With how much more focused we are on the environment these days, being green and going paperless is not a new concept. My HSBC bank account is green by name, something I opted into almost ten years ago, meaning it would be paperless completely. I don’t get bank statements or letters (unless important), everything is done with secure online messages. In fact, the other day I was contacted to say that the account would no longer be called green, since all their accounts these days are green.
While I love getting post, I hate getting bills and I have to admit that these are largely limited these days. Most online accounts and bills I have, message me via email and then I pay online – meaning no need for statements and bills in the post. In fact, even some of the people I buy things from on Ebay, opt to send receipts and invoices via email, rather than print and enclose with the actual item.
Sadly I don’t believe I could go completely paperless in my office, but I do know that I limit it a lot more than I used to. My printer is even set to a 50 page limit each month (I use HP instant ink). Also with things like laptops, tablets and smart phones, being paperless is so much easier these days. In collaboration with IDBS and their electronic laboratory notebook, I wanted to share my top 5 tips for going paperless in the workplace.
- Track the amount of pages you print. For me, having my HP instant ink set to 50 pages, is a great way to know how much I’m printing each month. I get a warning when I get close to my usage and any unused pages get carried over to the following month. I always try to stay under 50 pages as this also keeps my monthly cost down.
- Request paperless statements from banks, online store, catalogue accounts etc. Every month you are sent something on paper that you can easily see by logging in online and viewing your account. Save both paper and space in your recycle bin, by ticking the button for paperless in as many places as you can find.
- Connected to the one above, pay bills online wherever possible – reducing the need for cheque books, paying-in slips and envelopes, etc. Pay friends and family via direct bank payments and use cards in stores. You can even say you don’t need a receipt (if you don’t!) and save a little more there.
- Recycle any non-confidential paperwork and envelopes. Need to write a note for the kids, or perhaps a shopping list? Use the back of a used envelope or bill. Kids looking for paper to draw on? Nearly all letters and bills are only printed on one side so be sure to use the other.
- Many of us find ourselves having ideas or thoughts outside of the house, outside of work etc. This means that often we carry notepads and pens to jot them down. Consider opening up a note on your phone or tablet and jotting it there. It’s quick and easy to do, often saves searching in the bottom of your bag for a pen and if you sync it up well, often transfers to your computer or email program automatically.
The truth is, I love reading proper paper books, way more than I enjoy reading ebooks on my kindle. I like to write down my orders and cross them out, to keep track on them. I scan and print the cover of each pattern I use, filing it in a poly pocket and then a binder. Although I try my best to be paperless, I don’t think I can go all the way. However with the use of my iPad, iPhone and Laptop, I definitely give it a good go.