The Reality of the Paperless Office

A PDF- making company (no idea these eve existed) recently sent me something that caught my eye about a survey they conducted:

In this survey, three out of every four Americans say they want to reduce paper consumption for the environment, including:

·         48.0% - willing to reduce their use of newspapers

·         45.9% - willing to reduce their use of magazines

·         37.6% - willing to reduce their use of forms, contracts, documents

·         31.6% - willing to reduce their use of books

·         6.1% - willing to reduce their use of toilet paper

Essentially, Americans are willing to half their paper consumption in the next five years. That’s fantastic for the environment! That means fewer trees will be felled uselessly and fuel consumed to transport paper will be reduced too.

They compiled an info-graphic about their survey results.

PaperNuts Provides a More Sustainable Packaging Solution

Anybody who’s ordered something online and got it shipped to them might notice how wasteful all that styrofoam packaging is, well a new company is offering a better solution. PaperNuts uses paper instead of styrofoam.

PaperNuts are the most sustainable packaging option on the planet — a solution that can be passed on down for generations, without harming the environment. By leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible you can rest assured you are doing your part for our future.

“When a retailer uses PaperNuts, they have taken care of their responsibility for shipping,” says MacRae. “They don’t have to worry about the packing material on the other end because it is biodegradable; just ship it and forget it! When customers open boxes that are packed with PaperNuts, they can toss them in the Blue Bin, or in their composter, or put them directly in their garden.”

PaperNuts website.

Tubeless Toilet Paper

Nobody really thinks that much about toilet paper and I think that needs to change. Kimberly Clark took five years to respond to Greenpeace’s campaign to get the company to kill fewer trees.

Today Kimberly Clark they have done one more green thing and this time with no needed push from environmental organizations. In order to save trees and money Kimberly Clark has announced the tubeless toilet paper roll.

The 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the USA account for 160 million pounds of trash, according to Kimberly-Clark estimates, and could stretch more than a million miles placed end-to-end. That’s from here to the moon and back — twice. Most consumers toss, rather than recycle, used tubes, says Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark. “We found a way to bring innovation to a category as mature as bath tissue,” he says.

He won’t disclose the tubeless technology used but says it’s a special winding process. A similar process is used on tissue the company sells to businesses but not to consumers.

Behind the marketing push is a growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products.

One environmentalist applauds the move. “It’s a positive example of how companies are seeking creative ways to reduce environmental impact,” says Darby Hoover of the Natural Resources Defense Council. But more relevant than nixing the tubes would be more recycled content in its paper, Hoover says. While Scott Naturals normally has 40% recycled content, this test product does not — but future versions will, Daniels says.

Read more about toilet paper here.

How to be a Better Paper User

Eight ways to be more environmentally friendly with your paper use.

4. Print Double-Sided

Computer paper has two sides; how many are you printing on? If you have a laser printer at home, you can change the setting to double-sided printing and copying. Otherwise, consider printing documents one page at a time and printing the second page on the back of the first. It may take you more time, but you’ll also have less paper to buy.

7. Make Paper Bag Book Covers

With more cities placing restrictions on the use of plastic bags, paper bags may be your packaging of choice. Well, these bags have many reuse options to keep them out of the trash, including covering your hardcover books. This also protects your books from damage and food stains. Plus, once you’re done with the cover you can still recycle the bag with the rest of your paper.

Internet Saves Millions of Tons of Carbon

The internet is quite kind for the environment, which I guess is why good news appears on this website and not on paper handed out on city streets. Ecogeek has a post about a published report on how much carbon is saved by using the internet.

E-Commerce will reduce emissions by 200 M tons
-Telecommuting will prevent 250 tons of carbon emissions from reduced driving, 30 tons from reduced office construction and 300 tons of energy savings
-Teleconferencing could prevent 200 M tons of carbon emissions (if it replaces 10% of face-to-face meetings.)
-Shifting newspaper from print to digital could save 60 M tons of carbon
-Digitally shipping other goods, such as music, movies and books would also contribute.

Coincidentally, an email arrived from a reader and wants to let people know about his new venture ensuring the internet continues to supports people who try to live green, GreenPDF:

FormRouter has declared war on paper forms and is offering free training
and educational resources to get organizations to create their own
online PDF forms.

We are doing this because paper forms are an environmental disaster. It
is estimated that 80% of all organization documents are paper forms.

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