People who are concerned for the environment tend to buy products from businesses that use environmentally friendly practices. Because of this simple fact, more and more organizations in the United States have green business practices.
Some of the ways that businesses can go green include using cleaning products that are biodegradable, using energy-efficient office equipment, and encouraging staff and employees to take public transportation to work.
One more way for businesses to go green is to switch to a paperless environment. Doing so will greatly reduce the amount of paper that gets used, which not only helps to save the forests, but it also prevents toxic chemicals from being released into the environment.
Why Paper Is Bad for the Environment
Together, all the offices in the United States use over 12 trillion sheets of paper on an annual basis. Of all this paper, much of it goes straight to the landfill after a single use. That's a lot of trees that get cut down for nothing.
While many of the world's trees are being cut down to make paper, deforestation is only part of the problem. Because of the chlorine-based bleaches that manufacturers use, producing paper is toxic for the environment. Along with that, rotting paper emits methane gas into the earth's atmosphere, which is a potent greenhouse gas that traps much more heat than carbon dioxide can.
Making paper also uses up the earth's water supply. Manufacturing plants that produce paper use up to 5 liters of water to produce just one sheet of paper. For these reasons, every business should consider switching to a paperless system. But how exactly is this possible?
How to Make the Switch to a Paperless System
Today's technology makes it easier than ever to switch to a paperless system. Here are some simple ways for businesses to go paperless:
Download shareable documents to the cloud and make use of electronic storage
Transition to paperless meetings by using computer presentations
Use electronic communication for sending out letters and memos
Make electronic copies instead of paper ones by using digital scanners
Use software that accepts electronic signatures
Besides helping to save the environment, you’ll reap other advantages to switching to a paperless system. By not having to find room for all those boxes of computer paper, business owners can greatly increase their storage space.
Because an electronic document can be found more quickly than having to go through every file in the office, electronic documents help to provide better customer service. For businesses that store their documents in an off-site location, information can be kept safe and secure at all times, even in the event of a natural disaster or other type of emergency.
How to Recycle Paper After You Use It
Despite using paperless methods, most businesses will need to use some paper over the course of a year. When you do use paper, you can easily recycle it, which is much better for the environment than sending it to the landfill. Have a recycling bin where the entire staff can put their used paper so recycling is as convenient as possible.
Most types of paper that get used in the office can be recycled. This includes:
While that shredded paper cannot be recycled, it can be reused as compost.
If your business wants to do their part to protect the environment, going paperless and recycling are great ways to do it. If you need pickup services for your recycled paper or other recycled items, contact MSG Waste & Refuse for affordable recycling services.