Many people and businesses across the nation are getting serious in their efforts to go green. Companies, especially, must work to become more ecologically responsible by encouraging their employees and customers to go paperless. 

Scanning your documents can be the bridge to going paperless and, therefore, reducing your carbon footprint.

The True Cost of Paper

Before we discuss the value of going paperless, it may be helpful to examine the downside of too much paper. Even in the 21st Century, paper remains a ubiquitous feature of the modern office place. In fact, office workers use around 10,000 sheets of paper in a year.

On average, most offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper annually.

What are people doing with all this paper? 

Consider this scenario- a worker copies and prints a document 19 times, only to throw 40 percent of the reproductions away within 24 hours. A diligent employee may discard up to half of all documents when they spot printing errors or other blunders.

This scenario is only imaginary, but it is not an uncommon practice in modern offices. Many offices have a waste problem. 

Think of your own experience in offices; you will likely have an easy time believing this synopsis contains some truth. Waste doesn’t just occur because of the paper current employees use every day, however.

Records from before the advent of the Internet can be a big reason for too much paper in a workspace. Keeping lots of documents takes up too much storage space, can create a fire hazard, and risks accidents. This issue is compounded by the fact that documents are easy to misplace or misfile.

These aren’t the only concerns created by a lot of hard copy documents, records, and forms, either.

The Environmental Effects

The effects of paper on the environment are real. Paper production accounts for an estimated 2 percent of all greenhouse gases. Moreover, paper accounts for 25 percent of solid waste in landfills. 

Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change

One of the top greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is the gas people are talking about when they talk about “reducing your carbon footprint.” Greenhouse gases absorb and trap the sun’s heat, thereby changing the planet’s climate and disrupting ecosystems.

CO2 makes up three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions and can stay in earth’s atmosphere for thousands of years

Trees can counter CO2 emissions, but unfortunately, trees make paper. To produce 12,500 sheets of paper, producers need one tree. Put another way; one tree makes just enough paper for a typical office employee in a year.

shredded paper waste with green leaf branch in burlap bag box on a white background , eco friendly paperless concept

Combat Climate Change: Go Paperless

Individuals and workplaces can make simple changes to offset the impact of paper on the environment. A change of habits here and there can help anyone who wants to go green.

Begin by making fewer copies. If you are tempted to print multiple copies of something before a meeting, consider whether they are essential. Consider emailing read-ahead digital copies to colleagues and projecting the information on a wall or board during the meeting.

Scan Your Documents

One way to get read-ahead material to colleagues via email is to scan relevant documents. You not only make an ecologically responsible decision, but you save time and money. Even with a high-speed printer, making multiple copies of something can be a lengthy process.

Additionally, you can scan and send meeting notes and summaries after the fact. Colleagues and coworkers will likely appreciate less paper cluttering up their desks, as well.

Go Green by Scanning Your Records

If your workspace, office, or home is full of a lot of physical files and documents, free it up. Make the organization process a breeze by scanning those old documents and securely archiving the digital copies.

Better Organization for Your Home or Office

When you archive your documents digitally, you simplify and facilitate retrieval. You can make scanned documents searchable via keyword, which means you will reduce lost forms and documents. You can also backup documents that you digitize and store either using a cloud or a document hosting service.

Save Money and Time

Not only will you and your office save money on paper, but you will also save on printers and toners. 

Save the time you spent filing and searching for items, as well as creating and storing hard copy backups. 

You will also save you and your colleagues the time and effort of shredding and disposing of mountains of paper. Scanning documents to go paperless is a terrific way to go green while saving green.

Document Scanning Services: Save Employee Hours and Paper

If you really want to save time in your quest to go paperless, consider engaging a document scanning service. Professional document scanning takes an essential organizational activity off of your organization’s plate. 

Don’t lose productivity while performing the crucial task of streamlining your work space’s document management.

Place your document scanning in the hands of experienced professionals that you can trust. You can feel good about the health of the environment and the health of your organization. 

Let River City Data Help You Go Green By Helping You Go Paperless

River City Data brings forty years of document conversion experience in Greater Minnesota. We undertake projects of all sizes, and we are prepared to work with you to find the best solution to your organization’s needs.

We are a Kofax Capture Certified Document Conversion Center and the Midwest’s premier data management company. Our New London, MN roots inform our company’s values and dedication to our customers. That commitment means our clients get what they want when they want it, and within their budget.

We understand documents can be sensitive and confidential. Your privacy and security are of paramount importance to us.

Our clients include medical professionals, clinics, attorneys, and even government organizations. Our staff are vetted: they have background checks and are HIPAA certified. 

Contact us to discuss your data conversion needs with an experienced River City Data professional. Together, we can determine the best approach to suit you.