology when working on a project with co-workers. Always compose on the computer. If you are used to doing it by hand, give the computer a trial run, and you will be surprised how quickly you adapt. Put up reports and other data on the Internet, available to those who need to see it. Use the Internet instead of faxing when ever possible. Some software exists to convert faxes into digital information.

3. Use the Internet for Paperwork

Since computers have become such a major part of life, both business and personal, the Internet has helped us take a great step towards using less paper. But though the option is there, you may not be taking advantages of this. Doing online banking and payroll over the Internet instead of using checks and other paper can not only cut down on paper, but also cut down on hassle. If possible, consider filing taxes online. If you are not in management, suggest using these options. Many things are traditionally printed and filed, but discuss and experiment as a business to see how many things can be saved digitally instead.

4. Avoid Waste

One of the other best ways to save paper is to be aware of what you are wasting and acting on it. So only print documents when needed. See how many duplicates you can do without. Never make more copies than needed, but print more when the need arises. Test the printer before running a large number of copies to prevent the waste of imperfect copies. For internal copies, keep the ones that are a little light or dark, as long as they are intelligible. Use a wipe off board instead of sticky notes at your desk space.

5. Use What You Do Use More Efficiently

Whether making copies or printing other necessary papers, if at all possible, use both sides. Set the margins to be smaller in your word processing settings. Save scrap paper with blank sides and keep in a pile for scratch paper. Purchase the lightest weight paper possible. Consider redesigning the company’s letterhead so that it takes up less space. Keep you eyes open for other ways to reuse papers that have already been partially used, from using partially used scratch paper to using shredded paper for packing material instead of purchased packing fillers.

6. Update

Another way to save paper is to stay up to date in everything you do. Remove outdated information from mailing list. You could even bypass printing by having the information online. Every year, have a file cleaning day, going through files and reusing mainly blank sheets of paper.

7. Promote Awareness

Once your office has made the first step by learning the places and ways to change, help them remember the importance of saving paper by posting reminders on saving paper. Put up lists of things to work on in visible areas. Place a list of guidelines next to the copy machines. Saving paper is an ongoing process, so keep it in the front of every mind in your office, and you will see changes.

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About the author:

James Adams is a professional writer and marketer who is currently employed at Cartridge Save. He is involved with a large number of speciliased tasks within the inner workings of the company and has amassed a great deal of knowledge regarding business, printers and online media. His passions involve writing, psychology and online driven media.

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