What are you doing on this planet?
I often think about my life, my mission on this planet but also on yours, you — all the people I know- I also think what are you all doing on this planet, together with me. Are we all here to consume, use, exhaust everything that the nature provides? If so, why bother having kids if at the rate we’re consuming the nature there won’t be much left for them anyways?
According to Panda (WWF):
“around the world we use 1 million tonnes of paper every day, much of which is unnecessary. “
Read this sentence again: “we use one MILLION tonnes of paper every day”. What do you think about that? Have you ever considered ways to reduce your paper usage? Let’s take this time to think of a few ways together.
Here’s what I have so far:
- Paper towels — at some point all housewives turned to using paper towels in the kitchen versus a fabric cloth because…well..you use the paper and throw it, instead of having to keep washing your fabric cloth. We can all agree this is due to modern-day comfort but some of you might argue that washing the fabric cloth leads to wasting water and using detergents (that pollute water). Then in every public washroom we started having paper towels (except for more and more that now use the electric dryer). So which one do we choose- saving paper or saving water or saving electricity? I say we don’t choose. I say we try to save everything we can. Have a look at this awesome TED video on how to properly use paper towels after washing your hands. I bet you $100 this will get stuck on your head and you will never-ever forget it:
I told you it’s pretty awesome :)
2. Christmas time is over, you have lots of paper gift bags and/or wrapping paper — that you wrongly decided to throw it all way. You would do the same with your paper shopping bags. Please don’t ever do that again. Recycle everything you can.
Here’s an fun idea you can try next time you receive a present in a paper bag: keep the bag and write inside the bag your name and the date. Next time you want to give a present to a loved one- use this bag and ask your friend/relative that received the present to also add their name inside and the date they received it on. And so until this paper bag will travel the world to tell a story about good people that care that saved hundreds of trees by deciding to do something so little as re-using a paper gift bag.
3. We live in the era of technology. We all have touchscreen smartphones and tablets and all kind of devices connected to each other and the world. And yet we still print a recipe or a resume or a reference letter or a course or an essay or anything else that you’re printing.
Please stop printing. Stop it right now!
Save your stuff on your email, on your notes on the phone/tablet, Dropbox or free apps you can download to save whatever you need to save and have it available always even offline, without an internet connection. If you work in HR and Recruiting — please never print another resume ever again. If you are a Trainer or Tester or even teacher and you give your team tests they need to fill in — please do not do it on paper-there are so many free tools out there to allow you to do it all securely and professionally online.
(Last year I did probably more than 500 job interviews with people from all over the world. I tend to get very upset/frustrated/angry/disappointed whenever someone would put a piece of paper in front of me whether that is a resume or reference letter or test results or whatever).
So I feel much better now that I have shared all of this with you. I’m sure you’ll give it a thought. And, like Joe Smith said — next year we can consider together ways on how to stop wasting toilet paper :)