7 Simple Ways to Reduce Paper in Your Office
Think before you print
Less Paper: Earth Day 2021.
According to Records Nation, in the United States we use 65,395,000,000 sheets of paper per DAY. That is 815,000 pine trees every day! 4 Billion dollars every day, on paper! No wonder the average office worker spends 30-40% of their time looking for information stored in file cabinets.
Earth Day is just around the corner, so today I am sharing some ways to be more mindful of the amount of paper we use. Paper, printer ink, postage and storage are just a few of the costs of printing our electronic files. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year on average. We throw away 45% of what we print by the end of the day. Most of the forms printed by S corporations are outdated in 3 months’ time! Reducing paper consumption in your office is a great way to regain space, save money, increase peace of mind, and show kindness to our planet.
Want to get started on the road to less paper in your office? Try these 7 ways to reduce the paper you use, today!
1. Think before you print. Use digital storage to save the information. Print to PDF, save to Evernote, Save to OneNote, and other Document Management Programs. Harness the power of your computer to keep on top of what you store.
2. Add a line to your digital signature in your email to encourage your recipients not to print your email and associated attachments, if possible. Remove the attachments and save digitally in your cloud account or on your computer.
3. Reduce your font size to 10 point to reduce the size of the document.
4. Update your printer settings. If you must print, be sure to enable Duplex Printing to print both sides of the paper. This one change will save 50% of the paper you use. This change will save paper, filing space, and the cost of postage for documents that require mailing. While you are updating your printer settings, you can also change settings to save on ink. I think we all can agree the cost of printer toner and ink is substantial. So, while we save on paper, we can save on ink as well. To update your printer settings to use less ink, choose the setting for print in grey scale. Reuse opposite side of print material for notes and lists or to print drafts of work in progress. One last printer set up change; decrease the size of your margins, this can save up to 14% of the paper needed.
5. Select Print preview before you print documents. Remove unnecessary pages and scale the document size down to fit more per page. If you are saving presentations for sharing, save only your key slides as a PDF and share only that. Same thing with presentation notes, save as a PDF and share only your key points. Ask attendees to save in digital form.
6. Conduct paperless meetings. Create an agenda in your meeting invitation, or link to a shared page in the cloud. Create a digital notebook in OneNote or Evernote (even create a Template to use for each occasion of any recurring meeting.) There are some great new formatting features for templates in Evernote, but that is a topic for another day. Another option is to create shared folders in Google Drive, Microsoft 365, Box, Dropbox, and many other programs to store your shared files. Using shared documents, spreadsheet and presentation files keeps everyone up to date with the latest file. Use version history to revert to prior versions. Save electronic files to Trello, Airtable, ClickUp and many other programs to view while managing projects. Use the dedicated email address associated with your digital accounts to forward email to the application for safe keeping.
7. Reduce junk mail coming into your office. To remove yourself from mailing lists, visit DMAChoice.org for more information. DMA Choice
There you have it, 7 ways to reduce the amount of paper in your office.
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