Recycling paper is a great way to support the environment – shred it, dump it in your recycling bin, or compost it – there are many options to get paper out of your home in an eco-friendly manner. But the best way of all to make an impact when it comes to paper is to not create paper products at all! When it comes to your office policies, why not take a lead on implementing some “no printing” guidelines that you and your associates can follow:
• Do not print emails. This should be a basic rule that everyone can easily handle – if you need to save information from an email, set up a folder in your email inbox for this purpose. Depending on your email provider, there should be many options available for saving and categorizing email messages so that you can retrieve them when needed.
• Arrange for an electronic “document signing” service – There are many options available now to send documents electronically for signature. This is an acceptable practice for real estate agents using leases and property transactions plus it’s being used for many legal contracts. Create the document directly from your computer – no need to print it, just send it to the recipient and once signed by all parties, save it on your computer. There should be no need to keep a printed copy when you have it stored electronically. One of the most popular services for this is www.docusign.com.
• Have an effective “cloud” back-up service in place for your electronically stored documents. One of the fears of giving up paper is that your computer may crash and your saved documents will be lost. But with an online daily web based back-up system in place, this fear can be alleviated. One reliable service to check out is www.carbonite.com.
By not generating as much paper in the first place, you won’t even need to worry about the best method of recycling it!