There is a 748-pound monkey on your back and you may not even know it. Each year, the average American goes through that amount of paper. The United States accounts for the use of approximately 25% of the world’s paper. Across the globe, consumption of paper products has more than doubled over the last two decades. These staggering statistics point to one, undeniable fact: it is time to go paperless.
In an age with heightened sensitivity to preserving wilderness spaces, the toll taken by the tremendous use of paper is significant. One tree, which grows over a period of 100 years or more, can only produce 17 reams of paper. That is a number matched in use by many offices in less than a week. While that may be a convincing enough reason to go paperless, there is also the undeniable effect reducing the consumption of paper can have on your wallet. Imagine for a moment the money spent each year to operate and service an office full of printers and fax machines. For many businesses, this would result in a meaningful savings. A perfect example? The United States government projects that it will save nearly $1 billion over the next decade by switching to paperless in the departments of Veteran Affairs, Social Security and other federal benefit agencies.
Save a tree. Check. Save money. Check. Anything else? Don’t count out the benefits of consolidated storage and expedited communication. Practically speaking, imagine the space saved when you finally throw out all those clunky filing cabinets! Ultimately, a world without paper may never appear, but everyone must try to be paper smart in all that they do.