Published on August 12th, 2013 | by Ruksana Hussain
Eleven Ways to Reduce Paper Waste
Sure, you have read all about paper conservation… but how many pointers have you adopted in your home or office? There are so many EASY ways to reduce paper waste, and we hope to inspire you with our list of 11 ways to reduce paper waste. Let’s make this a non-issue!
1. Reduce the Bills – These are probably the largest contributors to paper waste in our daily lives. Knowing that you can receive all your bills electronically yet receiving print versions is a crime. You can receive all your bills online now – right from monthly statements from your bank to credit bills from your favorite boutiques. Just go ahead and opt for electronic billing everywhere. Even if it is not an option offered to you, insist on it.
2. Phone directories – Really? Does anyone use these anymore? No! So go ahead and have them stop putting it on your doorstep every year. I have seen a bunch of these at the waste bin in my apartment community every year. There is usually a toll-free number or customer service email on the phone directory itself that you can contact to have your address taken off the drop list. Who runs to the phone directory to find a number anymore? It is all online!
3. Ditch the Promotional materials – Just like you have ‘do not call’ lists to take you off phone lists, you also have ‘do not mail’ lists to take you off mailing lists. If you are receiving unnecessary promotional materials, go ahead and give them a call or mail them and let them know you are done with all the paper waste they are sending you. Head to DMAChoice if in the United States and you can opt out of a bunch of things there. It will take you just five minutes of your time.
4. Your daily cup of Coffee – Yes, it is true. Your coffee cups and cup holders, when you buy from the coffee shop, are made of paper and are an unnecessary paper waste that so many of us don’t think of. Keep a cup with you – most coffee shops will gladly fill their coffee in a cup provided by you. Many will even give you a free refill or a discount on what you pay. You can get cup holders made of cloth that you can reuse multiple times instead of getting a paper cup that you will use once and throw away. Extra points if you talk to your local coffee shop about a recycling program!
5. Adjust your Subscriptions – Most newspaper and magazine subscriptions can now be done online and you can read all the issues online too. For those old-fashioned folks among us that still want an actual item to read, try to coordinate your subscriptions with friends and neighbors. That way you can split subscriptions between yourselves. Or head to your local library and read a copy there; and bonus points for donating your used mags to the local library too!