Being at home for so long made me want to clean up. When I was cleaning up I found paper, a lot of paper. In my blogs Bambook and Wiping It Clean I already touched upon the topic of different kinds of paper and how much we consume it. In this blog I want to elaborate on three different kinds of paper you can avoid to use in order to reduce your footprint and make the earth a better place.
The first topic I want to address is that of tickets. You get them at the grocery store, at the bakery and any other shop. You also get them at the market place and even when you order online. Tickets are everywhere and humanity consumes about 300 billion of them each year! According to this post this adds up to 25 million trees which we cut down a year. In addition to this we use 18 billion litres of water and 22 million barrels of oil to produce these little pieces of paper which we usually chuck away after a few seconds. The worst part is that these little pieces of paper are not recyclable. The paper is made out of thermal paper in which ink is already stored and activated by heat in the printer. The paper is also carrying BPA which is bad for the human health. So next time you are in a shop ask to not have them print a ticket. Some stores already offer a bill trough the app. In a restaurant you can also ask to have only a digital bill, it saves a lot!
The next topic is that of notebooks. In uni you use them a lot! I cannot even imagine how much paper I have used over the year but I estimate it is about 2 notebooks per course. Per quarter I had 4 to 5 courses, it contributes to about 80 notebooks in my time as a student. All this paper has gone to waste after I finished the course. In this article it is shown that the use of paper causes deforestation and a dramatic decrease in biodiversity of replanted forests. If you do not write a lot in notebooks I wouldn’t worry about the topic too much, but if you have to write a lot to work out equations and processes like I do I would recommend to use a reusable notebook such as the Bambook or Rocketbook. If you already own a tablet you can always use that to make notes, buying a new one however does not make a difference.
Folders are also a big nuisance for the environment (picture from Viadomo). Think about all the unused folders you receive and you only use them for a few seconds. I cannot find the amount of flyers used worldwide but when I was living in the states my mail box would be filled with junk mail each week. I mean it would be literally overloaded each week with mail I could recycle as soon as I opened it. The best solution? Put a sticker on your mailbox saying you do not want to receive any folders or junk mail. Sometimes you can even get them pre-printed at your municipality.
If you implement all these small steps you can start your journey to becoming paperless and make a huge positive impact on the environment. Your example will most surely be followed by others and so we make a huge difference.
Lots of love,