Pretty much every office in the world will have a problem with wasted paper - no matter what industry you work in, paper will be used, and too much of it at that. Even if you make an extra effort to recycle, there's no way it can all be used in an environmentally friendly way - we all know the effects that paper-use has on the world's natural greenery, and for this reason it's important that businesses change their approach to their excessive paper use.
Obviously it can be almost impossible to cut paper out completely, with certain key objects necessitating the use of it. The loss of information may lead to loss of money, or potential future clients, and so on. If your office works in the print industry, for example with newspapers or magazines, then proofreaders will more often than not need to see things printed out on to paper. It's easier for them to spot mistakes this way, and allows the sub-editor to view the document as it will be seen in the final print for the public. The point is, sometimes it's completely unavoidable.
Even in those unique cases, there are a few hints and tips you can follow to reduce the amount of wasted paper. First of all you can print on double sided paper - whenever you print something out, simply flip it over, head back to your PC or laptop and press the print button again - in-fact, many modern printers offer a built-in double-sided print option. It only takes a few extra seconds, and will save money for you, and do a tiny little bit for the environment. It might seem small, but imagine if you did that every time you printed for 1,000 print jobs. You're also halving paper costs, and reducing the amount of waste.
Write up a checklist which you can use every time before printing (obviously a digital checklist, don't print it off!). This checklist can have a bullet point list of things to do before you print any documents. It will remind you to do things such as double check the document is ready to print, remember to use double sided printing, and include all relevant information. These can be tailored to suit your individual business, and can be sent around the whole office to make sure everybody is doing the same thing.
It goes without saying, that in today's digital revolution we can start storing everything electronically. If you're concerned about losing data, don't be - there are so many backup options that offer insurance solutions. All of your data, information and records are safely stored on the cloud, on backup servers in remote locations and on external hard drives that can be locked away or taken with you. There's no need to have tons of paper lying around the office any more. Post it notes can be more effective than digital notes, and could actually save you money in the long run - if a digital note or email gets lost (which can often happen) a trusty post it note will always be a reliable back up. Not only would this start benefiting the environment down the line, but it will also make your office a much cleaner, attractive environment.
So much of the paper around the office can be reused again. If you do happen to make a mistake with the printing, don't just scrunch up the paper in to a ball and toss it in the waste paper basket, put it to the side and use it later for making notes on the back of. You could even go as far as creating a tray of scrap paper to be used by others in the office to make notes on too. Many large offices have paper recycling programs so make sure your up-to-date on how to recycle in your situation. Again, cost-saving, productive and good for the environment.
Richard Paperman is an avid fan of our great green world and believes it is essential that everyone plays their own role in saving the planet. Make sure you play your part too - We've only got one planet!