It is amazing that even after so much hype that Go-green initiatives in their various forms and avatars have got, the result of the entire exercise has been near nil. Though we know about the impact our actions can create, we actually continue doing the same actions with a non-chalant attitude. It is simply a matter of “choice”! We have the power to control most of our choices and, therefore, the impact we create: from where we live to what we buy, eat, and use to light our home to how we use natural resources. It is time we put on our thinking caps to brainstorm for ways to contribute towards saving mother earth.
Take for instance our easy going attitude towards paper…. Paper plays a very important role in our lives. The newspaper, cereal box, the shopping bag, the tissue, the toilet paper, books, magazines, labels; it is almost omnipresent. When paper is such an intense part of our lives and we know trees need to be cut down to make it, why not be a little more judicious while using it?
It takes about 24 trees to make a ton of paper and the paper industry ranks 4th in contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes 9% of the manufacturing sector’s carbon emissions. Paper usage is rising by around 20% every year, with the average office worker using approximately 50 sheets of paper every day in the typical office.
Yes, use of paper is unavoidable but we can sure make a difference towards environment based on how responsibly we use it. Paper accounts for more than half of all municipal solid waste. Saving paper will decrease waste going for dump in the outskirts which in turn will reduce pollution, energy usage in production, transportation and recycling new paper products and also majorly reduce the cutting of trees to make new paper.
In the office we can do our bit to save Mother Earth and to make earth a better place to live in.
•Watch out for excessive paper usage. Most of the companies strive to make a paperless environment, but hardly succeed because employees do not cooperate. We should avoid making hard copies unless absolutely necessary, use both the sides of paper when printing, cut unused half paper for someone else, reduce font size while printing etc. But the ground rule should be – do not print unless very important.
•Buy carefully. While buying paper or diaries, stick to recycled paper. Opt for unbleached and uncolored paper and buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
•Proofread documents on screen before printing. You don’t want to reprint pages because of errors that could have been avoided.
•Print addresses directly on envelopes and avoid using labels.
•Fill copier trays correctly to avoid paper jams.
•Change the paper cups in the pantry with ceramic stuff that can be washed and put back on the shelf.
•Use the fastest and paperless way to mail documents. Email.
•Send wastepaper for recycling and ask for recycled paper products.
•If we can, why not stop buying the newspaper and read the epaper instead.
•Getting our names off mailing lists that send promotions we don’t care about.
•Get washable cloth towels for the kitchen and cut down on paper towel usage.
•Teach children not to tear paper from notebooks to make airplanes.
•Give wastepaper for recycling.
•Stop accepting promotional fliers as they are going to go straight into the bin.
Our commitment towards saving paper can help minimize environmental liabilities, maximizes the efficient use of resources, reduce waste & pollution and increases profit and efficient operations of organizations.