Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saving Paper – learnt the hard way

I shifted my home recently. This is the first time I am changing my address in over three years. An integral part of it is packing my belongings. I just had a nightmarish experience while packing the papers – papers of all kinds – news paper, bills, printed papers, magazines etc. During my stay I have printed numerous documents at office and at home- from power point presentation to credit card statements. Then there are hundreds of Telegraphs and Outlooks dumped every day and week, respectively at the corner. Cable bill, Mobile bill, Credit card bill – and many other bills and documents stacked every nook and corner of my room. I needed to check whether the paper is relevant, confidential, required and hence whether to take it along or leave it. For example the purchase invoice of my Bluetooth headset needed a look for whether the warranty period is over or not. Literally I was sitting in the center of a galaxy of littered papers.

Therefore I vowed that henceforth I will use as less paper as possible. I have stopped buying Business Standard and Times of India. I read them on the net now. The e-Paper is really good and readable just like a physical paper in my 15.4" widescreen laptop. Also they are still free. So it saves my money-business papers are quite costly. I have stopped printing ad hoc documents at office. I am now constantly trying to minimize the use of paper. I had obtained a digital signature last year so that I can file the tax return online without the hassles of papers.

The newspaper rolls has become quite costly. Uses of less paper means less trees are felled. Some mobile companies like Airtel have given the net savvy customers the option of emailed bill instead of the paper bill. Same has been done by many banks like Standard Chartered for the account/card statements. As the penetration of internet is increasing and online storage like Google docs are increasingly being used we should switch to electronic usage and storage. It will make our desks (and rooms) clean, disposal will be easy, and it will be beneficial to the environment.

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