8 practical ways to reduce paper usage
A lot of people don’t really consider how much paper they are consuming. However, you should think about this, as the paper is not an infinite resource. It takes precious trees to create, which is not a small price to pay. As a matter of fact, trees are probably one of the most important resources on Earth, and it is a shame that humans are using it to create something to write on, put plain and simple.
If you wish to pursue a life without paper, you can adopt some of the following tips:
- Replace paper bills – nowadays, there are so many ways you can check your water, electricity, internet and practically every other bill you need to pay. Why does it have to be via a paper bill you receive in the mail every single month? You can check what you owe online, or set up electronic emails that remind you of your bills. You can even take advantage of automatic billing with your bank, to avoid any stress. Not only is it easier to go about it this way, but it also saves paper.
- Store your receipts in digital form – if you must keep receipts of your bills or pretty much any other such information, you needn’t do it in a paper form. You can do it safely in digital form. This is quite convenient, as you can more easily browse by dates or by type and never have to go through piles of paper.
- Say no to junk mail – if you have junk mail, you should try to end it. See if you can opt out from receiving unwanted prints. Often times it only takes a single call or a little browsing on the Internet on how to do this.
- Change your paper habits – if you need to take a quick note, you re-use old paper sheets. See if the paper is dual-sided, in which case use both sides of the paper sheet. Don’t ever use a bigger piece of paper than you need. Instead of looking for paper storage of information, store it electronically. This is by far the more reliable method, especially if there is a backup available. Whenever you buy paper, look for the recycle sign.
- Reconsider your magazine/newspaper subscriptions – a lot of these have online versions, so it makes sense to look for that. We live in a digitised age, so it is wise to make the most of it.
- Think before you print – this is a golden rule you should live by. Printing out every little thing is a bad habit you need to free yourself from. That is not just wasteful, but highly unnecessary. If you do need something printed out, print only the part of it that you need and not the whole thing. Printers allow printing on both sides of the sheet, which is a way to save on paper usage.
- Replace paper with cloth napkins – simple change really. Paper napkins are single use, whereas you can wash cloth napkins and use them again. On the same note, you should replace paper towels with rags for any cleaning task you need to address.
- Steer clear of paper plates – if you are having people over, pick washable, durable plates. You don’t need to go for paper plates, nor plastic plates for that matter. Both of these are bad non-eco-friendly options.
Now that you know how to cut down paper waste, you should definitely implement these changes in your routine. They can make quite the difference.