Humans and nature are supposed to have a symbiotic relationship. Here’s a fact, we cut down over 15 billion trees every year just to make paper.
Have you ever considered just how much your office contributes to environmental degradation?
It's about time we all took active steps to improve our environment (and not just observe the day on June 5th every year) and regain a fair symbiotic existence with nature. Going digital with our documents is one sure way to reclaim the environment. Here are some benefits it would have on the environment.
You’re probably wondering what paper documents have to do with pollution. Well, think further than just the paper. Printer cartridges can be a major pollution factor. The manufacture of a single cartridge emits 4.8kg greenhouse gases into the environment. With over 1 million cartridges being replaced every day, the amount of CO2 emitted can become significant. By using digital documents instead, we can reduce the need for cartridges and reduce the toxic gas emissions that can cause global warming. This will also reduce the number of cartridges in landfills that emit pollutants into the soil.
Think of the journey a single sheet of paper goes through from the time it is cut down using a gas-powered saw, transported as a log to a paper making factory in a fuel-powered truck, transported to a retail shop as a sheet of paper, then to an office to be used for printing and finally transported as a contract by courier service to another office. All this is unnecessary burning of fossil fuel which pollutes the environment. Going digital will reduce the demand for paper and in turn enable us to burn less fossil fuel.
We do not just depend on trees for oxygen, they also help filter the air. Currently, paper demands require that 15 billion trees are cut every year which means there are fewer tees left to filter the air. We can save the trees by printing less. Digital documents can be shared several times with different people and not a single sheet of paper is needed. There will be more trees and more clean air if more offices switch to digital documents.
We can also reduce the need for wooden shelves that are used to store hardcopy documents. Law libraries have thousands of books stacked on wooden shelves, government departments and medical practices have similar storage facilities that can be replaced with cloud storage to reduce the need for wooden bookshelves.
Digital technology helps us manage scarce resources better. We will only use what we need and avoid wastage. We can have perfect procurement systems and error-free documents which means the first draft will be the only draft. By adopting such practices, we put less pressure on the environment.