Try this riddle: On what holiday is it best not to send or receive a card in the mail?
Answer: Earth Day!
Why? Because Earth Day, which we just celebrated on April 22, is a day to honor our planet and the environment, not send tree-killing paper-based holiday cards.
According to the Clean Air Council, the 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the US could fill a football field 10 stories high. At eFax, we’ve spent the entire month of April offering simple, money-saving ideas to help you do your part — with blog posts suggesting simple ways to make your office more eco-friendly and showing you the many ways switching to online faxing can help “green” your business.
We’ve compiled some great ideas for reducing your office’s paper waste — which can help the environment and save your business money at the same time.
1. Print double-sided or multiple pages on a single sheet.
The Clean Air Council points out that US office workers use a combined four million tons of copy paper each year. So ask yourself: Are you and your team using all of the paper in your office as wisely and carefully as you could?
If you’re printing files for internal use only, or just to review them yourself, an easy way to save paper, money and the environment is to print double-sided or even to print several pages on a single sheet. Using only this strategy could cut your office’s paper usage by 50%.
2. Set smaller margins
If you can’t print double-sided or print several sheets on each page, try setting smaller margins, or using smaller type sizes, especially for documents you’re not presenting to partners or clients but just using internally.
Do you really need all of that white space anyway?
3. Reuse your scrap paper
Now what about all those piles of paper on your desk? Instead of just discarding them, reuse them around the office as scrap paper.
You could simply turn over any printed piece of standard paper and use it in your office or conference room for taking notes during meetings. Encourage your staff to do the same.
You can also cut up these old pieces of paper into half- or quarter-sized scraps, and keep them one everyone’s desk or by your phones, for notes or message-taking. Have fun with it!
4. Make digital copies only, wherever possible
In many cases, you’ll find you don’t need to use paper at all. If you’re collaborating with your team on a presentation or document, why not use electronic copies only? You can collaborate and update files in the cloud using services like Google Docs or Dropbox — no paper needed.
And if you need to send or receive faxes for business, use an internet fax service, like eFax®, rather than your old paper-based fax machine. You can handle the entire fax process — receiving, reviewing, editing, signing and sending — all through email or a mobile fax app, without printing a single sheet of paper.
These are just some ideas to get you started on reducing your paper waste. Get creative; you’ll find other ways. And you’ll be doing a service not only to your own bottom line but also to the planet. After all, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, saving just one ton of paper could save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.