For many organizations, paper waste is a big issue. Not only does excess paper usage harm the environment, but it is also an unnecessary cost for your business. Paper waste makes up the largest component of waste that is not recycled. Paper waste can add up quickly. It is evident that businesses need to make a change; businesses must go paperless or dramatically reduce their paper usage. Paper waste is a common issue for businesses. However, paper waste is largely preventable. There are many options for businesses to try and here are a few options.
Take Paperless Notes
A great option to reduce paper waste is to take paperless notes. For many business professionals, taking notes is critical for their everyday work. One option is to type up notes on a computer. This way, notes are saved and easy to track down. Additionally, it is easy to find specific sections of notes as individuals can easily search within a document. There are other options for paperless notes, such as apps, that may better fit someone's business needs. Great options include Evernote and Microsoft Onenote.
Utilize Online Storage for Files
If your business is paper-heavy, a good option might be trying online storage platforms. Not only will this reduce paper waste, but it will also make files and other information more accessible for employees. Having data in one specific location helps ensure that information is readily available without having to search through numerous filing cabinets. Google Drive and Box are two good options for businesses.
Do Not Automatically Print
Another way to reduce paper waste is by thinking before one starts printing. Asking the simple questions of "Do I really need this?" or "Could this be done electronically?" can help save a business money and reduce paper waste. If the office has a habit of printing agendas, try emailing them out instead. This ensures that the information is put directly in the relevant party's hand and that the paper will not end up lost on someone's desk. If it is absolutely necessary to print documents, businesses should try buying recycled paper rather than virgin materials. Post-consumer recycled paper is a great alternative as it greatly reduces the number of trees that must be cut down to create paper. Additionally, recycled paper helps to keep other paper materials out of landfills, as they are used in their production.
Create a Printing Policy
It is important that managers communicate clearly with their employees. A printing policy clearly demonstrates the managers' intentions and is accessible to employees. When communicated clearly, a printing policy can help save paper waste, illustrate which documents are necessary to print, and, if something needs to be printed, the best way to do so while eliminating waste. For example, a printing policy would recommend only printing material that is required for customers to use or recommending employees to refrain from printing their work emails. Try emailing the policy out to employees first, but if necessary, print a copy or two to keep near the printer.
Install a Dual Monitor System for Employees
Installing a dual monitor system is a great option to not only lessen paper waste but help improve the work an employee does. While installing a second monitor can be expensive, the benefits greatly outweigh the cost. Having a dual monitor greatly reduces the need to print, as an employee can easily see and access all the information they need for work. Additionally, a dual monitor set up makes file transfers much easier, as employees can simply drag the file they need to move. A dual monitor system can be expensive, but it is certainly worth the initial cost.
As more businesses transition into the digital age of the 21st century, it is important that organizations are able to follow the increasingly paperless work model. Most offices are using digital solutions, thus making paper not as necessary as it once was. Additionally, it is crucial that businesses continue to evolve to reduce their paper waste, not only to reduce costs but also to help protect the environment. There are other options for businesses to try to reduce their company's paper waste. No matter what action a business decides to implement, any step towards lessening paper usage is a great step towards a cleaner environment.
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