This Earth Day Go Paperless and Get Organized, Too!

April 22nd is Earth Day. What a great opportunity to do something good for Mother Earth AND get organized. 

Going paperless is an option that more and more businesses are offering. We can get bills sent to us via email or directly to our online bank accounts. We can read e-magazines and news and shop online instead of using catalogs. There is no question that going paperless can be better for our environment. So why don’t more of us use the paperless systems available to us? 

Here are some reasons our client’s have had a difficult time transitioning to paperless systems.

• They fear they won’t remember to pay bills if the paper bill is not on the kitchen counter or on their desk.

• Articles, news, or catalogs are difficult to read online because the text is too small or it just doesn’t feel the same. 

• Retrieving information from an on-line source seems more difficult than if it were on paper. 

• It’s easier to hand over paper documents to an accountant for tax purposes.

• Confidential information is safer on paper than it is online. 

• It just doesn’t seem right to not have a full printed copy of certain materials like wills, legal documents, etc. 

It’s understandable that transitioning to a more digital lifestyle can be overwhelming. It may not fit everyone’s lifestyle. But given its potential to reduce pollution and make your life easier, it might be worth trying these strategies to work a paperless organizing systems into your lifestyle.  

 

  1. Start Small
    • An average tree can make roughly 5,000-8,000 sheets of copy paper. A typical paper copy of a cell phone bill is 5-10 pages. By going paperless with your cell phone bill, you will save at least 60-120 pages of paper a year— the equivalent of one tree about every three years. 

  2. Recycle!!!
    • Put a recycle bin or basket by your front door or where you sort your mail. Not only will this make tossing junk mail quick and easy, it saves a LOT of trees. Paper can be recycled five to seven times and still be useful! 

  3. Experiment
    • We know your intentions are good. You want to read the magazines you receive. After all, the information is useful and keeps you connected to the world or new trends. But we propose that you try an experiment. Stop one magazine from being delivered for six months. Don’t panic, you can always start receiving the magazine again!  Gauge how often you actually miss receiving it. Our guess is, you won’t. Need further incentive? The magazine you receive is typically 32 pages thick. You can save about one tree every year by stopping your subscription AND you have less clutter to manage when the mail arrives. 

 There are many other small changes that you can make that will have a big impact on the environment and the amount of clutter in your home.  To find other ideas, start by being mindful and looking around at your sources of paper clutter, packaging, and other items destined for the waste stream.  If you have found a good strategy that could help others, please share in the comments section below!