Tips and Facts

Paper Reduction Facts

  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Let's try to reduce that number!

  • The United States alone, which has less than 5% of the world's population, consumes 30% of the world's paper.

  • Over 40% of wood pulp goes toward the production of paper.

  • Printing and writing paper equals about one-half of U.S. paper production.

  • The cost of using paper in the office can run 13 to 31 times the purchasing price of the paper used.

  • It takes more than 1½ cups of water to make one sheet of paper. (Picture a typical soda can.)

  • One ton of uncoated, virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees

Paper Reduction Tips

  • Preview your documents before printing. Use the print preview to spot formatting errors and blank pages before you print. Proofread first, and use the spell/grammar tool to help avoid errors that can cause documents to need to be reprinted.

  • Print only the pages you need. If only a few pages of the document are needed, print only those pages instead of the whole report. Most software programs provide this option under the print function.

  • Promote a "think before you copy" attitude. Consider sharing some documents with co-workers. Print only the number of copies needed for the meeting, don't make extras.

  • Check out the impacts of your paper use using this Paper Calendar.

  • Watch this TED Talk about Cradle-to-Cradle

  • Q: "What do I do with my scrap paper?" A: You can use it in meetings to take notes, rather than using a fresh sheet of paper.  You can print on the back of it, or if you have no other need for it, you can recycle it in the green paper bin!

  • Confused about what to throw into which bin? Learn the recycling rules.

  • Read this Q&A on the environmental benefits of recycling paper.

  • Looking for creative, impactful ways to reduce paper demand?  Look no further than your paycheck. Sign up for direct deposit and opt out of receiving paper copies.