Here’s the good news: Total paper consumption in North America has declined. The bad news: North American paper consumption is still a major driver of forest destruction. Did you make it your New Year’s resolution to be greener in your small business? Although becoming a completely paperless office may not be possible, it is possible to cut back on your paper usage in the office.
Here are seven tips and tools to help:
If you make an ambitious plan to transfer all your documents to digital files, you probably won’t get very far. Make it a point to just start with today’s documents; then if there’s spare time in the future you can go back and recreate.
There’s really no reason you need a paper document today. Create a contract online and have your customers fill it out and sign it digitally. Most businesses and even consumers have a program to handle digital signatures.
Stop Getting Paper Statements
Most utility, credit card and insurance companies have a paperless billing option you can sign up for. You’ll receive your bill online and can pay it online, too. And don’t forget about your bank. No worries: if you ever need a paper statement you can always request one.
No More Paper Invoices
When it’s time to bill your customers, most consumers and businesses prefer receiving the invoice by email. Plus, digital invoices are automatically stored on your computer system and can be stored in the cloud where it can be accessed from wherever you are.
Digital Instruction Manuals
Have you noticed the last few times you’ve purchased a piece of equipment or signed up for a service, the warranty and instruction manual were online? Consider only having digital versions available for your customers, too.
Stop Buying Sticky Notes!
They just mess up your work area. Keep a tablet or smartphone nearby and take digital notes you won’t lose later. Use apps like Evernote to make sure all your devices can access your digital notes.
Send Email Receipts
Clean up your customers’ wallets by asking if they’d like to get email receipts instead of paper ones when they purchase your products or services.
Every year, American households receive a total of 104.7 billion pieces of junk mail. You can help reduce paper in your customers’ homes by not sending (or cutting back) direct mail. Go digital—your customers will thank you, and so will the environment.
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