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15 ways to limit paper consumption at home and in the office

It’s possible that you’ve thought about this before…maybe these ideas seemed very sensible, but you doubted whether or not you would be able to incorporate them into your life. What do we have to say about it? ENOUGH! We’d also like to suggest a few reasons why it is worth going paperless and reducing the use of paper. Right away!

Why is limiting the use of paper important for all of us?

Obviously, the most important thing to point out is that paper is an expensive, non-durable data storage tool that is mostly made of trees - these green organisms are not treated with due respect, but without them our lives wouldn’t exist! More on this exact topic can be found in our previous post: 

A few facts about paper



Why are trees so special? Thus far, no human has ever managed to design something that causes oxygen to sequester carbon (sequestration is a process that separates and captures carbon dioxide in order to reduce its emission into the atmosphere), perpetuates nitrogen, distills water, collects solar energy as fuel, produces complex sugars and food, creates a microclimate, changes color with the seasons, and replicates itself. If you ever start doubting how amazing trees actually are, then just read the above sentence again. By respecting, understanding and imitating the beauty and spectacular abilities of the living world to our best abilities, then we can learn to live happily and in harmony with nature.

Why should you limit your paper consumption?

  • Because you will save money in the long run. Paper costs tend to add up over time. And if you’re still having doubts, try keeping track of your home or office paper use over the course of a month. You will be shocked! 
  • The paper recycling process requires energy and bleaching agents. Both the bleach and the energy production process harm the environment.
  • Around 90% of the paper comes from trees, most of which are not cut down sustainably. By reducing the use of paper, we can minimize our support for an industry that does not care about renewable materials.



What are some methods for going paperless?

  1. First and foremost - do not print this list. But if you really want to print it, then print double-sided with small print and small margins. Copy and paste the list into a text editor so you can specify what ends up getting printed.
  2. Go "paperless" with your bills and pay them online or by phone. Most companies try to make this very easy...After all, e-mail is much cheaper than postal delivery, and companies like to boast that they have a paperless philosophy.
  3. Instead of paper statements, ask for paperless reports from credit cards and banks. Almost all banks offer this service through their websites or via telephone support.
  4. Try to finally prevent all of the pamphlets and leaflets that end up in your mailbox. It’s enough to tape a note with the sentence: „Thank you for the leaflets, but I've gone paperless. I am ECO ”. We know that it works from our own experience!
  5. Use one-sided paper for notes, reminders, etc. And use both sides of a blank sheet of paper. Also, don't use a larger piece of paper if you don’t need to. If you only want to use a half or a quarter of a page to write down a recipe or grocery list, then use that amount of paper only and use the rest later.
  6. Instead of archiving piles of paper documents, transition to electronic storage option and don't print them unless you really have to. Electronic storage can be reliable if it is configured with backups. Autenti offers an encrypted archive where you can safely store electronically signed documents.
  7. If you want to buy paper, buy recycled paper. It’s not the best, but it is a step in the right direction.
  8. Remove trash bins from under your desks at work. This move will make it more difficult to dispose of used paper and employees will begin to respect this rule and stop using paper only once.
  9. Subscribe to electronic versions of magazines and newspapers. Be prudent about subscribing to magazines, newspapers, etc. Most newspapers provide an online version.
  10. Use an electronic signature. The Autenti platform can help you with this, and thanks to its service, you can sign, among others, contracts, agreements, invoices, bills and cost estimates, all while saving paper, time and money. For personal use, you can use the free Autenti electronic signature option, while the price of an electronic signature for companies starts at PLN 20 per month. Create an account and try it out today.
  11. Think before you print something. Do you really need a hard copy of this document? Many people have bad habits - usually they just click the print button when they want to read something. We know that reading on a screen may not be the most convenient thing in the world, but at least it avoids unnecessarily wasting paper. It is also worth thinking about this and letting go of the „print” option as often as possible.
  12. Print double-sided and minimize the margins. You can print on both sides of the paper with most modern printers. This is often referred to as "duplex" printing. Adjust the margins on your documents. A smaller margin of 0.75 inch (1.90 cm) is becoming more and more ubiquitous.
  13. It is worth using Google Docs for Business. This is a simple system that lets you collaborate and edit documents together, as well as track changes made by each person working on the document. This type of shared work completely eliminates paper from the process.
  14. Use electronic mail instead of paper mail. Most companies and even national governments are in the process of switching to electronic accessible services. This drastically lowers the cost of postal services as well.
  15. Do not include information like your postal address on business cards. Only send e-mails or call by phone. This forces people to contact you through electronic means.

You don't have to do everything on our list right away. Start with one, two, maybe a few...but do this with the awareness that you are acting to benefit yourself, Mother Earth and...everyone in the world. Doesn’t this make everything better right now?