Did you know that every year offices in the United States use over 12 trillion sheets of paper?
If you do the MATH, this equates to each U.S. worker literally going through 10,000 sheets of paper each year -- on their own....
YES 10,000 sheets of PAPER.... Which is pretty insane if you think about it!
Michigan's Office of Waste Reduction states that the average business produces 1.5 lbs of waste per worker, per day! That's just in paper!
So where does all that paper end up?
To make matters worse, 45% of the paper used in the average U.S. office ends up in the trash can. If you gathered up all the wasted paper in the U.S. each year, you'd have enough to build a 12 ft high wall of paper from New York all the way to California.
Obviously, no one's started on the Great Wall of Paper yet, so most of this stuff ends up in landfills or in the alternative as municipal waste.
According to a US Army Sustainability report paper makes up 27% of the waste in landfills and 33% of municipal waste is paper.
The report also further indicates that 30 million tons of landfill waste is SOLELY attributed to paper.
The question is: What can we do to help
Like anything else, little steps matter and eventually add up to big results in the end.
In fact, if you took the paper in your office that was only used on one side, you could bind them together to make a notebook! That would decrease paper waste in your office by 45%! Other small changes you can make include:
- Buying only 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper
- Only buy paper that comes from sustainable resources
- Make sure all paper waste is recycled or reused
- Use computers, tablets, chalkboards, whiteboards and products, such as the WipeBook (plug, plug) for temporary note-taking and brainstorming
Little steps can achieve big results
Little changes in habit can go a long way! You'll be doing your part to end deforestation, mitigating unnecessary pollution, and significantly reducing overall landfill waste.
Reducing paper waste is not only beneficial to the environment, but it can help your business out, as well. Your office will be cleaner, more organized, and just overall more efficient.