Addicted to Paper

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Raise your hand if you use piles and piles of paper! I would say most office workers probably fall into that category. A single sheet of paper really is not that much right? Well, what if you used one sheet of paper every single day, that’s 365 sheets of paper a year. Multiply that by all the people just in the United Stated alone, and you can envision trees toppling over just to sustain our paper addiction!

Not only is it costly to use so much paper, it also endangers our environment. Paper is generally made from virgin material. A tree was cut down and directly made into a sheet of paper. Then that paper gets recycled sometimes… but many other times it is just thrown out! Ever since I started thinking of my paper usage differently, I have saved so much money by not buying paper and notepads, and saving some trees too!

Buy recycled paper products

When buying your next pack of printer paper, notepad, envelopes, or anything made with paper, look for a recycled paper option. Printing paper definitely has recycled options. It costs a little bit more, but this is one area where I am willing to spend more. Using recycled paper saves trees and thus keeps more carbon out of our air. Many greeting cards and notepads also use recycled paper now too. Usually the price I find is about the same as the non-recycled versions.

Think before you print

Pause before you print something and decide if you really need to print it out. If it is a coupon, there might be a way to show it on your phone instead. Groupon is one app where I like to print as little as possible. Sometimes reception will be bad though, so I usually take a screenshot of the Groupon first just in case. Airplane boarding passes can now be shown on your phone too! Check with the airline before doing this though! Not every airline offers this option.

If you really do have to print it out, see if you can minimize your page usage by making the text smaller. There are even eco fonts available for free download that save you ink. “Spranq Eco Sans” incorporates holes in the font.

You can download it here:

Enroll in paperless

With every account you have, whether it be utilities, internet, or credit cards, most likely you can enroll in a paperless option. Instead of paper bills or notifications, you will receive emails instead.

Use both sides

Make sure to use both sides before tossing paper into the recycling bin. I even save junk mail to use as printer paper. I also make notepads from used paper. Just grab some kind of sturdy backing, pile some used paper of the same size, then clip it with a binder clip or two. Since doing this, I have not had to buy notepads, and my printing paper consumption has gone down a lot.

Recycle everything!

After using as much of the paper as possible, don’t forget to recycle it! Give it at least one more chance to be reused before it gets trucked to the landfill.

Share with others

I loved using my recycled notepad at work so much. Coworkers would see it and would ask me how they could get one. I would make them a recycled notepad of their own! It is so simple to make and it feels great to know you are saving trees.

Do you have a paper addiction? What do you do to save paper?

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