How hard is it to live without paper?


It’s the end of the week, so apart from meaning we have the weekend to look forward to; it also means that the paperless office challenge has come to an end. So, how did we get on? Well, we’re the first to admit that we’re not perfect and that this was a difficult challenge but we did our best! We have only printed off one document this week, which is fairly average for our office. Even then we’ve recognised that we perhaps didn’t need to print this document off as other alternatives could have worked – like putting the details into a spreadsheet. We’ve also managed to cut down on note-taking on paper, but some of us in the office have complained that it is far easier to take notes on paper. It’s a valid point, when on the phone it is much easier and quicker to write with a pen in one hand than attempt to type with one hand with the phone in the other. It is also easier to arrange thoughts onto paper, to put them in a format you can understand quickly – that’s assuming you have good handwriting mind you! Then for the creative department sketching out ideas on paper is often the first step when creating concept art.

So, we like writing on paper. It’s a habit we’ve found difficult to crack even in this mostly digital age, with the help of word-processors and styluses. How can we lessen the impact of using paper then? Well, firstly good recycling practices are the key, especially when you consider that it takes 70% less energy to recycle paper than it does to make it from raw materials. It also means cutting down less trees, which we don’t need to tell you is a good thing! It’s been estimated that if half the worlds paper was recycled it would mean saving 20 million acres of forest. Buying recycled paper is one way to lessen the impact of using paper on the environment, but are there other more sustainable ways of manufacturing paper? Of course there are, and you may find some of them quite surprising! The Egyptians famously made their paper from papyrus, and there are many other fibrous plants we can make paper from, including hemp, jute, flax and bamboo which are all much faster growing than trees. Paper can even be made from the dung of herbivores such as elephants, cows, reindeer, horses and even pandas! The website Poo Poo Paper which specialises in selling animal poo paper, tells you the process of turning poo to paper (if you’re interested) http://www.poopoopaper.com/pootopaper.html

So there you go, there are some interesting alternatives to traditional paper. Of course, the simplest way to lessen your impact though is to make sure you think before you print and recycle what you have used! You can also register to have the opportunity to be one of the first to play our exciting new WeForest game http://bit.ly/weforest. To learn more about reforestation, biodiversity and sustainability, whilst you play online you can be a real-world hero!

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