How to reuse paperThere are lots of clever ways to reuse paper at the office, at school, in your church and elsewhere.
- Pass the collection bin: Keep a collection bin for once-used paper next to all printers, fax machines, and copiers.
- Tray dedication: Put once-used paper into a dedicated tray in the photocopy machine. Post witty notes at all printers, copiers, and fax machines encouraging people to reduce paper waste. Choose pre-designed options or make your own!
- Fax frugality: Fill the fax machine with single-sided paper so that all faxes are printed on reused paper.
- New life for envelopes: Take once-used manila envelopes and make them into interoffice pouches by attaching a routing sheet.
- Pad production: Turn fax cover sheets, misprints, and draft copy paper that has been printed on only one side into scratch pads for memos, doodle pads, and notes.
- Box brigade: Reuse boxes to send packages, store items, and move equipment and supplies.
- Eliminate blank pages: Stop the blank page waste before it starts by ensuring you don't print blank pages. Tools like GreenPrint can help.
Reusing paper helps you go green because
- The pulp and paper industry consumes 42 percent of all wood harvested for industrial uses.
- Paper products make up the largest component of garbage produced by Americans.
Reusing paper is a low-tech way to reduce the amount of paper used on the job and elsewhere. Ninety percent or more of the printing and writing paper used in the US comes from virgin tree fiber. Reducing the amount of new trees consumed by reusing paper helps to prevent clear-cutting of forests; water, energy, and other chemicals from being used in the production of paper; and global warming gases from being added to the atmosphere.
There are also financial benefits to reusing paper. Obviously, using paper to its fullest capacity (both sides) will lower paper costs. Also, since over 50 percent of most office waste is paper, businesses can save significantly on waste management fees when paper is reused rather than simply discarded or recycled.
- Natural Resources Defense Council - How to Create a Smart Paper Plan for Your Business Toolkit Contains sample memos, questionnaires, paper reduction worksheets, signage, and other helpful tips and resources.
- Natural Resources Defense Council - Smart Paper Policies Are Good for Business
- Worldwatch Institute - Good Stuff? - Paper
- National Resources Defense Council - Reforming the Paper Industry
- ForestEthics - Paper Campaign Facts: Mass Paper Production Threatens Our Forests
- Government of Canada - Fine Paper Use: A Good Place to Start