Deforestation is a major concern, which is why using responsibly sourced products are vital. Did you know our largest paper supplier, Sappi, uses responsibly sourced products and does not use wood from ancient forests or indigenous trees? Sappi plants and harvests trees specifically for the use of paper products and have their very own plantations; in other words, they grow their trees specifically to make paper.
Most importantly, the trees planted by Sappi for commercial use absorb an impressive 13 million tons of carbon and releases more than eight million tons of O2 every year.
Where possible – go paperless
Cutting down on paper wherever possible is the smart thing to do. Every bit helps the environment, and instead of receiving bills by post, change all your monthly accounts to e-statements. You’d be surprised at how user-friendly and easy this method is, not to mention the savings on paper products.
Computers and digital devices have taken on so many jobs that paper used to do, shifting the role from paper to data storage and pure communication.
We seldom stop to think about exactly what happens when we communicate on paper – this might be because we think of paper as being a delivery device for moving information from one point to the next which can easily be done digitally.
Paper has been with us for so many centuries that it is difficult to let go and change how we think whether it is writing notes on bits of paper or reading books. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult for many of us to let go and to go paperless.
We will always have paper
We will always have paper – but this does not mean that we cannot cut back on our printing and other paper costs. Brochures, flyers etc. can be sent on bulk SMS and email when advertising and for announcements such as sales and special deals.
The idea is to cut back and recycle and reuse wherever we can. Once you have read a hard copy book, for example, donate it or pass it onto the next person to enjoy. Any hard copy newspapers and magazines, cereal boxes, eggs boxes and other paper products are received with gratitude at depots that recycle.
Paper offers a sensory experience. Neuroscientists, psychologists and other professionals have done extensive research by looking into how people interact with paper, comparing it to their interactions with other media in more than 100 published studies since the early 90s.
These studies dominantly show that people read best on paper for three reasons: It makes content more navigable, it makes for better mental “mapping” thus retaining information making retention a little easier. This is mostly because paper is a tangible, navigable medium. When it comes to retention of information and memory paper looks good. Studies show that when we read on paper, we can process information differently, thus sustaining a deeper level of interest.
Reading online, on the other hand, is usually purposeful and utilitarian – a kind of foraging of information.
Paper directs attention and working memory quite differently, with a resulting increase in what neuroscientists identify as knowledge rather than recall.
Even digital experts are more likely to remember something longer when they read it on paper. Suffice to say, there is still a place for paper; the main objective is to use as little of it as possible.
We can train our thought processes and memories to absorb information digitally
However, all said and done, we can train the way we retain knowledge and garner information digitally, thus doing more and more tasks digitally and doing away with hard copies and paper wherever possible.
Declutter your office area. Law and accountancy firms usually keep files, especially those that contain important information for income tax purposes, although many of these are now being converted and stored online. Store files in self-storage units off the premises to keep your area neat and clean.
Ensure your office space is kept in peak condition by making use of a facilities management company. Once you have chosen to go this route you would be asking yourself why you did not use professionals cleaners from the get-go.