5 Amazing Ways to Reduce Paper Use in the Office

10 August 2016

reducing paper waste

Paper waste is a huge problem in offices. A single office of 10 workers can create more paper waste clearance needs per day than a whole family of artists can for a whole week. Even with offices trying to be green, they are more focused on the energy waste, the water waste, and making the office a better working environment than on waste paper recycling. Paper is a huge part of the office’s rubbish disposal, so maybe something is lost there. But there are ways to reduce that paper use in order to have less need for office clearance and the whole waste disposal being done.

1. Computer Proofreading

Quite a lot of an office’s waste problems come from the fact that typos are being overlooked while typing on the computers and later the paper with the form or document or project is being printed out. Someone then does the proofreading and suddenly a mistake is found. The paper is dumped in the rubbish disposal bin and you have to print another batch. Now, how about doing that proofreading before the printing? That would save at least a box of paper a week, don’t you think?

proofread before printing

2. Remove Redundant Forms

Some document forms go beyond a page, which is all well and good, but there are a lot of documents that have redundant forms. You have to either enter two signatures to agree to the same thing or fill in a form that requires you to summarise or repeat what you had to say in the last form. And then there are description texts of self-explanatory forms and then the redundant explanations below the form and under the signature. All this creates one huge mess of documentation. Focus on clarity is important, yes, but you can be both clear and concise at the same time – in fact, it’s better to be concise when you want to be clear. By deleting the excess forms you will use up less paper.

redundant forms

3. Use Both Sides

Sometimes you don’t need official forms but rather sample forms. A lot of internal memos and paper messages are passed around as well. All these can take both sides of the paper instead of a single one sided page. This will also cut a lot of the paper spending and you’ll use the whole page to its full potential rather than scribbling over one side and then dumping it for rubbish disposal.

use paper on both sides

4. Do Proper Maintenance on Print Machines

Machines can also be a reason for so much paper waste. Sometimes printers and copy machines simply jam up and ruin pages. Other times printers spill ink and ruin a whole bundle of paper. And all this happens because of poor maintenance rather than accidental occurrences. Offices use their hardware till it breaks and printers very rarely have actual maintenance. Problems are dealt with when they happen, not beforehand. But you can always do some pre-emptive damage control and fix the machine before it causes more need for office clearance.

printer maintenance

5. Go Digital

And speaking of being pre-emptive, there is a sure fire way to reduce your paper use. The best way of not using a lot of paper is not using paper at all. Simply go digital. E-mails have already taken over the memorandum distribution role, a lot of documents are already being created for digital use, there are digital signatures you can add instead of physical ones, durable tablets and iPads will replace a whole archive section. This is the future you live in now and paper seems to be a diminishing need, so why keep wasting it?

paperless office

Apply any of these methods and the need for clearance services will go down with each one. Less paper means less recycling to worry about and less pollution if you are not doing a proper job with the waste recycling.

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