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How to Reduce Paper Usage

Updated on June 5, 2012


The trees must have waved their branches with joy and great expectation when they saw the arrival of the information explosion. They probably saw it as their saviour. No longer would they be felled in their prime and beaten to a pulp just for paper How wrong they were!

The term information explosion has become a time-honoured cliche. Waiting to earn a place among the cliche listings is the phrase paper explosion.

Priming the paper explosion are the copier manufacturers who seem to boast ever-increasing speeds their machines can consume quantities of paper. Speeds range from under six to more than 32 pages per minute.

Copier/printer manufacturers could contribute to controlling the paper explosion by printing duplex (double-sided printing) as the default.

The growth in information technology has detonated the explosion in the volume of paper produced. Walk past office buildings and peer inside and you’re likely to mountains of paper lying idle on desks and tables.

For some reason, we need to see information printed on paper. Even where we have all the
information we want electronically, producing it on paper makes the information more tangible.

Most PC packages allow you to preview the document, but we just can’t resist the urge to print and feel the document.

Can we control the paper explosion? Here are some ideas:

1. Distribute one copy of a document with a circulation list
attached.

2. Ask if your co-workers actually read all the report produced, if not stop producing them.

3. Photocopy and print on both sides of the paper.

4. Where you can impose a nominal charge for printing and copier per sheet of paper. Total up the cost at the end of the month per department or team and set target to reduce the cost.

Share your ideas for reducing paper usage and help save our trees.

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