Green is the future. Cars are going that way. Energy is going that way. Business is going that way. The world has developed a conscience since the effects of our collective carelessness have become demonstrable.
It takes only a little bit of common sense to do your part, and you’ll likely be saving money in the process; everyone’s a winner. Here are 8 simple steps you need only employ a percentage of to render paper waste a thing of the past.
1. DOUBLE UP
Studies suggest that the average office worker will use at least 10,000 sheets of paper a year. As well as halving the lease and postage costs, simply making sure to fill up the front and back of every sheet (including using duplex capable printers) will take that down to 5000, and that’s only 1 technique.
If you’re still sending actual post out of some respect for a bygone era then you’re doing it to your own detriment. Email keeps a nice immediate line of communication; your clients can give replies and feedback as quickly as you can. As well as being quicker, it’s also cheaper to send and, with more and more business being done via the internet, you can embed all kinds of important links and information in a way impossible with physical correspondence.
3. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
In large group exercises, hand-outs and drafts can burn through your paper stock at frightening rates. Using Cloud Computing Technology such as Microsoft’s SkyDrive or good old Dropbox, enables you to share documents with your entire workforce and even have live discussions and even gain access to the project from any device.
You may have ended up on some national mailing lists you know not how to opt out of (contact the DMA to rectify), or even just have never gotten round to cancelling your subscriptions to dozens of trade magazines for the office. Make sure you get on it, you’re wasting pounds not pennies on this one.
5. SWITCH FROM PRINTED TO ELECTRONIC BILLS AND INVOICES
As simple as that.
6. DIGITAL COPIES
There’s no need to have physical master copies of documents. You can in fact show clients and associates files right on your device or tablet; even airports and cinemas accept smartphone pdfs as proof of booking nowadays.
As well as using notepads, business cards, and even post-it notes made from recycled paper, you can recycle your own waste by setting up a recycling office paper program. All it means is a push towards being more conscientious with how you get rid of what you already use, and your concerted efforts will begin to reflect in the attitude of the entire team before long, not to mention in the state of the Earth’s health too!
8. STOP USING FLIPCHART PADS
The most important one. Nobody likes trying to decipher the scribbles that spill out onto its pages. Why, in an age where wheeled whiteboards exist, people still insist on taking an entire pad of A1 sheets to think out an idea, escapes me entirely. Because they like the ‘suspense…REVEAL!’ if I had to guess, but they certainly have no interesting in reducing paper waste.