The Paperless Movement has been thriving for many years now. We first heard about it through the site named Paperless movement. The whole point of the movement is to save the trees. Now, whenever you hear about ‘save the trees’, you instantly think of a hippy from the nineties who is on some sort of drug…
Since technology, research and data has become more easily accessible and accurate – the hippies were right!
As a tree surgeon in London dealing with them every single day we think it is part of our job to spread the word about important issues like this.
Trees are being cut down at an alarming rate. Why is it alarming? Well, without trees, we would all be dead. They play a vital role in creating oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They have numerous other benefits for our lives and health but this is the crucial point. Anyway, you’ve heard about the movement now, but you must be thinking…
So does going paperless help the environment or is this a waste of time?
The article linked to above discusses the science and data behind the amount of trees being cut down and the data associated with it. We will summarise the general consensus on what the article says to do.
Crazy facts emerge (of which the University of Indiana found) shows that people across the pond are using 85 million tonnes of paper per year, which amounts to 2 billion trees required to account for this much paper. About 1 billion tonnes of paper is thrown away each year as it is mostly spam mail and useless paper that we would never need.
Although these are shocking numbers – there is another killer in this world. We do not just mean of trees. The other major problem is energy and specifically that we need renewable energy as soon as possible.
You could cut out all of the paper usage and we would still be headed to doom and gloom what with the intense amount of energy we are using. Also, this energy usage is only increasing. Getting rid of paper usage would help the situation but it would not stop the impending doom we are looking at if we continue to use as much energy as we do. We need to focus on green, clean energy in order to sustain the earth’s life.
We are extremely fortunate that major figureheads like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are concentrating a lot of their time into renewable energy and things like outer space travelling. They recognise the game we are playing with energy and how it is not a viable long term approach. Like Musk says, even if he is wrong, why take the risk and why not switch to safe, green, renewable energy as quickly as possible. Although we realise this problem goes well beyond what most of us can do, it is an interesting insight into the world and what we are doing with it.
We saw this really interesting campaign by Trees For Life about going paperless. Their aim is to go totally paperless within their business. Why is this? Well, they put forward three strong reasons to do so. Firstly is: why would you need paper when we have awesome software like the cloud? You can store everything online these days in easy to manage files where you can give people access as you please. It is much more efficient than using and storing paper. People have such good confidence in the cloud these days that they even do online banking and accounting through it. We should all store our documents in it too
Secondly is the partnerships you can create. Joining in with movements like this where you are making a stand for a purpose, a cause, brings people together and shows a shared vision and values. By committing to something like this, you are showing a company like Trees For Life that you care about the things they care about. They will want to know you as a result.
Thirdly is to actually make a difference. No one ever achieved widespread change without making a stand and demanding that things change. People that abhor the mass animal farming movement go vegan – to try and stop the farming. If you want to stop people using paper, you have to limit the demand for paper! How do you do this? By not using it! Although the company recognises that the change won’t happen overnight, they are committing to this. It is honourable!
Again, their efforts are part of the solution. Cutting down on paper usage would help massively, but cutting down on non-renewable energy is just as important. Combine these two together and we might be able to save the planet!
Also published on Medium.