Get Smart | About Paper
5 Paper Taming Strategies
- 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333 sheets.
- 1 ream of paper (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree.
- The average employee prints 6 wasted pages per day -
1,410 wasted pages per year at a general cost of $84 per employee.
- The average US worker prints 10,000 pages per year.
- The US is the largest consumer of paper and uses over 100 million tons per year.
- Production of one ton of paper uses 11.134 kWh- the same amount of energy an average household uses in 10 months.
- Production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 19,075 gallons of waste water, 2278 pounds of solid waste & 5690 pounds of greenhouse gases (an equivalent of 6 months of car exhaust)
- It takes 3 tons of wood to produce 1 ton of copy paper
Notes, magazine clippings, coupons, letters, mail, receipts, statements, newspapers, cards, warranties, manuals: is it any wonder that most people feel as if they're drowning in paper?
Here are 5 simple tips to keep your paper under control and to help maintain your sanity. 1. Do a Daily Attack:
Rather than allowing papers to pile up for days, attack them throughout the day. This will ensure the piles never get overwhelming. Five minutes spent sorting through papers each day, will save hours later. 2. Curtail the Mail:
Handle mail every single day. Open it over the recycle bin, and immediately get rid of anything you don't need. Then, sort through the rest of the mail, being sure to put:
3. Free Up Your Filing System:
- bills into a bill paying system
- papers that need to be referenced into labeled filing system
- papers that need to be read in a "to read" basket or folder
- papers that should be given to family members in labeled folders
When was the last time you weeded out your filing system? If it's been a while, you can probably reduce its contents by 50% or more.
Set aside a few hours over the next week, and go through each folder one by one. Recycle anything that is outdated (e.g. an advertising flyer for an item that was on sale in 1972, a warranty for a toaster you tossed 3 years ago), or anything that no longer interests you (e.g. a recipe you no longer intend on making, an article you meant to read that no longer applies to you, etc.). 4. Manage the Memories:
It's hard to bring yourself to toss your old love letters, kids' artwork, a card from a friend, vacation post cards, programs from every family member's graduation etc. Of course, we don't recommend you toss all of these things. However, we do recommend you put a limit on your sentimentality. Figure out what you can part with and make the things you keep that much more important. 5. Nix Newspapers
First, if you're getting a regular subscription each day, week or month, be sure you actually have time to read it before the next issue comes. If you simply don't have time, reduce the paper build-up by cancelling your subscription. You can always get news, tips, recipes, etc. on TV, the radio or the Internet. If you do enjoy reading your subscription, set aside time to read it each day or week, and recycle that issue before the next issue arrives. This way, your newspapers won't turn into piles.