Paperless Way of Life Made Simple
Simple Ways to Go Paperless Forever!
This lens will give you ideas for going paperless at home, at the office, and everywhere in between. Recycle and minimize paper product consumption. Lighten up your physical file storage by keeping only the essential and required physical documents. Create a permanent record of everything before you shred it for recycle. Be sure to discover how to recycle shredded paper to make beautiful home made papers, paper mache' gifts items and home decor, and more.
Be sure to keep the most important papers (consult your attorney or tax adviser if you need professional guidance) and condense the rest. If digital records concern you be sure to make a backup of the data and keep it in a safe place.
Before You Go Paperless - There Are Some Legal Issues
Going paperless is an exceptional way to be free of clutter and to even be more organized. Yet, there are some legal considerations to check into before you begin.
Tax Record Retention Requirements are beyond the scope of this lens. Consult with your tax advisor to find out what records you need to keep and how long you need to keep them. The regulations tend to change depending on individual location and financial activities so be certain you ask a lot of questions before you distroy any financial documents.
Legal paperwork (marriage, birth, immunizations, health, etc.) may also need to be retained.
Be certain that what you want to shred and recycle is not something that you will need to have physical records of. After you scan, file, and backup your papers, you can still read and print them out...but, any legal documentation may require originals.
The rest of it has a scanner waiting.
By using a scanner and a software program such as Access, One Note, or even Excel...
Scanner To The Rescue!
This scanner will help you through this part of the process to clear away paper in your office or your home.
You can permanently store and easily find any thing you need without having paper copies here and there or in files that become difficult to manage and you will never be able to find what you are looking for.
Select A Software Program
Access, One Note, Excel, or any good filing system (you can even use folders on your hard drive if you want to manage them in a specific area).
Scan ----> Save to your system ---->
Access is one of several software programs you can use to sort and file your digital records. Other great options are Excel, One Note, and even Word *using a file folder system on your PC.
Shred Before You Recycle
Using a shredder after you have scanned your papers will allow the paper to be recycled without your information being shared.
There are paper crafters that would love to use your shredded materials to make crafts.
Perhaps you have some ideas yourself?
The Equipment Needed to Shred
Shredding your paper before recycling has several benefits. The first is security of your personal information. Then there is the ease that it can be recycled by your local artists and crafts people. Many communities have paper recycling centers that do not require shredding.
If you have a lot of paper that you are not concerned about personal information, you might check your local recycling center for information about how to prepare paper for recycling drop off or in larger communities pick up service may be available.
Shredder Cut Type Defined
Strips, Cross-Cut, Confetti and Micro Shredders Defined
Shredders are used to cut a piece of paper.
Ranges of cuts can be as much as 3,770 bits per sheet. The mid-range shredder uses the cross-cut (aka confetti cut) type of shred, which cuts a piece of paper into 300 pieces. The "average" strip cut shredder cuts a piece of paper into 34 strips which often allow for an easier reassembly.
Choosing the type of shred cut should be based on security needs as well as the process you are using to recycle. In other words, how sensitive is the information on the paperwork you are shredding and where will the shredded paper be in the next stage after shredding.
Will your shredded paper be put into a dumpster or will it be placed into a supervised composting area? On the other hand, will your shredded paper be handed over to an outsourcing company who specializes in disposal of sensitive documents?
Wikipedia says this about shredder cut types:
*Strip-cut shredders, the least secure, use rotating knives to cut narrow strips as long as the original sheet of paper. Such strips can be reassembled by a determined and patient investigator or adversary, as the product (the destroyed information) of this type of shredder is the least randomized. It also creates the highest volume of waste inasmuch as the chad has the largest surface area and is not compressed.
*Cross-cut or confetti-cut shredders use two contra-rotating drums to cut rectangular, parallelogram, or diamond-shaped (or lozenge) shreds.
*Particle-cut shredders create tiny square or circular pieces.
* Disintegrators and granulators repeatedly cut the paper at random until the particles are small enough to pass through a mesh.
* Hammermills pound the paper through a screen.
*Pierce and Tear Rotating blades pierce the paper and then tear it apart.
*Grinders A rotating shaft with cutting blades grinds the paper until it is small enough to fall through a screen.
The shredded remains of a National Lottery play slip.
There are numerous standards for the security levels of paper shredders, including:
DIN 32757 
Level 1 = 12 mm strips
Level 2 = 6 mm strips
Level 3 = 2 mm strips (Confidential)
Level 4 = 2 x 15 mm particles (Commercially Sensitive)
Level 5 = 0.8 x 12 mm particles (Top Secret or Classified)
Level 6 = 0.8 x 4 mm particles (Top Secret or Classified) (unofficial extension of the DIN 32757-1 standard)
***end Wikipedia excerpt***
*Choose a shredder which meets your security needs as well as the process you are using to dispose of your documents.
Shop for Shredders
Select from a variety of shredders depending on your needs.
"Designed for light duty shredding in the home or home office, the Fellowes Powershred PS-67Cs reduces documents to 5/32" x 2" higher security confetti particles, and shreds up to 8 sheets per pass, 25-50 times per day, for a total daily capacity as high as 400 sheets. Equipped with a 9" wide paper entry, the PS-67Cs easily accepts standard letter or legal size documents. The durable steel cutters also accept credit, staples and small paper clips."
I still remember a gift a friend gave me years ago.
She made a note card (handmade paper recycled)and embedded flower seeds in it.
After I read it, and enjoyed it a while, I planted it. Soon there were blooms in my yard to remind me of her again.
That is such a beautiful way to recycle.
Ecopaper is often made from
Now That You are Living the Paperless Life...
You have an option for all of your card stock, letters, journals, and so much more that uses sustainable materials by creating fibers our of renewable resources.
Regarding environmental degradation, the 20 century has been the worst in history. The effects are only comparable to the disaster that caused the extinction of dinosaurs. The causes are, amongst others, the industrial and technological progress, the exponential growth of the world population, lack of legislation and commitment by individuals and institutions. It is expected that for the 21'st century, the world population will be eleven million people.
Globalization and the ever growing demand for food have increased the impact of human activity over the environment. The impact on rivers, the land, seas, and forests and in all ecosystems in general, will be greater. It is important to remember that our planet is a very sensitive and vulnerable system and all that happens in one part of the world has a severe impact in another part.
Awareness of this situation should make us compromise in a personal way and induce us to shift away from consumption habits that affect the environment so strongly. If we all collaborate, we can implement a system of sustainable development which will allow us to inherit our children and grand-children the chance to a good quality life, with satisfaction no lesser that we have had.
We are obliged to at least allow future generations to enjoy rivers and seas that are clean, pure air, abundant forests and the company of species that are in threat of extinction, such as whales, manatees, tigers and parrots.
If it doesn't have the Ecopaper or Costa Rica Natural Logo its not certified Banana Paper. We are the only one's with the rights to use the term "Banana Paper'. Please be aware of imitations.
The paper industry represents two percent of the world commerce and the demand increases every day. Paper still is the main form of communication among people, especially in the education field. It also has an infinite number of industrial uses, amongst which we can mention those related with packing and health care.
The cellulose and paper industry uses around one third of total production of wood and this proportion is increasing. Two thirds of the fiber used to make paper comes from virgin fiber and the rest comes from waste fibers. Between 5 and 10% of the derivatives of the cellulose is produced based on fibers that do not come from wood.
Amongst many environmental worries related to the manufacturing of traditional paper, we can mention:
- Biodiversity loss
- Replacement of natural or primary woods by tree plantations
- The insufficient use of waste paper and fibers that do not come from wood
- The domain of large scale mills that have a great political influence
- The continuous use of chlorine as a bleach
- Insufficient research regarding alternative technologies to produce paper in a cleaner way
- High levels of paper use which are not sustainable, specially in rich countries
- Systems of paper recollection and exports of paper impact the way of living of paper collectors in poor countries
- Excessive demand of transport in the commercial cycle of paper
- The hidden subsidies that promote the use of wood fiber rather than alternative fibers.
Bananas were probably the first fruit cultivated by man. Historically, it is registered before the Christian age. This plant is even cited in the Coran as the fruit of paradise, under the name Musa ParadisiacaÂ, which is the modern name for plantains. It was spread all over the world and brought to the occidental hemisphere in the XVI century by an Spanish monk.
Ready To Move On?
You have plenty of room cleared out and all the shredded paper is off to artists and crafters.
Lets make room in another area now.
Disposible Paper Products
I have wondered...
Why buy a paper towel that works like cloth, when you could buy cloth?
Paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, and numerous other disposible products are causing more clogging of the land fills than you can imagine.
We are a disposible consumerism generation.
Our grandmothers didn't have disposible paper towels or those disposible diapers with plastic liners.
We can reduce waste by tons a day collectively by giving up one or two paper products at a time. Gradually or overnight, the primary focus is on progress.
Awards and Mission of This Page
Originally published on Squidoo, this lens won a PURPLE STAR! Thank you for the nomination and award. I hope it will continue to assist readers as it lives and evolves on HubPages.
© 2008 Deb Bryan