Make Your Office Greener: Save Paper

     Using less paper at work is a good way to lessen our burden on Mother Earth.  After all, according to a study cited by David Bach in his book  Go Green, Live Rich, the average American office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper–a stack four feet high–every year!  And, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the pulp and paper industry may contribute more to environmental problems–such as destroying trees and wildlife habitat and polluting waterways–than any other industry.

     Fortunately, cutting back on paper use in the office is easy.  Here are some suggestions from Go Green, Live Rich:

  • Before you routinely print out emails and other documents, ask yourself if you really need a hard copy.  It’s so easy to file materials on the computer.  Some businesses even include in their corporate email signatures a reminder to recipients to think twice before printing an email.
  • If your office printer prints double-sided documents, make ‘double-sided’ the default setting.
  • Make sure the paper purchased for office use has been recycled.  When buying paper, look for the word ‘postconsumer.’  It means that the paper has been recycled from paper that has actually been used.  And the higher the proportion of recycled content, the better.  Recycled paper stock should be readily available at most office supply chains.  
  • Save money as well as paper by implementing a “Smart Paper” program, developed by NRDC.  You can learn more by visiting http://www.nrdc.org/cities/living/paper/bintro.asp
  • If you don’t yet recycle the paper used in your office, why not start now?  If your building doesn’t have a recycling program, you can likely find a recycling service in your area by visiting www.earth911.com.     

     Good luck!  And enjoy working in a greener office!–April Moore

2 Responses to “Make Your Office Greener: Save Paper”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    I’ve got a box for recycled paper right next to my office trash can and save paper that only has printing on one side. When it doesn’t matter that something else is printed on the back side, I grab some of this paper to put on the printer tray for printing internal or “for my eyes only” documents. The secret for me is having that box right next to the trash so it’s easy to do the right thing!

  2. April Says:

    I know what Elizabeth means. We need to make recycling as easy as we can for ourselves to make sure we actually do it!

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