Much of the population is making a considerable effort to recycle, use less plastic, and participate in other environmentally-friendly acts. Much of the rallying is thanks to awareness brought about by educators and documentaries highlighting the problems that plastics are causing in our oceans and other areas of our environment.
While plastic has for years surged in popularity because of its convenience, we’re now starting to realize that convenience isn’t everything. Subsequently, many people are returning to traditional products to help steer clear of plastics. But, what about paper? While paper doesn’t pose quite the same problems, it’s still largely wasted and ends up in landfills, rivers, and the oceans. How often do you print something only to throw it away or shove it in a folder and never look at it again? How many paper flyers go straight into your trash without being looked at?
Using less paper in your home and office can have many advantages. For example, storing documents online or on a hard drive saves space and keeps things tidy. The best way to do this is to not bring it in your home or office in the first place. Ask for digital receipts and utilize reusable bags at the store. Additionally, only print what you absolutely need to and recycle it once you’re finished. These simple changes will help you keep paper use to the minimum. Learn more about how to make your home and office paper-free and model it for your family and employees. Here are some simple tips to get started.
We’re guilty of using paper without thinking because it’s something we’ve always done. This is especially true for older generations who grew up without the digital world. We print things, even though they could easily be saved online and backed up on a hard-drive. We write ourselves notes and even use paper memos around the office.
The key is to be aware of each time we use paper. Think about where it could be minimized or even cut out completely. Take small steps if it seems like too much to think about at once. Encourage others around you to do the same. If you must use paper, be mindful to always recycle when you can.
Request Paperless Receipts and Information
Look at everything that comes in the mail at home and the office. Do you receive paper brochures and advertisements from stores, suppliers, and contacts? Are you getting bank and account updates by mail? Look at all of your accounts to see if there is a paperless option. Make sure that anything that comes via mail is necessary. You may even be able to end junk mail by writing the companies to request to be removed from a mailing list.
Utilize Tablets, Phones, and Computers Fully
Using iPads, other tablets, and even smartphones are handy tools, especially when you are away from home or out of the office. They alleviate the need to make notes, carry lists, or books with you. Invest in devices that meet your specific personal and professional needs. Additionally, consider purchasing these for your family and staff.