Library Home
Calculate Your Impact
Green Business
Paper Reduction
Bicycle Recycling
The Story of Stuff

Reduce Your Paper Consumption

When you think about it, reducing paper consumption is one of the easiest ways to minimize environmental impact. All the trees, water and energy that go into the paper we use can be preserved by living and working as paperlessly as possible. Take a few minutes to use these tools to eliminate unneccessary paper in your home or office.

Junk the Junk Mail

Take control of your mail box. Go to to discontinue credit card and insurance offers by mail.

Opt Out of Phone Books

Over 540 million phone books are printed in the United States each year. Register at to stop the delivery of unsolicited phone books.

Manage Catalog Subscriptions

Control the catalogs, coupons, credit offers, phone books, fliers, circulars, newsletters, and other unsolicited mail you receive at

More tips:

E-billing: Call up your utility, phone and internet companies and ask them to switch you from printed billing to e-billing. Most companies allow you to receive and pay bills online now, which cuts down on unnecessary paper waste and leaves an electronic record of your payment history. In fact, why not start with your Recology CleanScapes bills? Download our e-billing request form for Seattle (PDF)Shoreline (PDF), or Des Moines (PDF).

Online Banking: Switching from printed bank statements to online bank statements cuts paper use and reduces the risk that your confidential account information ends up in the wrong hands.

Get your news on the web: Most journals and newspapers offer their publications online.

Print Double-Sided: Set your printers at home and at the office to automatically print on both sides of the page and cut your paper costs in half!

Re-Use Scrap Paper: If you have paper that is blank on one side, take it to a local printing shop and ask them to bind it with a cardboard back to create a cheap and responsible notepad.

Buy 100% Recycled Paper: The Paper Calculator quantifies the resources you save by using paper with high recycled content or by reducing your paper consumption.

Additional tips: More ideas for addressing "The Paper Problem" from Earth 911.