Reduce Paper Waste

We all use paper everyday, but we don't have to use so much. You're probably thinking, "What's the big deal, my office doesn't spend much on paper." But what most people don't realize is that the cost of buying paper is just the tip of the paper iceberg.

For each sheet of paper used, a company incurs not only purchasing costs, but also storage, copying, printing, postage, disposal and recycling costs. A Minnesota study estimates that associated paper costs could be as much as 31 times the purchasing costs. So, that ream of paper that you paid $5 for really could cost up to $155!

Here are the top 10 quick fixes to save paper in the office:

  1. Become conscious of your paper consumption.
  2. Print and copy on both sides of the paper (duplex).
  3. Save space and paper by storing your documents electronically.
  4. Send, request and circulate electronic copies instead of paper.
  5. Print only the pages you need instead of an entire document.
  6. Use email to send memos and share electronic documents.
  7. Use the "Tools/Track Changes" function to edit and share documents for review instead of printing multiple drafts.
  8. Use the backside of paper already printed on one side for draft and internal documents. Place a tray by printers and fax machines to collect paper that can be reused.
  9. Before printing, remove blank pages and adjust your margins and font size if only a few lines fall on the final page.
  10. Subscribe to online publications in place of printed versions. Store them electronically.


Related links

Stop Junk Mail
Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator
Seattle Approved Compostable Product Options


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.