Reduce, reuse, recycle. A phrase so popular it should be inked in our hearts but really how many of us truly play a part in making the Earth a better place to live in? Despite the many gadgets that somewhat help to eliminate or rather reduce the use of paper, the latter still remains in a large part of our lives in the form of receipts, notes, bills, bank statements, claim forms and the irresistible colorful post-its.
Going paper-free is a pricey move but think about it, wouldn’t you want to decrease the need to chop down more trees? After all, nobody likes to sift through a mountain of receipts and memos. It might take some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be second nature.
Going paper free will make you a more organized person in the long run and get rid of unsightly boxes (or gasp, heaps!) of paper in your life. Here’s how you can get started:
Bye bye, catalougues
Every year we look forward to a ton of catalogs from IKEA, Courts Mammoth, Metrojaya, Parkson and the likes. Sure its fun to flip through to check out the latest bargains but what happens to the poor catalog after that? It gets tossed into the trash that’s what! There are apps on your tablets and smart phones these days that replicate the actual catalog for free and you can bring dozens of them with you wherever you go. If you don’t own any of these nifty gadgets you can have them sent to your email inbox via newsletters.
The only way you can really stop the bills from coming is by ceasing to exist, sad isn’t it. Go paperless and opt to receive your bill statements online and pay them through online banking.
Resist the rainbow Post-Its
Okay so we did try to give Post-Its the exception but after a week, when we realized the amount of reminders we were giving ourselves could only mean the goldfish syndrome, we opted to get a cheap whiteboard. Not as pretty as the post-its so we used colorful markers as substitute instead.
You can also try “Evernote“, a free app for creating digital notes on the go that sync seamlessly between your phone and computers (work and home). If you like making lists, try Wunderlist!
Some of us have years and years worth of receipts that never see the light of the way. Why we keep them? Just in case I get audited, would be the answer. Give yourself a timeline on how long you should keep certain documents. Receipts and some documents can fade with time making it pointless to keep anyway. What you can do is to scan them all and save them accordingly on your hard drive for easier accessibility and storage.
Reducing is a far greater effort compared to recycling. By reducing your use of paper, you also contribute to the decrease of its demand. It’s a conscious effort often shadowed by the procrastinator in you. Take a day off and see how you can reduce the use of paper both at home and at your workplace.
Remember, all your gadgets exist for a reason!