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Ask Charlie | May 08, 2009

Q: How can I quickly reduce my paper consumption?

A: Dear Betsy,

Reducing paper consumption is one of the most effective ways to save energy and natural resources. Paper accounted for 33% of the American waste stream in 2007, and though paper products are largely recyclable, the pulp and paper production industry is one of the primary consumers of energy and water in America. Better to reduce than recycle.


Take these four simple steps for immediate paper reduction at home and work:

  1. Two Sides is Twice as Nice. Change your printer’s default settings to duplex (double-sided) printing. Changing the printer settings in your office can make a particularly big impact. If you can’t get everyone in your office to convert, set up a tray for “second chance” paper. Cut it up and distribute it as scratch paper.

  2. Make Your Yellow Pages Green. With the yellow pages available online, how often do you need a new hard copy? Sign up here to stop the delivery of unsolicited phone books. You can always call to order one if you need it.

  3. Stop Junk Mail. Credit card offers, advertisements, catalogs from everywhere you’ve ever shopped – when will it stop! Visit the National Waste Prevention Coalition’s Business Junk Mail Prevention Project for step-by-step junk mail prevention. This excellent guide is designed for business use, but it will also work at home.

  4. Live in the Electronic Era. Much of the paper we consume could be conserved by utilizing e-billing options, email and electronic file storage. And hey, why not start with your CleanScapes billing? You can sign up to receive CleanScapes bills electronically and pay your bills online. Look – you saved a tree!

Resource Venture provides consulting for Seattle businesses looking to green their practices. Visit the Resource Venture Paper website for more information about reducing paper use at work.

waste reduction  paper  seattle  shoreline 


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