17 No Paper Project

I have not printed anything since February 18th. I also have substantially reduced the amount of paper I use. I am doing this because I really do not see a need to use all that much paper. It wasn't that big of an adjustment either which I think make it a lot easier and has made me more successful.

So how am I doing it?

I take my computer to almost all my meetings where I need to share something with my colleagues. Whether it is a spreadsheet, word document or presentation I just bring it up on my computer and show it to them. If we aren't in a meeting room I just show them on my laptop screen or I will email it to them and then we review it at their desk.  

I take notes on my BlackBerry. Oh how I love the Note feature. I can access it from my BlackBerry or from my laptop. I keep them organized by person or project and add in notes from meetings. I also use it for my to-do list and for things I want to talk to people about. Basically Notes has become my virtual Post It. I keep my grocery list, blog topic ideas, directions, my weekly 2011 in 2011 list in there. I used to have a notebook that I kept notes in and even though I originally focused on no printing I found it easy to drop using notebooks too.

I don't take handouts at meetings and I ask for it to be sent electronically instead. Yes this means that there is probably extra copies floating around but over time people have learned to not print a copy for me. 

Whenever possible I ask for a receipt to not be printed prior to them asking me if I want my receipt. Because if you say no when they ask you this it doesn't really change your impact. They have already printed it and are just going to throw it away. If I don't have the option for it not to print then I take it home with me and shredded it and put it out with our recycling. EDIT - BPA can be found in some receipts so reduce your exposure as much as possible. Check out this post by Steph from Good Girl Gone Green for more information.

When traveling instead of printing documents I have them easily accessible on my BlackBerry and bring them up for the hotel as required. Sometimes you just have to ask if they will accept this instead of printing tickets, verification etc. You will be surprised how many people say yes!

I bank electronically and always ask if e-transfers are accepted instead of having to write a cheque. I also have signed up for epost and get my pay cheque, T4 and all but 2 bills electronically. When given the option I sign up for electronic newsletters vs a paper newsletter being sent to the house.

I don't do invites. I know this makes me seems like I'm not a cool/fun/whatever Mom but I am okay with that. I don't send paper invites for B's birthday. Instead I make and send an electronic invite. Oh you should see what I have in store for next year (yes I have thought about it already and no I won't forget about it by then - I have a Note about it!).

I don't use paper towels (at home). I made my own reusable towels for cleaning and then use newspaper for windows. I said (at home) because I find that 50% of the time I use paper towel in the washroom at work. I am not sure why when there is a hand dryer right there. I think I feel better about it because it is made from recycled content but I really need to start using the hand dryer more. 

I'm really good at Paint. If someone asks me to drawn something to explain it I can simply just use my awesome Paint skillz and draw it electronically. No seriously.

Has any of this had an impact? Yes I believe it has. Not only am I reducing my impact but I have noticed others following suit. People come to meetings with me with electronic documents far more often than printed paper. Joe also uses the Notes feature on his BlackBerry so we can share lists (groceries, to do).

How much paper do you use? Have you thought about cutting back, if so what can you or do you do?

Related Posts - Check them Out
I have a confession
Opting Out! No more phone books please
A Change in Habits


  1. I just got a BB and plan on using the note feature to stop using paper, Great tips! I'm a new follower!

  2. Hi! Following you through the We are Canadian blog hop. I'm looking forward tips to green my life a little!

  3. Wow! That is great that you have reduced your use of paper like that! GREAT job! Do you have kids? That is my challenge - to allow them the freedom to draw and make crafts, but have less paper waste!

    Following you from Canadian Blog Hop - congrats on being the featured blogger!

  4. @PP - You can share notes too so that makes it easy to assign 'honey-do' lists ;)

    Thanks for following ladies!

  5. @MTM - I do have a son who is 2. He is just getting into drawing and crafts but I plan on using old paper bags (the inside, scraps of paper that I am given, flyers that come in the mail, cards that we receive in the mail, inside of boxes. Basically anything that I can re-purpose.

  6. New follower from the blog hop. Love your ideas for a paperless household. This is a work in progress for me.
    Hop on by my place anytime.

  7. new follower from the we are canadian hop!

  8. You are doing so well. I've recently bought an e-book reader and I download recipes, crochet patterns and any other notes I might need onto it. It's great!

  9. Awesome Jen! I too hate paper; I don't hate it I don't like to use it...lol! I have scrap paper that I use then recycle.

    One thing, it is recommended not to recycle receipts because most are coated with BPA. Therefore, when the receipts are recycled the BPA gets into our water. As well, the other papers that are in the recycling are now contained with BPA. I just found this out a month ago while doing some research....gross!! So if I get a receipt I let the cashier take care of it. I don't want BPA on my hands or n my house!!

    Check out my last post if you want from last week on BPA and recipes: http://www.goodgirlgonegreen.com/fun-fact-friday/guess-what-is-lurking-on-your-receipts

    This Friday I am doing fun fact Friday: receipts are recommended to not be recycled!

    Have a super day, Jen!

  10. I saw that on the news last month and I am not all that surprised that there was something in the receipts (based on the fact that they go black when exposed to heat).

    Looks like it isn't all receipts though (about 40% have BPA) so I wonder which one's are and which one's are not.

    I really wish you could opt out of a receipt at all places.

  11. Oh and just found this! It is a Canadian company too.


  12. Wow! I am soooo impressed! Yay for you!

    Thanks for linking up at Green & Natural Mamas Thursday again!

  13. From what I understand, id that if you rub the receipts and the black smudges it contains BPA. Love the site you mentioned, Jen! Whats even better is no recipe, right? I love that apple does that...emails you your receipt! Thanks for the info!

    Oh and we can try and live in a nice non-toxic wooden bubble together...LOL!

  14. I am a new follower. I love this post. What a great way to be efficient and organised, a must in this crazy fast paced world we live in. I love your other blog to, some yummy recipies there.

    Thanks for sharing

  15. Thanks for stopping by Julie!

  16. Old Navy just started emailing receipts too!

    P.S. Tell me you are still using toilet paper, please? Cause if you have your own reusable towels, our friendship might suffer ;)

  17. I was just in Old Navy last week and saw they had that option. They however did not have it for gift receipts.

    Yes we use TP. Bodily functions is my line when it comes to being crunchy.