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How to Save Paper with your PC

4986169_bc3b338524_m.jpgMany of my blogging friends enjoy crafting posts on paper. While we spend most of our time at the keyboard, there’s nothing quite like the smooth page of a moleskin notepad for planning an article or scribbling a quick Mind-Map to brainstorm a project. Aside from that small luxury, we’re looking at ways to cut back on using paper.

Debra Moorhead started a 30 day paper-less experiment which makes interesting reading.


Here are 5 ways that your PC can help you reduce your paper consumption and waste...

1. PC & paper-free banking

Checking bank statements and balances online rather than asking for printed statements and looking up balances on-screen at the ATM machine rather than getting printouts are two easy ways to save using paper.

Some banks, like the Bank of America, don’t offer a paper free account check. ATM receipts are generated automatically and have an estimated life span of 3 seconds before being dropped in the street or tossed in a nearby bin. Customers need to speak up and get that changed.

According to the 2007 edition of the Green Book:

“ATM receipts are one of the top sources of litter on the planet. If everyone in the United States left their receipt in the machine, it would save a roll of paper more than two billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator fifteen times.”

2. computer based news

It’s easy to keep up with the news online. You can get the headlines of any newspaper of your choice, or get news straight from the horse’s mouth - Reuters. Better still, you could save paper and lift your mood by skipping the news altogether.

3. computer phone book & service finder

I can’t remember the last time I looked in a phone book or the Yellow Pages. It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop, we just naturally started looking things up in Google. Now we don’t get phone books anymore and I’m wondering just how much paper would be saved if all refused print based directories? Yellow Pages has moved with the times and has an excellent online service finder at www.yellowpages.com

4. use your PC to stop paper mailouts

Spam in your inbox is annoying, but at least it’s not an environmental issue. Most of us use junk filters for eliminating unwanted emails and now there’s a green scheme that will do the same for the paper junk mail that we receive too. Green Dimes is a company that offers a spam blocking service with a difference. For $20 they will eliminate up to 90% of your paper junk mail by actively removing you from company mailing lists. If there are catalogues you want to keep, you can, but the rest will stop. They will also plant 10 trees on your behalf. This service can be renewed for just $10 a year and can also be given as a gift. Find out more at www.greendimes.com

5. digital reading & research

If you enjoy reading, there’s nothing like curling up with a good book. If it’s a library book you are naturally recycling! As for the millions of magazines that get printed every month, we could cut back on paper by buying only those that we feel a strong connection with and reading other articles of interest online, rather than buying them in print.

(CC) FLICKR photo Wisconsin Paper Mill by Jan Tic

What’s Next?

Other articles you might enjoy:

The Power of One: Mono Tasking

How to Read More Effectively

To Don’t - How to Get More Done by Doing Less

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Reader Comments (3)

Thanks for the additional tips! My paperless experiment is still going and this is the first I've heard of Green Dimes. Thanks for sharing that and for tagging me so I could see this post.


Feb 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebra Moorhead
Hello Debra,

It's my pleasure, and it's good to see you here. Green Dimes was a new discovery for me too, I came across them when researching points that I wanted to include in this post.

with best wishes
Feb 29, 2008 | Registered CommenterAnanga

You can also use optimized algorithms to reduce paper waste when printing. There is this iPhone/iPad app called "Smart Cutter" that runs an optimization algorithm to find the maximum number of small pieces cut from a larger sheet of paper with minimum scrape.

Here is a video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8_mrmqaBXk

The app can be found here: http://www.smartcutterapp.com

Oct 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMyCSharpCorner

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