Going Paperless is the new buzz worldwide. Various companies, environment agencies, etc., are pushing the agenda for the sake of a greener environment. But is the trend really worth your attention?
Today, we are going to learn about one of the hottest mantras; saving the environment by going paperless. From the base definition to facts & figures and what we can do to go paperless, we have got it all covered.
So without further ado, let’s begin.
What is the Meaning of Going Paperless?
Going paperless pushes the use of prioritizing soft copies over hard ones. Anything that requires physical paper like presentations, invoices, documents, etc., should be replaced by their digital counterpart, i.e., PDFs, PPTs, etc.
This agenda encourages that there should be no physical copies. Any sort of media must be available in a digital form.
How cutting out the use of paper can help the environment? Read on below!
How Paper Production is Contributing to Global Warming
According to Ademero, in the last 20 years, the usage of paper has seen an increase of 126% (from 92 million to 208 million). Only in the US, 68 million trees are consumed per annum to produce paper and related products.
Now comes the scary part. According to the same source, Canada and the US release well over 220 million pounds of toxic pollution each year. And an estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year - that adds up to 20 football fields per minute.
Keeping in mind the current stats, we’ll run out of rainforests in less than 100 years. So, if we run out of trees, there won’t be any natural line of defense to remove CO2 from the environment.
In paper production, chlorine-based bleaches are used, resulting in toxic materials released into the environment. Similarly, when the paper rots, it emits CH4 methane gas that’s 24x more toxic than CO2 for the planet.
Top Reasons Behind Going Paperless
Fun Fact: Do you know that as we speak, more than 199 tons of paper have already been produced? That’s way anti-environment and detrimental to the planet.
Here, we learned some devastating facts about how paper production is ruining our planet. Now, it’s time to discover some of the top reasons why we should support the movement.
Save Papers, Save Money
According to Ademero, a company with only eight employees saves $10,000 a year by going paperless. Similarly, a large financial company, Citigroup, noticed that if their employees use double-sided copying, the firm could save $700,000 a year.
According to Record Nations, S corporations spend more than $120 billion per year on printed forms. Furthermore, each four-drawer file cabinet holds an average of 10,000 to 12,000 docs - taking up to 9 sq. ft of floor space and costs $1,500 a year.
Reduces Eco Footprint
Firstly, going paperless reduces the wastage of water as it takes more than 1.5 cups to produce only one sheet. An average worker in the US office can save up to 938 gallons of water by saying no to paper.
Imagine 400 reams of paper equal to 1.25 acres of pine forest absorbing carbon for a year. Cutting down the use of paper would automatically result in less production demand and thus more alive trees removing carbon from the environment.
Next up, if only one out of five households switch to e-payments, we’ll save around 151 million pounds of paper. Not to mention avoiding 8.6 million garbage bags and removing 2 million tons of greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4, N20, etc.
No More Gas Fee
Pre-paper-production requires transporting - papers go from one town to another and beyond. This takes fuel, and that results in the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon, methane, and more. With digital documents at your disposal, you can send them anywhere around the world with no gas fee whatsoever.
How Can We Go Paperless?
So, how can you be the much-needed hero for our future generations? Here are some ways to reduce or eliminate the usage of paper:
Discourage Wasteful Printing
Strictly stand against the printing of documents that will expire or go irrelevant after some time. Meanwhile, promote the use of digital copies as they don’t require any tree cutting, paper production, etc.
Digitalize Existing Docs
Hire a few people to scan and digitize the existing documents in your office. Once they are done, thrash the papers and send them to agencies that recycle paper. It will not just help you save tons of physical space but the environment as well.
Don’t waste another set of papers just to take signatures. Instead, digitize the paper you are looking forward to taking signs on and then send it to relevant personnel for eSigning.
eSign PDF is a new functionality designed to get past the old-age physical signature. With the help of the feature, you can take signs by simply sending the digital form of the file to the relevant people.
Replace Physical Docs With PDFs
Finally, replace all the physical docs of your company, office, or any other space with PDFs; whether it’s a secret file or a simple invitation letter, swap the hard copies with the soft ones. Promote the use of PDF files as a source of all information exchange in your surrounding.
It would be a shame to admit to our future kinds that the environment was sacrificed by paper. We, humans, are smart; we can bring change and help the earth get greener by reducing or eliminating paper.
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