How To Reduce Paper Waste in the Office

About 70% of office waste is made of paper. These, among other things are eye-opening facts to those wish to take action and reduce its impact on the environment.  Many companies have been trying to promote a ‘paperless’ office environment but found it very difficult to achieve. Many people have a love for paper. To be able to literally touch information with your own fingertips is an appealing concept. Paper is also cheap, portable, easy to store and recyclable. These are some reasons why paper is hard to remove from offices. Even in this computer age, paper is still a must have in every office.

To remove paper from office work is not an option because of its usefulness and popularity. But reducing paper waste during work can be done. Being aware and concerned of the growing environmental problems around us is a good quality. It reminds us to care for our natural resources and not put them to waste. A perfect place to start would be in the office.

Have a heart for Mother Nature and take a look at these tips on how to reduce paper waste in the office:

  • Try to print pages less often and as little as possible. Always check the file before printing. Modify and review documents while they are still on the screen. Minimize the amount of paper drafts you are going to make. Decreasing the amount of hard copies should avoid further waste of paper.
  • Use smaller font sizes when making large documents. Smaller words allow more space on a single sheet of paper. Just make sure the document is still readable.
  • Try disabling the test page function on the printer. Some printers use this printer every time a document is printed or the computer is turned on. This feature wastes a lot of paper only for testing.
  • Waste paper should be recycled and reused. They can be processed to make items like paper bags or turned again into office paper.
  • Paper that has been printed on one side can be used again as scrap paper, or in printing drafts and tests.
  • Make double-sided prints or copies if the situation allows. Only one paper will be used instead of two.
  • Bookmark information and research sites. Save them in your computer and open them again for later viewing. This is better than printing the information out and waste more paper sheets.
  • If a document needs to be viewed by everyone in the office, try passing the document around the office than printing individual copies for each person. It’s a huge waste of paper for everyone to each receive a copy if it is only meant for viewing purposes.
  • Eliminate the need to make hard copies of a document but instead send them over as soft copies through e-mail and other applications that enables you to send files. Same also for paper memos. Instead of printing, also send them via e-mail.

Reducing paper waste in the office would contribute in the saving of natural resources. The simple fact that the average American office worker uses at about 580 pounds of paper each year should be enough reason for us to reduce paper consumption. There is no better place to keep paper from going to waste and showing our environmental consciousness other than the office.


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