Updated: 12/31/2022 by Computer Hope

Paperless is a concept that involves the elimination of all paper use in the home, office, or school environment. While paper use has decreased, it is still prevalent, and there are not many companies that are completely paperless.

Why go paperless?

Saves trees

It may seem obvious, but the average tree produces less than 100,000 sheets of paper, which is not much. Trees produce oxygen, and although they are a vast resource, it is still a resource that can be depleted.

Saves ink and toner

Your printer ink and toner are the most expensive consumable. Limiting your printing saves ink and toner, which saves you money.

Saves space

Storing paper documents, books, magazines, and manuals take space. However, an electronic version takes no space.

Saves energy

Your printer uses energy, and if a printer is on all day, that energy use adds up.

Saves money

Not printing saves energy, paper, ink, and toner. You also save money in shipping since electronic documents cost nothing to send over the Internet. Also, in the case of books and magazines the electronic version is always cheaper than the paper version.

Saves time

When printing a document with multiple pages, it takes time to print each of the pages. Also, sending and receiving documents, e-books, or other electronic documents can be done in minutes instead of days.

Tips on going paperless

Think before you print

Before printing anything, decide if what you are printing can be used in its electronic format.

Print to PDF

Anything can be printed to a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. Printing is not always the only option to get a copy of something. Once printed, you can attach that PDF to an e-mail and save it to your computer.

Use your smartphone

If you have a smartphone, use it for your grocery lists, to-do lists, or nearly any list. It saves paper, lets you share lists with others, always available to you, and is less likely to be lost.

Save on the cloud

Documents and files can be stored in cloud tools, like Evernote, Google Docs, and Dropbox. Storing them in the cloud enables multiple people to have access and update the file from any device (e.g., computer, phone, or tablet) with Internet access.

Digital signatures

Some companies may need to print documents because they need physical signatures. However, today many companies now accept digital signatures and no longer require any of the documents to be printed.

Get an e-reader or tablet

Investing in an e-reader or tablet can save money and greatly reduce your paper use, especially if you are an avid reader or need reading material for school or work.

Make it difficult to print

Many people print because it is convenient. Make it difficult by keeping your printer off; that also saves money in energy bills and may even save printer ink.

Print two-sided

If there is no way getting around printing, print two-sided instead of one-sided.

Business terms, Electronic office, Green PC, Office automation, Soft copy