"Paperless", "Go Green", "Green Office" and "Zero Landfill" are some of the buzzwords of the current era. While more and more businesses are going paperless everyday, some are being left behind. Others lose momentum when they run out of waste reduction ideas. Here are 5 simple ways your office can "Go Green" and stay "Green" by reducing your paper usage.
1. Breaking Bad Habits
STOP. THINK. PRINT. Back to basics, the most simple and effective way to reduce your office’s paper consumption is to quit printing (or at least reduce your bad printing habits). Start by asking yourself simple questions; Do I have to print this? Can this be emailed? Inevitably there will always be something you need to print, think of ways you can reduce your paper consumption:
- Double-sided printing as an option
- Toner-saving mode
- Condensing documents
2. To the Clouds
Save yourself the cabinet space and put it in the cloud. Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud are all proficient off-premise cloud storage applications that will make your fling life simpler, safer and more secure. Choosing cloud storage also gives you and your colleagues easy access to your files whenever and wherever you want.
There is also the option to go digital with contracts and billing using software like EchoSign and Docusign. Not only will online contracts and invoicing save paper, but it eliminates the risk of lost documents and makes modifying contracts simple.
3. Modern Marketing
Moving away from old fashioned marketing such as flyers, posters and leaflets and into social media campaigns, EDM's, YouTube ads and BLOGS. Not only will this leap into the modern world save the environment, but will also significantly cut down on your businesses marketing expenses. Paper wasting marketing is out dated and ineffective, online marketing has the ability to reach an audience of millions in a matter of seconds, at no cost to the earth.
4. Correct Disposal
As mentioned, there will inevitably be instances where hard copies are necessary, this is ok if you are acting consciously in not only your paper usage but disposal too. Consider how you will recycle your paper, if you are unable to reuse the paper ensure it is recycled correctly. All offices should have a paper recycling bin. This could be as simple as a cardboard box, or more advanced and easier to manger, a paper shredder.
5. Out With the Old
Finally, those hard to break habits that commonly make up the last 10% of paper in a converting office, diaries and note pads. Research as shown that hard copy note pads and diaries are the office essential that people cannot seem to live without. This is again a case of breaking the habit. It's 2019 and there is next to nothing your smartphone, tablet or computer cannot do for you, taking notes and recording appointments included. Practice makes perfect in this instance, try to get in the habit of recording notes on your tablet, sending calendar invites over email. Having your office’s calendar online not only benefits the environments, but it makes booking internal meetings and scheduling significantly easier for all staff members.
As we progress in time and become more educated as to the effects of our wastage on the planet, I'm sure most businesses, AFM included, can see the phenomenal benefits of a paperless office. Stretching far beyond the environmental implications, going paperless creates a more conscious, efficient and secure workplace. I encourage all offices to follow AFM in their endeavour to work more consciously in their day to day operations to CUT paper and do what's right for the environment and our future.