I am a practicing at home recycler and active sustainability contributor. I always try to be aware of my environmental impact in all areas of my life. But there is always room for improvement.
Almost a year ago I transitioned into a leadership role at Clovis Community Medical Center and around the same time I also joined the S-VAT (Sustainability Value Analysis Team). The mission of this employee committee is to help our healthcare network find ways to “rethink, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle.” Along with the responsibility of running a department at Clovis Community came paperwork -- post-its, emails, reports and files … PAPER, PAPER, LOTS OF PAPER.
I sat at my computer one morning to read, respond to and print some emails as I normally would. Then at the end of an inbox email signature I saw: I stopped what I was doing, highlighted that statement, copied it and pasted it into my own email signature. This simple action took me seconds to do; it changed my almost instant routine to print my most important emails and hopefully makes the recipients of mine thing twice before hitting print. Consider these facts:
- About 85 gallons of water is used to make 2.2lbs of paper
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves about 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees
- With all the paper that is wasted each year we can build a 12 foot high wall of paper from California to New York
- The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year
The small changes you can make to your everyday thinking and routine can ultimately make a very big difference. Here are a few more ideas to decrease paper waste in an office setting
- Print just the pages you need. If a document is 4 pages but you only need 1-2, print just those pages.
- If you have a printer that allows, consider setting it up to print double sided
- See if the paper in your department is “recycled”(the higher the recycled content, the better) or “postconsumer” paper
- Utilize electronic filing as often as possible
- Recycle paper instead of disposing of it in the garbage
- Reuse the back side of printed paper as scrap, note taking paper or in place of Post-Its
- Reduce the margins on your document to fit more text on each page
As we arm ourselves with knowledge and make mindful decisions we can individually make a big impact on the environment daily. It doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming to change the way you use paper or think about sustainability.
to your email signature takes seconds.To share more paper-saving and other green ideas, join the Green Champions email list by firstname.lastname@example.org Krysta Collins, ST
Sterile Processing Supervisor
Clovis Community Medical Center