Newspapers, school books, work documents, letters, and reading books – are ubiquitous in our lives. One thing which is common in these items is the usage of paper.
Paper is one of the most significant discoveries that happened to humanity. However, an aspect that is somehow missed in our paper usage is the number of trees cut to create paper, the pollution caused by manufacturing, transportation, & logistics, and water consumption.
Therefore we must avoid paper wastage and look for ways to improve our paper consumption habits.
List of Ideas to Save Paper
Here is a compilation of ideas to save paper, reduce wastage and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
Create Mini Notebooks with Waste Paper
We all get papers printed on one side and blank on the other – photocopies of documents, letters, and business advertisements, among many others.
We can collect some of these loose papers and make a little notebook keeping all the white sides in front. We can use a paper clip to bind the pieces together.
This little notebook might not be very aesthetic, but it can be used for various purposes.
- Schoolchildren can do their drawing practice, rough work, etc.
- Children and adults can even play paper games – Tik Tak Toe
- You can prepare your grocery list
- It can be used to note down recipes from your favorite YouTube channel or Cooking show on TV.
- You can even scribble ideas and thoughts in these notebooks.
Use Scrap paper for Grocery Lists
Many people have started to use their mobiles to make the grocery list; however, if you have the habit of writing your grocery list, instead of a fancy notepad, you can use some scrap paper, the back of the printed paper, or other rough paper.
It might not be a big saving, but a little saving of paper will mean a little less cutting trees.
Lend/Share/Donate your magazine, comics, and books
If you love to read physical books, comics, and magazines, it is time to share them, spread knowledge, and save papers. You can sell it on classifieds platforms, or if you like to keep the book for your future reference, you can lend it and take it back after the person finishes reading.
It would be great if you know a person who also likes to read physical books, you go ahead and share it with them, but many times it isn’t easy to find a person. Therefore, you can put it on your social media, messaging groups, or even there are mobile apps that facilitate book sharing.
If you don’t like to keep the book, you can donate them to a charity or a social organization relevant to the reader.
Another thing you can do is, instead of buying a book yourself, take it from someone or a library, buy it second-hand, and even read a digital/kindle edition of the book.
(The authors and book publishers might not like book-sharing activities, but the idea is to save papers).
Use Reusable Kitchen Towels
Kitchen towels are an essential part of the kitchen to maintain that cleanliness. You often need them to wipe off stains and fallen food, but instead of paper tissues, using reusable ones made with a cloth will be great.
You can use your old cotton t-shirts, napkins, or bathroom towels. These simple clothes can be washed separately and reused multiple times.
Avoid Using Fancy Gift Papers
When you give a gift, it is about the thought and not about the fancy plastic-coated wrapping paper.
If you want to keep the gift a secret, wrap it with a cloth, an old newspaper, a previously used gift paper, or even packaging material you got from your shopping.
You can decorate this shabby-looking packaging with leaves and flowers from your garden or even some other upcycled embellishments.
If you are unsure how the person will receive it, put a quote from the environment.
Become more digital-savvy
While it might not be easy for everyone to become digital, wherever possible, we should perform our work more digitally instead of using printouts, etc.
Whether you are an office goer, businessman, or a school student, finishing tasks directly on the computer or mobile should be preferred over paper printouts.
With the advent of mobile applications, reading news, reviewing documents, and sharing digital invoices, are some tasks that can easily be performed online. In addition, Amazon Kindle and other reading devices have made book reading easy on the eyes and comfortable.
Use Smaller Fonts and Print on Both Sides
If you are creating/writing a document, which is likely to be printed, you can consider using a smaller font to incorporate maximum space on a single page.
Additionally, if you are printing the document, print it on both sides of the paper.
Use Handheld Health Faucet, Bided Sprays
As per estimates, the number of toilet paper consumed and the trees used for making this paper are staggering. Around the world, the equivalent of 27,000 trees is used daily for toilet paper.
Toilet tissue paper is one of the leading causes of paper consumption. If the weather permits you to use water, installing a health faucet or bidet for your toilet is much better.
While some might argue that bidets would lead to more use of water if we consider the resources needed for tissue paper, the bidet usage is significantly less resource-intensive, and additionally, you will :
💰 Save on monthly & recurring expenses.
🌳 Save many trees.
It might not be possible to avoid altogether using paper. However, we can look at these ideas to save paper as simple tasks which we can gradually incorporate into our daily lifestyle to reduce paper wastage. In addition, wherever possible, you can consider leveraging recycled paper and paper made from bamboo or hemp for your tasks.
Let us know what you think of these ideas, and also share your ideas to save paper.
We regularly post sustainability and eco-friendly ideas on the Change Started Instagram handle; you can also follow us there.