Saving the Environment: What Are the Benefits of Going Paperless?
Going green and reducing your carbon footprint are important environmental topics today. Have you ever thought about how you can do your part to save the environment?
An easy way that everyone can do is limiting how much paper you use at home and at work. You can turn all your paper notes, journals and work forms into electronic ones.
Just imagine one tree that took 100 years to grow only produces 17 reams of paper. One ream is 500 sheets of paper. Also, half of the paper used today comes from virgin forests.
By going paperless, you have a direct impact on reducing your carbon footprint. Not only that, once you’re electronic devices are up and running, you save money on buying paper.
Read more about how you can help save the environment by going paperless.
What Is the Environmental Impact of Manufacturing Paper?
Manufacturing 17 reams of paper from one tree releases 110 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. Also, any tree not cut down for paper absorbs 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide during its life.
Trees are like sponges, soaking up carbon compounds that affect climate change. They also release oxygen into the air, which keeps the atmosphere healthy for you and your family.
The more trees cut down, the more CO2 pollutes the ecosystem and the less breathable oxygen is available. It’s an amazing fact that one tree gives off enough oxygen for two people to breathe every day.
Here are facts about how using paper and ink hurts the environment:
- Cutting trees that make oxygen
- Release of toxic gases from pulp
- Uses fuel to transport paper by air, train, and trucks
- Manufacturing more printers and ink
- EPA reports 400 million ink cartridges and 100 million toners thrown in landfills per year
- 2,500 trees cut down for every 10 million pages of paper
- 56,000 gallons of oil and 595,000 kilowatts of energy used for every 10 million pages
These facts show how important it is to go paperless. With the growth of technology and electronic devices, everyone can do their part to reduce their carbon footprint.
Reasons to Go Paperless at Work
When you go paperless at work, you not only help the environment, you also save money. By using eco-friendly work solutions like OCR software, faxing, electronic signatures and devices, you reduce data entry costs, labor costs, and ink and paper expenses.
Changing your company culture to meet environmental challenges is responsible and economical. Here are several benefits your company can experience if you go paperless:
- Decrease cost of printers, paper, ink, copiers, and fax machines
- Free up space from file cabinets and paper clutter
- Save time with mobile communications with your customers and staff
- Increase staff performance and efficiency
- Build your brand as a professional IT work environment
- Increase your workflow with electronic forms
- Better security with cloud backup for documents
- Real-time document delivery
- Boast an environmentally friendly company culture
Take advantage of all these environmentally-friendly solutions for your business. By going paperless in the office, you can save trees, protect the environment and be more productive at the same time.
Tips for Going Paperless at Work
The following tips will help you create a paperless work environment. Going paperless is cost effective and reduces your carbon footprint. As you transition to paperless in the office, you’ll see reliable document and data backup security.
Another benefit is better customer service. Digital documents give you fast access to all your customer data. It also retrieves information immediately, allowing your staff to proactively provide a positive customer experience.
Encourage Digital Planners
Digital planners save time and money. You can share information, calendars, meeting times and memos with all your employees.
With these planners, you and your staff can organize your schedules with categories and jot down notes. Plus, you never have to buy another planner or throw an old one away.
Scan all Documents
Scan all your documents, keeping digital versions of them. When you need to send documents to your staff, you can email them a copy instead of printing them. Save all your documents to the cloud.
Even if your not in the office, you can send digital documents from your smartphone to any staff member. This boosts performance because every document is available to all employees and customers when they need them.
Take Advantage of Note Software
An ideal way to make notes is with note software for going paperless. It’s like a digital filing cabinet. Your notes are always ready for creating content, speeches or memos.
Electronic notes allow you to organize your categories with tabs just like keeping file folders. Some note software lets you scan documents right into your notes.
Offer Employee Training
Not everyone at your office will be onboard with going paperless. Prepare your staff by offering training in digital document management to help them adapt to paperless.
Also, educate your staff on electronic signatures and filings. Make it your goal to encourage your employees and staff for going paperless in the office.
Benefits of Going Paperless at Home
Is your home cluttered with paper? You most likely have bills piled on your counter, catalogs taking up space in your bookcase, and junk mail, magazines, and newspapers in every room.
Even after you sort through it all, there’s still piles of paper left with more stuffing your mailbox every day. Did you know that junk mail alone destroys 100 million trees every year? Not only that, it uses 28 billion gallons of water per year.
Most of your junk mail never gets looked at. You throw it in the trash as soon as you get it.
Many people still use paper at home. But there are so many electronic solutions you can use in your daily routine to decrease paper use.
With such staggering statistics, it’s just common sense to try and do everything you can to go paperless at home. You don’t have to do it all at once. Every little bit helps the environment.
Tips for Going Paperless at Home
The following tips will help you use less paper. Becoming eco-friendly will make you feel better about you and your family’s future in a healthy environment.
Refuse Junk Mail
You can refuse to have junk mail delivered to your home. This won’t stop all your junk mail, but it will prevent most of it from being delivered.
Catalog Choice is another option that lets you choose which mail you want. For example, you can refuse phone books, catalogs, and other bulky mail.
Opt-in for E-Billing
Electronic bills and statements save trees plus they’re convenient. You can pay your bills using your smartphone, tablet and other electronic devices.
Most credit cards, utilities, banks, and cable companies encourage you to receive online bills and statements.
Switch to Digital Journals and Diaries
If you keep a journal or diary, posting your daily events and thoughts, consider digital journals and diaries.
You’ll never run out of space to write down all your day’s thoughts. You most likely already have a tablet or smartphone to download journaling software.
Give Digital Scrapbooking a Try
Of all the digital options for going paperless, digital scrapbooking is at the top of the list. Just imagine taking all those boxes of photos you have and organizing them into digital scrapbooks.
You don’t have to paste, cut or print labels. Electronic scrapbooking saves you money on scrapbooking stamps, pages, scissors, and stickers. You also don’t have to pay to get your digital images developed.
It’s also easier to organize your photo memories and saves storage space on your bookshelves and closets. Another benefit is the ease of sharing your memories with friends and family. All you have to do is upload them to your family blog, Facebook or the cloud photo storage you use.
Go Digital with Your Documents
Scan documents you’re saving in file cabinets and boxes. This reduces the clutter you have and stops more clutter.
This way you always have your documents ready if you need them. Instead of printing copies, email the documents to whoever needs them.
Try Electronic Subscriptions
You don’t have to give up your favorite magazines and newspapers when you go paperless. Choose the digital editions instead of print editions.
Another idea is to try e-readers. You can buy dedicated readers or use a reading app on your smartphone and tablet. You’ll always have a book with you without carrying a backpack.
This way, you save paper, and you can read them on any of your electronic devices wherever you go. You’ll be all set when you’re waiting at the dentist or doctor’s office, at the salon or waiting your turn at teacher conferences.
Take the Step to an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Make a plan to go paperless at work and at home. It will help save the environment, as well as make your life less cluttered.
Reducing paper use can make a big impact on the number of trees destroyed every year. Go green by taking the leap to a paperless lifestyle.
Contact us for more information about how you can help save the environment with by going paperless at work and home.