In the modern world of digital devices and fast, secure messaging, there’s very little excuse for excessive paper use. Unfortunately, many small businesses continue to waste huge amounts of paper every day.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to reduce paper usage in your office, thereby reducing your overall environmental impact. In the rest of this article, I’ve looked at a few of these methods. You might be surprised by just how basic some of them are, because I know I was!
Anyway, let’s jump straight into it.
This should be relatively self-explanatory, but it’s amazing just how many companies continue to print huge numbers of documents when they absolutely aren’t necessary. Next time you’re thinking about printing, consider whether or not you really need to. Some alternatives include:
As you can imagine, reducing your printing volume will not only save paper – it could save your business a lot of money as well!
Use Cloud Storage to File Documents Rather Than Storing Hard Copies
Similarly, there’s no need to store hard copies of documents anymore. There are numerous secure cloud-based storage solutions available, and most of these provide encrypted storage for even the most sensitive documents.
Personally, I use Google Drive to store most of my documents. It’s not perfect, but it’s an awful lot easier than printing and filing things manually. If you need a more secure solution, Box is a great choice. It gives you full control over your data and what happens to it, reducing the risk of serious data breaches or information loss.
Make Sure Recycling Bins Are Available
Even if you take as many steps as possible to reduce paper usage in the office, the chances are that you won’t be able to eliminate it completely. It’s therefore essential to ensure that recycling bins are placed in strategic locations throughout your office so that used paper and unwanted documents can be recycled properly.
Reuse Scrap Paper
If you’re a person who likes to take hard notes with a pen and paper, that’s fine. I get it. Believe it or not, I don’t love using digital note taking apps myself. But, this doesn’t mean you have to waste a lot of paper on note taking.
Instead, think about taking notes on the back of used pieces of paper that only have one side covered. In most cases, your personal notes will only end up in the recycling anyway, so you’ve really got nothing to lose here.
Reducing office paper usage may seem like a difficult concept to begin with, but it’s not – trust me! I’ve managed to transition my entire workflow into the digital world using the tips outlined above, and in doing so, I’m happy to say that I’ve reduced my business’s environmental footprint.