Last week, we showed you a quick and easy way to calculate your carbon footprint. Was your number higher than expected?

Cutting down on paper use is one of the easiest ways to lower your carbon footprint. In fact, in today’s electronic world, there’s almost no excuse for purchasing ream after ream of paper or mega cartridges of printer ink.

Yet still, North America accounts for over a third of the world’s overall paper use. Not only is this practice wasteful, but it’s also costly for both our wallets and our planet, as paper waste/pollution contributes to global warming and climate change.

Below, find a few of our top tips for reducing paper consumption:

Go Electronic: Most things that were paper-centric are now available in e-format – everything from reports and receipts, to bank records and bill paying. Try to cut as much paper out of your life as possible by signing up for e-billing, backing up important files on an external hard drive or via cloud technology, and participating in online banking. Not only are these measures great for reducing your carbon footprint, they also make life just a little less of a hassle (who has time to address an envelope, anyway?! ).

Unsubscribe From Junk Postal Mail: Eliminate some of the trash in your life and reduce carbon emissions at the same time by unsubscribing from junk mail. On a similar note, be selective about the magazine subscriptions/newspapers you receive in hard copy – many of these publications (if not all of them) offer online, e-versions as well.

In the Home: At home, make the switch to cloth napkins that can be re-used. Keep old dishtowels and bath towels and cut worn out apparel into strips for cleaning. Cut down on post-it notes by utilizing a white board for grocery lists, memos, etc. Avoid paper plates, paper cups and plastic utensils by using traditional silverware that can be washed and re-used.

Purchase a Tablet: There are a number of different tablets on the market that make everything from reading a book to browsing through a magazine a more eco-friendly activity. Don’t replace one evil with another, however! Be sure to charge your tablet only as necessary, and turn it off to conserve power when it’s not in use.

Recycle: When you must use paper, try to print on both sides and keep mis-prints to use for scrap paper, notes, or arts and crafts projects. Be sure that you’re doing your part to reduce, reuse, and recycle – recycle old newspapers, magazines, and junk mail, and make sure that you’re tossing all acceptable paper products in the blue bin instead of the trash. Whenever possible, try to purchase paper products that are made from recycled materials instead of their traditional counterparts.

A carbon neutral lifestyle can be a challenge – but one that you don’t have to tackle alone. We’re here to help! Reduce your carbon footprint with help from JustGreen Lifestyle’s Carbon Offsetting program and products.

Resources:

http://www.visionofearth.org/live-green/31-ways-to-reduce-paper-usage/

http://www.id2.ca/downloads/eco-design-paper-facts.pdf

http://156.98.19.245/paper/

Article by JustGreen, appearing courtesy 3BL Media.



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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. Apart from listed above, you could also use your hanky to dry your hands instead of using paper napkin. Wash your hands after having meal instead of using tissue paper. If you’re purchasing a advance ticket either for a movie or for your journey, carry a electronic ticket with you instead of paper ticket.