All Women's Talk

9 Ways to Reduce Your Paper Mountain ...

By Alison

Is your house filled with so many old newspapers that it looks like one of those crazy old people lives there? Is your office filled with piles of papers, most of which ceased to be relevant back when Reagan was still in power? Do you feel guilty that so many trees died because of you? Then it’s time to use the following tips to sort out the paper mountain …

1 Don’t Buy Newspapers

Don’t Buy NewspapersPhoto Credit: Miss Aniela

Many newspapers are available online for free these days, so why waste money buying your own copy (which will immediately be obsolete and be discarded)? Libraries also carry a selection of papers and magazines.

2 Print Less

Print LessPhoto Credit: myguerrilla

Before you print something out, ask yourself if you really need a paper copy. If not, then leave that printer switched off! I manage very well without one, and go to the library on the rare occasions when I need to print something out.

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3 Return Leaflets

Return LeafletsPhoto Credit: Vegan Butterfly

Museums often give out leaflets and maps to visitors, and we usually end up taking them home with us, finding them weeks later scrunched up in a pocket or at the bottom of a bag. Instead, when you leave the museum return the leaflet for another visitor to use. Also, only pick up other leaflets to take with you if you are really interested.

4 Online Bills

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Photo Credit: rubenerd

Many companies offer you the opportunity to refuse a paper bill and check it online instead. Just think of how much paper could be saved if just a quarter of customers did so! It also means that you will have fewer pieces of paper filling up files.

5 Use Electronic Reminders

Use Electronic RemindersPhoto Credit: Three D Photos

There are lots of facilities in your computer or phone, so why not make use of some of them? Instead of writing things down, program them into your phone. If you can’t remember the dates of birthdays or events, set your computer to alert you the day before.

6 Reuse

ReusePhoto Credit: emily∞

If you do print something out, when you no longer need it use the other side for printing rough or unimportant work. Such paper will also be useful torn into pieces for shopping lists etc. Why buy pads when you can make use of these scraps? Or give them to the kids for drawing on.

7 Online

OnlinePhoto Credit: Judy B - The Travelling Eye

Most companies have complete online catalogues. So instead of ordering a printed copy, use the online version. Not only does it save on paper, but it saves on time – you won’t have to wait for a copy to be delivered.

8 Phone Books

Phone BooksPhoto Credit: llimllib

Do you ever actually use your copy of the Yellow Pages or phone directory? If you don’t, then ask your phone company not to leave them. Use the online version instead, and save both space, trees and the bother of recycling them.

9 Clear out

Clear outPhoto Credit: dorena-wm

Some papers need to be kept for a certain length of time, but once they are no longer relevant, get rid of them. Shred sensitive documents, then recycle. Once you’ve disposed of anything you no longer need, file the remaining papers neatly away, rather than keeping them jumbled up in a drawer.

Are you drowning in paper? Would you have a spare room if it weren’t for the piles of paper squatting in it? Then it’s time to get rid of them! I hope these tips are of some use. What is the oldest, most out-of-date piece of paper you’ve ever found?

Top Photo Credit: Walter Parenteau

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