Monday, 11 July 2011

Going paperless wrap

Image from here
Last month I spent a bit of time sorting out my paperwork, as per the G Magazine Challenge. I was already using recycled paper products for toilet paper, paper towel, printer paper etc. and recycling paper, but I wanted to reduce the amount that I use.

It is important that we all try to reduce our paper usage. Making paper isn't just about deforestation (although that is bad enough), but the manufacturing process of paper making is energy and water hungry too. It costs us a lot to have clean, fresh white pages to scribble on. Unless you decide to make it yourself? 

At the halfway point, I had achieved a fair bit towards cutting down the amount of paper that enters the house. In the final two weeks of the challenge, I took the following steps:

1. Replacing disposable products with more eco-friendly ones. Like using washable cloths instead of paper-towel. And using handkerchiefs instead of tissues (although I did find a recycled paper tissue you may prefer?)  
2. Reducing the unnecessary paper by using my "No advertising material" sticker on the mail box and switching to e-statements and bills.
3. Looking for better ways to use the paper we have lying around at home. Try these for a start (sourced from Julie's blog post). Recycled Scrap Paper Notebooks. Or maybe just an envelope?
4. Talking to my boss and colleagues about improving our paper usage in the workplace (you can but try!)

I still have a long way to go (for example my wallet is still full of receipts!), but as I work my way through the piles of paper that add to the overall clutter of my home, I am really glad that I tackled this challenge. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to keep trying to get better. Right? It is worthwhile and in the future, maybe my piles won't be so high?

Have you got any little tricks for dealing with piles of paper?


georgi hampton said...

great post! These suggestions are great because they are easy to carry out - but definitely can make a difference. I encourage my colleages to write on both sides of the paper!

georgi hampton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kymmie said...

Yes, what you're doing is still better than doing nothing.

I'm not sure whether handling paper just once is recycling in any way, but I handle pieces of paper just once. Then I put it in our recycled paper tray (for the printer). I do throw out envelopes (sorry!), but we do not do junk mail and we've converted all the bills we can to online.

Same as you. Sorry, no wisdom here!


Maxabella said...

There isn't a scrap of paper out there that Cappers can't craft. It's a great way to keep the kids amused

I will one day be buried alive under all the paper in my life. It drives me bonkers. We were promised a paperless office way back in 2000 and... more paper than ever! But I rarely print anything out (we don't even own a printer at home) and I bring home used paper for drawing.

I won't do handkerchiefs. I'm sorry, but if it's a choice between a tree or a hanky, the tree gets it. x

Maxabella said...

PS - I appreciate your excellent pun. x

House of Prowse said...

I like this post, especially green challenges!
My paperless trick is to scan documents then recycle them. Just need to back up the computer if the doc'ts are important.
I could spend all night / week reading that G magazine.
Love those envelopes - I think I could do that and i'm not very crafty!

Diminishing Lucy said...

File it (ie its important enough to be archived) or bin it. Daily.

I'm a ruthless Mumma.


Alice Becomes said...

I especially love that you spoke to your boss about this...xo

Charis said...

I have paperless bank statements, if they ask if I want a receipt I say no, I gave a huge paper stash that I had to a friend that works with kids with learning difficulties.

I'm planning to buy a shredder so that I can shred paper rubbish, takeaway leaflets & magazines (I have boxes of them!) to use as packaging for when I need to post stuff.

Alison said...

Our school produces huge amounts of waste paper but a large part of it is shredded and added to the school compost heap (mountain) and is then spread on the gardens.
Every little helps. x

1000 Homes of Happiness said...

Great post, the little cherubs in our home are great at craft recycling.

We also try to ensure we minimize paper in our mailbox. A good way is to get all of your bills online instead of mailed out. This can save money as well as many organisations discount the amount if they don't have to send you a hard copy.


Naturally Carol said...

I absolutely love the smell and feel of a fresh wind and sun laundered cotton hanky to use..far outweighs tissues for me! Paperwise, keeping on top of things promptly and recycling anything useless is how I try to work..and discouraging people from giving me leaflets about anything and everything.

Jen said...

Nice links, wish I had time to give some of these ago. I like to rip up unwanted bits of paper and pop them in with my compost every now and then. And I do think little by little when can all make small changes

Tai Tai said...

God I need to get on this bandwagon. We have paper EVERYWHERE. And most of it is crap. I'm just too scared to even get started on dealing with it.....Sigh. Maybe if I read this post a few more times I'll come round....

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