Increased use of paper leads to environmental pollution and degradation. It takes millions of trees cut across the globe to process paper. The result is increased pollution and climate change. However, with paperless technologies, individuals and businesses can help protect the environment.
An office can be in disarray due to the use of so much paper. The result is an unsafe work environment. Unlike free digital filing systems, disarray of folders and file cabinets put information confidentiality at risk. Disorganization of papers can lead to misplaced or damaged files. Furthermore, excess paperwork can surpass the maximum capacity of an office and the integrity of the entire building housing it. Converting to paperless offices was envisioned to replace paper-based offices in an article titled “The Office of the Future” published in the 80s on the BusinessWeek. However, 40-years later, going paperless is yet to be a reality. Digital technology has grown, but paper communication such as letters are yet to be fully digitized for access from paperless devices.
The consumption of paper in America dropped between 2000 and 2009 by 20%, including individuals and companies that have gone paperless. Despite a reduction in paper usage through digital technology, such as using paperless working papers, many businesses still depend on printing. They don’t believe it’s possible to achieve great results of a fully paperless environment. In America, consumers use about 650 pounds of paper annually while businesses use 21 million tons of paper. However, many American adults are willing to use paperless tools in their daily lives to save the environment. Ranging from paperless filing system software to electronic signatures, some businesses have adopted digital technology to reduce impact on the environment.
Benefits of going paperless for sustainable living include reduced costs and human errors, saves times, better collaboration, improved accessibility and real-time data access. But, is it possible to go paperless? How can businesses go paperless for improved sustainability? Letters, forms, proposals and reports can be digitized into PDFs. You can share, send and even sign eco-friendly digital “paperwork”; all it takes is learning how to sign a pdf in adobe reader. The processes are faster and enhance productivity. Cloud-computing supports storage of business and personal data. The cloud keeps data secure and confidential,andreduces clutter. It’s also possible to automate tasks such as generation of invoices and payrolls using paperless software.
Use of e-gift vouchers and online payments minimize the use of paper. They cut on paper currency. 20,000 paperless gift vouchers can save up to two trees, offering an eco-friendly, sustainable payment alternative to paper gift vouchers and physical currencies. The higher the statistics on going paperless and the number of trees saved, the more oxygen is available in the air. Digital signatures signed electronically using paperless office software, online ticketing, going paperless with Evernote, reducing reliant on mails, e-bank statements available online, email invoices, etc. support sustainable living. Digital solutions such as the best scanners to go paperless are the key to sustainable living.
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