If there is one thing that most people can agree on, it’s that paper and the paper production process are bad for the environment. As a result, more and more people are analyzing their usage of paper and wondering how they can cut back. If you’ve thought the same, here are six different ideas to consider…
#1 – Go digital wherever possible
One of the best ways to reduce paper usage is to look for, and use, digital alternatives at every turn so that you can cut back on the amount of paper you have to store in your home.
There are a few different ways to achieve this goal. You can check with your utilities provider and your bank to see if they allow paperfree billing; most will, so activate this as soon as possible. If you have to fill in a form or sign a contract, ask for it to be emailed, use a free PDF editor for Mac or Windows to make the relevant changes, and then return it by email. You can also ask stores to send receipts by email rather than as a slip of paper; though it’s usually best to create a dedicated email account for this purpose, as promotional spam often follows on the heels of the receipt. Essentially, if you encounter a situation where paper will be used in any way, develop the habit of checking to see if there is an alternative, paper-free option available.
#2 – Use “wipeable” notebooks
Even in the age of smartphones, notebooks continue to be popular. There’s something undeniable about a beautiful notebook, with blank pages just waiting to be filled, and stationery manufacturers have continued to flourish despite the ever-more digital nature of the world.
However, notebooks do nevertheless contain paper, so alternative options are worth considering. Perhaps the best of these is “wipeable” notebooks, which offer the same esthetics as a standard notebook, but the pages can be wiped clean and re-used time and again.
#3 – Change the products you use
Until this point, we have focused on literal paper, as in the A4 variety. However, there are other types of paper that are worth cutting back on, particularly in the home.
Paper towels, for example, can greatly increase the amount of paper that you use, so switch to cloth rags – extra-sustainable bonus points if you make your own rags from old clothes. If you find that cloth rags are not quite as absorbent as paper towels, then consider keeping a few natural sea sponges on hand for when you need to mop up liquids; they’re effective, sustainable, and can be washed and reused multiple times. You can also replace tissues with conventional handkerchiefs, and avoid using paper plates when hosting a party – buy cheap, doesn’t-matter-if-it-gets-chipped-or-damaged crockery to use instead.
Reducing paper usage is, of course, highly beneficial from an environmental perspective – but it can also make managing household admin far simpler, and even reduce clutter. Hopefully the ideas above will help you to realize these benefits and limit the amount of paper you have to use in your home and over the course of your everyday life.