Have you ever thought about how much paper waste you create at home? Envelopes from the mail, old paper documents, and those sticky notes that remind you about all the things you need to do — paper waste can pile up quickly! Most people toss paper straight into the trash without realizing the impact it has on landfills. Making a few simple changes in your daily habits can help reduce the amount of paper waste you create while also keeping your important information more secure. Here are three easy steps you can take now to reduce waste at home:
1. Opt for Online Bills and Documents
Most businesses today will give you the option to receive bills or other important documents, including receipts, electronically via email. This is a great way to reduce the amount of paper that could end up in the trash while keeping your important documents more secure digitally. Plus, you’ll no longer have to dig through piles of mail for that one document you need or sort through old receipts while preparing your taxes. Tag and log your documents digitally in your email so you can quickly search and access them later.
2. Use a Whiteboard or Chalkboard for Notes
Sticky notes are great for leaving yourself or your family helpful reminders — if you can remember where you put them. Replace those notes and paper to-do lists with a whiteboard or chalkboard that you can place in a central, visible location in your home. Make it a habit to check the board before you leave and when you get home. Worried you might forget something you need to do while you’re out? Take a photo of the board with your phone or create a digital to-do list on one of the many great organizational mobile phone apps that exist so you can reference it on the go.
3. Pause Before Printing
Try to avoid printing documents at home unless absolutely necessary. Instead, use digital options to share and send documents whenever possible. And if you must print something out, use recycled paper, check the document for any errors before you print, and print on both sides of the paper. For every page you don’t print, you’re helping the environment and saving money on ink and paper.
What can you do with the paper that remains? Consider shredding and composting any remaining paper, or contact your local waste management company to find out the best ways to recycle paper in your area.