paperless office


Say no to paper use

If it is not completely possible to say no to paper use, identify for what purposes you have to use paper and for what purposes you can avoid paper use. Once you make the lists for both, then be sure to clearly announce the policy and consistently enforce it.

If the nature of your business is such that you have to use paper for a number of purposes, here is how you can keep paper waste to a minimum:

  • Encourage everybody in the office to edit on computers before printing. This move will help reduce the number of draft copies of documents to be printed. If you still think printing drafts is necessary, print them on the unused side of paper sheets that would otherwise be discarded.

  • Store office files digitally.

  • Use both sides of the paper and set up computers to automatically print two-sided.

  • Use small paper pieces for short memos.

  • Consider not using cover sheets on faxes.

  • Get rid of needless reports and reduce report sizes. If you only occasionally need a report, just run it on demand.

  • Consider using lighter weight papers wherever possible.

  • Enable the reuse of paper envelopes by putting a label on top of the old address.

  • Make use of e-mail and voicemail and avoid paper mail wherever possible.

  • Take necessary actions to decrease unsolicited mail.

  • Share and circulate documents, memos, reports and all other publications.

  • Post all workplace announcements in a central location rather than printing multiple copies.

  • Use single spacing and narrower margins for less important documents.

  • Refold and reuse file folders.

  • Try to find duplication on your mailing lists and avoid sending unnecessary copies.

  • Be sure to recycle scrap paper. Shredded office paper may also be repurposed as packaging filler for particular applications.

Mia Swainson