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Smart Paper Use

Smart Paper Use

Whatever happened to the paperless office? That’s a good question. With the wonder of today’s technology, we have the capacity to contain whole filing cabinets of information on just one CD-ROM.

Look at what the following can hold:

1. One floppy disk: 750 sheets, about a five-inch stack of typed pages;

2. 100Mb hard disk: contents of a four-drawer filing cabinet, and

3. CD-ROM: entire roomful of paper.

Saving paper can mean fewer file cabinets, which can reduce your office space needs dramatically. It’s estimated to cost over $2,000 each year to maintain a filing cabinet and about $25,000 to fill it. These costs include the labor and paper costs. One estimate even states that about 3 percent of your filing cabinet documents will become misplaced, and it will cost about $120 in labor to find each one. On the other hand, storing files on disk or CD-ROM is much less expensive in human time and in storage space.

While relying less on paper has many advantages, be aware of possible disadvantages:

* Your office may use more energy if computers, faxes, or other equipment are left on longer with higher demand.

* Increased health risks can arise due to eye strain, low-frequency radiation, carpal tunnel syndrome, nonergonomic workstations, etc.

Read more: Career, Life

Adapted from The Smart Office, by A.K.Townsend.Copyright (c) 1997 by A.K.Townsend .Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
Adapted from The Smart Office, by A.K.Townsend.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Smart Office

A comprehensive survival guide for businesses detailing how companies can save money and increase their profits and productivity by streamlining their resoource use and creating healthier now


+ add your own
2:12AM PST on Feb 25, 2013


8:18PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

thank you.

5:23PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012


6:44PM PST on Feb 7, 2011


4:29AM PDT on Sep 11, 2010

Thanks for the info.

4:43AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Thanks for the article.

8:54AM PDT on Mar 25, 2010

Good idea

7:54PM PDT on Mar 24, 2010

Wow! Amazing!

2:51AM PST on Jan 29, 2010

very good information, thank you for sharing

4:54PM PST on Nov 6, 2009

My husband and I have started an online business providing pens and pencils made from recycled paper and plastic to offices, schools and homes.

On another note, I refused to do unnecessary and illegal (breaching copyright laws) photocopying for a speech therapist I was working for. She also insisted on having all the lights turned in broad daylight because she didn't like walking into a dark building. I, on the other hand, went around turning off the lights, air-conditioning and putting the photocopier on energy saver. I was told she was going to get another assistant,probably younger and more compliant.

The amount of paper and energy waste is phenomenal and so easily avoided. If interested, you can download and read an article I wrote about this in a children's magazine:

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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