Climate Conscious
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Climate Conscious

8 Ideas to Save Paper

Paper Consumption also contributes to Environment Damage, it is time to re-look.

Illustration by: Author

Newspapers, school books, work documents, letters, and reading books — are ubiquitous items in our lives. One thing which is common in these items is the usage of paper.

Paper is one of the most significant discoveries that happened to humanity. However, an aspect that is somehow missed in our paper usage is the number of trees that are cut to create paper, the pollution caused by manufacturing, transportation, & logistics, and water consumption.

Therefore we should make greater efforts to avoid paper wastage and look for ways to improve our paper consumption habits.

List of Ideas to Save Paper

Here is a compilation of ideas to save paper, reduce wastage and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

1. Create Mini Notebooks with Waste Paper

We all get papers that are printed on one side and blank on the other — photocopies of documents, letters, and business advertisements, among many others.

We can collect some of these loose papers and make a little notebook keeping all the white sides in front. We can use a paper clip to bound the pieces together.

This little notebook, might not be very aesthetic to look at, but can be used for a variety of purposes.

  • School children can do their drawing practice, rough work, etc.
  • Children and adults can even play paper games — Tic Tac Toe, Pictionary, etc.
  • You can prepare your grocery list
  • You can use it for taking (not so important) printouts, which you don't intend to share with anyone else
  • It can be used to note down recipes from your favorite YouTube channel or Cooking show on TV
  • You can even scribble ideas and thoughts in these notebooks.
Illustration by: Author

2. Use Scrap paper for Grocery Lists

Many people have started to use their mobiles to make the grocery list, however, if you have the habit of writing your grocery list, instead of a fancy notepad, you can use some scrap paper, back of the printed paper, or other rough paper.

It might not be a big saving, but a little saving of paper will mean a little less cutting trees.

Illustration by: Author

3. Lend/Share/Donate your magazine, comics, and books

If you are someone who loves to read physical books, comics, and magazines, it is time to share them, spread the knowledge, and save papers. Either you can sell it on classifieds platforms or if you like to keep the book for your future reference, you can lend them and take it back after the person finishes reading.

It would be great if you know a person who also likes to read physical books, you go ahead and share it with them, but many times it is difficult to find a person. Therefore, you can put it on your social media, messaging groups, or even there are mobile apps that facilitate book sharing.

Facebook has a marketplace to buy and sell secondhand items in your local community.

If you don’t like to keep the book, you can simply donate them to a charity, local library, or a social organization.

Another thing which you can do is instead of buying a book yourself, take it from someone or a library, buy second-hand, and even read a digital/kindle edition of the book.

(The authors and book publishers might not like book-sharing activities, but the idea is to save papers).

Illustration by: Author

4. Use Reusable Kitchen Towels

Kitchen towels are an important part of the kitchen to maintain that cleanliness. You need them very often to wipe off the stains and fallen food but instead of paper tissues, it will be great if we use the reusable ones made with cloth.

You can use your old cotton t-shirts, napkins, or old bathroom towels for this purpose. These simple clothes can be washed separately and reused multiple times.

5. Avoid Using Fancy Gift Papers

When you give a gift it is about the thought and not about the fancy plastic-coated wrapping paper.

If you really want to keep the gift a secret, wrap it with a cloth, an old newspaper, a previously used gift paper that you received, or even packaging material you got from your shopping.

You can decorate this shabby-looking packaging with leaves and flowers from your garden or even some other upcycled embellishments.

If you are unsure of how the person will receive it, put a quote from the environment.

Illustration by: Author

6. Become more digital-savvy

Whether you are an office goer, businessman, or a school student, finishing tasks directly on the computer or mobile should be preferred over paper printouts.

With the advent of mobile applications, reading news, reviewing documents, and sharing digital invoices, are some of the tasks that can easily be performed online. In addition, the likes of Amazon Kindle and other reading devices have also made book reading easy on the eyes and comfortable.

7. Use Smaller Fonts and print on both sides

If you are creating/writing a document, which is likely to be printed, you can consider using a smaller font to incorporate maximum space on a single page.

Additionally, in case you are printing the document, print on both sides of the paper.

8. Use Handheld Health Faucet, Bided Sprays

As per estimates, the number of toilet paper consumed and the trees that are used for making this paper are staggering. Around the world, the equivalent of 27,000 trees is used every day for toilet paper.

Toilet tissue paper is one of the leading causes of paper consumption. If the weather permits you, it is much better to install Health Faucet or Bidet for your toilet.

While some might argue that bidets would lead to more use of water, if we consider the resources needed for tissue paper, the bidet usage is significantly less resource-intensive and additionally, you will :

💰 Save on the monthly & recurring expenses.
🌳 Save many trees.

Illustration by: Author

Wrapping Up

It might not be possible to completely avoid using paper, however, we can look at these ideas to save the paper as simple tasks which we can gradually incorporate into our daily lifestyle to reduce paper wastage. In addition, wherever possible, you can also consider leveraging recycled paper and paper made from bamboo or hemp for your tasks.

Let me know what you think of these ideas and also share your own ideas to save paper.

Originally published at https://changestarted.com on June 22, 2022.

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Varun P

Varun P

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Working towards a sustainable future. Product Manager. Write about— Environment & Sustainability I ClimateTech I.