I read somewhere recently that the Environmental Paper Network (an organization with a “treatise that is meant to unify the efforts of environmental organizations in advancing environmental and social responsibility within the paper production and consumption cycle”) has calculated that if businesses were to cut their paper usage by 10%, it would reduce by 1.6 million tons the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States… an equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road.
There’s a lot of interesting facts about paper and paper consumption to chew on. For example, did you know that according to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory the average office worker in the US uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year? That’s the equivalent of as much as a tree per worker person!
And, a bunch of sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor, say that one billion (yes, that is ‘billion’ with a ‘B’)… one billion photocopies are made EACH DAY!
A hopeful sign is that, by all appearances, the tide is starting to turn. Just ask the post office who’s seeing their first class mail volume drop so precipitously as people and business transition to electronic billing. Yes, once an ideal only considered in light of its impact on the environment… thinking paperlessly with tools like electronic document management has now become a stylish issue among the money-saving set too.