Want to save paper and reduce your paper waste? Then you've come to the right place. Paper products such as printer paper, kitchen towels, newspapers and shipping boxes are made from wood, a valuable resource, natural resource. So where paper is made, forests have to give way.
Every German consumes an average of around 227 kilograms of paper a year. And almost every second industrially felled tree in the world is processed into paper.₁ Those who use less paper can also reduce personal costs, remain more flexible and save space in office cabinets. So there are good reasons to take a critical look at your own paper consumption and optimize it in a targeted way.
In this article, I'm going to give you the most valuable tips for reducing your paper waste. Let's go!
Here you can find a short overview in advance:
- Reuse cartons
- Use old newsprint
- Stop free brochures in the mailbox
- Do without wrapping paper
- Consume newspapers & news online
- Reject flyer with thanks
- Store invoices digitally
- Digitize bank statement
- Prefer certified recycled paper
- Print two pages on one sheet
- Scan paper instead of copying
- Buy, exchange or borrow used books and magazines
- Reduce paper waste with washable napkins
- Use reusable cloth handkerchiefs
- Use blackboards or used paper for notes
- Transport food in containers and cloth bags that you bring with you
- Drink coffee from the cup or reusable cup
- Give away or donate old magazines and journals
18 tips: How can I save paper in everyday life?
The Deforestation is also advancing by leaps and bounds because we are not consciously paying attention to saving paper. From my own experience, I can tell you that a significant proportion of your own paper consumption in everyday life can be avoided immediately with just a few simple tips and tricks..
Just use the following advice to make your paper waste stress-free but effective reduce.
1. reuse cartons
In this day and age, we like to order on the Internet. Through cartons and Filler material from paper, however, this results in a high paper consumption. By using these cartons for your next mailing and reuse it, you give the box a second life and don't have to throw it straight into the blue garbage can.
Also with Moving boxes you can save on cardboard and paper. It's best to buy the boxes used and sell them again directly when you have successfully moved are.
2. use old newsprint paper
Give your old daily newspaper a second life by simply adding a Newspaper garbage bag fold. By reusing you can also directly Avoid plastic, as the Trash bags superfluous will.
Alternatively, you can also use newsprint paper for the Gift wrapping or to the Wrapping food for on the go use
3. stop free brochures in the mailbox
Before I put the sticker "Please do not post advertising" on the flap of my mailbox, so much superfluous paper waste and also plastic waste has been created for me. So a simple sticker can make a real difference!
Furthermore, you should also definitely on the Robinson list register. Behind this mysterious name is a non-profit organization that wants to protect us consumers from unwanted advertising. One entry is enough to protect you from countless unsolicited emails and letters. Since most companies adhere to this, it actually works very well as a rule.
4. do without wrapping paper
The wrapping paper increases the excitement and surprise of gift giving. But basically, wrapping paper is not absolutely necessary. You can also give gifts wonderfully Wrap in cloth or at reusable canning jar give away. Also the old Newsprint you can of course use for the surprise effect in gifts and save paper at the same time.
Tip: In a further article, I'll explain in more detail how you can create personal Wrap gifts plastic free can.
5. consume newspapers & news online
News from the world today can be seen, heard or read in so many different ways. Therefore, the newspaper in paper form is not absolutely necessary. To reduce your paper consumption, you can easily send news to on the publisher's own website and app or, for example, in the newsfeed of social media. Also on such eReaders* you can read newspapers, magazines and even books in digital form and save a lot of paper.
6. reject flyer with thanks
The next time someone comes up to you in the pedestrian zone frantically waving flyers, you simply decline kindly and with thanks. Because often you accept them out of politeness and then throw them into the nearest trash can a few seconds later.
To learn, to say no, is therefore also a important measure, to be able to reduce personal paper consumption and save a lot of paper.
7. store invoices digitally
Whether it's personal or professional, you can save an extreme amount of paper by sending invoices to digital in a folder system store. This way you don't need a warehouse with large physical folders at home and can simply use your PC's search function to find a specific document within seconds.
The following Storage Locations are ideal for storing your invoices and other documents and keeping them handy at all times:
- Notebook or PC
- External hard disk (is available here*)
- Online Invoicing Software
- File hosting services (e.g. Dropbox)
8. digitize bank statement
Nowadays, you can safely do without account statement folders overflowing with account statements. Tax offices and tax advisors now also accept the ordinary turnover view from online banking in PDF format.
If you want to reduce your paper consumption, for example, you simply have to let your bank knowthat they should switch your account statements for your accounts from paper to digital. You can do this with a click in online banking or by talking to your advisor.
Tip: You should also notify your health insurance company that you no longer want to receive new messages and documents by mail, but in digital form.
9. prefer certified recycled paper
At sustainable printing the principle applies: Think before you print! So think first, then print.
Unfortunately, the pressure can not be avoided? If you still want to use the natural Conserve resources in everyday life you should definitely use recycled paper in such a case. With recycled paper, you can be sure that its quality is not Resources reused at least once were.
Also, make sure that the paper of your choice is finished with a Environmental seal for sustainable paper products (e.g. "ÖkopaPlus", "Blue Angel" or "FSC".) was certified.
10. print two pages on one sheet
If you need to print something, there are still many ways to save paper. Print your documents when possible, both sides on front and back off.
Depending on the printer model, you can do this easily on the printer itself or in the Print settings on your PC. Of course, this is not recommended for all documents, but it usually makes sense. This way, you can easily reduce your paper consumption in the office by almost 50 percent.
11. scan paper instead of copying
Copies generate a lot of paper waste. If you want to reduce your personal paper consumption, you should instead scan documents and save in digital form or send by e-mail to the respective recipients.
Therefore, if possible, also get a printer that can scan documents. That way, you can save a lot of paper in the long run - and also conserve your printer cartridge.
12. buy, exchange or borrow used books and magazines.
The Advantage of the second hand purchase, swapping or borrowing books, magazines and other paper products are obvious: man Saves money sustainably and avoids the production of new paper goods.
You can get used books for example at the Flea market, second-hand stores, eBay classifieds or online at Medimops*.
Swap you can of course share books directly with your family members, neighbors and friends. In many places there are now also so-called Book exchange boxeswhere you can drop off your own books that you have already read and borrow new ones.
Also by borrowing books in Libraries The bottom line is that paper can be saved because the same physical book is read by many different people.
13. reduce paper waste with washable napkins
Why cloth napkins are more environmentally friendly than paper napkins in the long run? Because cloth napkins need to be made only once and are reusable after washing.
These napkins* are used for example made from sustainable linen fabric produced and are its paper-saving alternative to the disposable napkin.
Notice: The same goes for kitchen paper, which you can wonderfully replace with a reusable cloth rag.
14. use reusable cloth handkerchiefs
What applies to napkins and kitchen paper is, of course, no different for handkerchiefs. My grandpa used to have cloth handkerchiefs - we have simply become accustomed over time to the paper tissues to throw away from the plastic packaging.
But fortunately there are still such cloth handkerchiefs*, which help you reduce your paper waste. They are washable and reusable and conserve the natural resources of our planet. However, please use cloth handkerchiefs only once and wash them directly afterwards, as they naturally contain bacteria.
Tip: More sustainable lifehacks of our grandparents I have compiled by the way in a separate blog article. Feel free to take a look!
15. use blackboards or used paper as notes
For example, on a small chalkboard in the kitchen, you can complete your shopping list, photograph it with your smartphone, and then without the classic shopping list shopping.
Can't do it without a notepad? No problem! Every now and then you print something out and quickly realize that it wasn't necessary or that you made a mistake. Even from this "waste of paper" you can still get the best out of it! How about cutting your future notes from any misprints or other used, but still almost blank paper?
Also, the back of letters or other documents always serves wonderfully as a notepad. Just make it a rule never to throw away a blank sheet or piece of paper and still try to use it as sensibly as possible.
16. transporting food in containers and cloth bags brought with you
Just like plastic bags, of course, paper bags are in many cases superfluous disposable products. You can save paper, for example, by using the Buns from your favorite baker or bakeress can be filled into cloth bags that you bring with you.
Also your Meals for the next lunch break you can pre-cook at home and prepare in a such stainless steel lunch box* transport to avoid any to-go paper or packaging waste.
In addition, of course, it also makes you a Backpack extremely easy to do without plastic or paper carrier bags for meals and grocery shopping.
Tip: You are looking for a Backpack? Then I can give you this extremely sturdy backpack made from marine debris*. recommend. I have been using it for many years.
17. drink hot drinks from the cup or reusable cup.
On average, a coffee-to-go cup is only used for 10 minutes before it flies into the nearest trash can.₂ In Germany alone, around 460,000 coffee-to-go cups are consumed every day.₃ This naturally causes a massive mountain of waste. In addition, the paper cups can unfortunately usually not be recycled, because the separation from the plastic is difficult and the paper fibers do not dissolve.
That's why you can also reduce your paper consumption by at one such washable reusable cups*. change and you him in front of the Way to workin the office or in a café. By the way, it is even more relaxing to enjoy the café not hectically on the go, but in peace while sitting down.
18. donate old magazines and journals
You can also save paper by helping others reduce their paper consumption. For example, by sending magazines and journals that you have already read to Libraries, daycare centers, animal shelters, senior centers or assisted living facilities. donate.
In the same way they can also Clinics, hospitals and medical practices in their waiting rooms. So just call around and ask if there is a need.
Reduce paper consumption? No problem!
As is so often the case with problems, excessive paper consumption in our Disposable society Born out of habits. But, fortunately, habits can be changed.
Whether it's printing, sending packages, giving gifts, in the office, or at the mailbox, with all these paper avoidance tips, you should now be able to make a real difference in your everyday life. Simply use them to reduce your Making life a little more sustainable and save many trees from axe and chainsaw.
"Trees are poems that the earth writes to the sky. We cut them down and turn them into paper to document our emptiness."Khalil Gibran
Do you have any questions, suggestions, or other paper-saving tips you'd like to share? Then I look forward to your comment!
PS: You want to avoid garbage in general? Then be sure to check out my best Zero Waste tips for everyday life on!
₁ WWF Germany: Turning forests into paper (as of 10.11.2021), available at https://www.wwf.de/themen-projekte/waelder/papierverbrauch/zahlen-und-fakten. [23.03.2023].
₂ Verbraucherzentrale NRW e.V.: Coffee to go - avoid disposable cups (as of 10.02.2021), available at https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/umwelt-haushalt/abfall/coffee-to-go-einwegbecher-vermeiden-12332 [23.03.2023].
₃ Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DHU): Becherheld - Mehrweg to go, available at https://www.duh.de/becherheld-problem. [23.03.2023].
Thanks for your dedication, tips & tricks!
I've been integrating Zero Waste into my life for some time now. Actually, it's been many years. "Back then" no one just talked about Zero Waste, but about environmental awareness, frugality, respect, modesty and similar values and attitudes towards life.
The CleanUps are not a real solution to the plastic flood, but at least I always manage to have serious conversations with people who otherwise give no or very little thought to these issues during these actions. I think some steps have been taken this year to tackle the problems at their roots: We urgently need to produce less and use less - so we have less waste.
Here again, the Zero Waste philosophy leads the way.
One question always immediately comes to mind when I discover the use of digital tools as alternatives, such as your blog on using less paper.
Yes, of course, using less paper is an important goal. But we have to keep in mind that the use of digital storage, for example, consumes an enormous amount of resources. This starts with the production of the hardware with the environmentally harmful extraction of metals and other raw materials, largely inhumane working conditions, transports around the globe, etc. Software development requires a large hardware infrastructure - again, etc. All this requires enormous amounts of energy! And within a short time we have the electronic waste, which, as we know, is often disposed of in huge landfills - mostly again in countries with great poverty and correspondingly unstable governments. Digital storage therefore requires gigantic amounts of resources!
I therefore welcome the digital alternatives to paper and, among other things, only under the aspect that a very conscious handling is also necessary here.
I have noticed that this issue is rarely discussed or written about. I often get the impression that hardly any questions are asked and that digital solutions are simply assumed to be the better ones. Unfortunately, the alternative digital solutions fail on closer inspection.
All the best and continue to enjoy and move with Zero Waste!
Hi Stefan! Thanks for your detailed comment - I see it like you. On the flip side, if we go completely paperless, our personal energy consumption increases. So we need to find a healthy balance of both to be truly eco-friendly.
Often, however, printouts are completely pointless - so you would have consumed both energy and paper. Thinking along then makes sense in any case. 🙂
Thank you so much for the link to Robinson! I did not even know that exists! I signed myself and everyone around me up right away! I am excited 🙂
About the handkerchiefs and napkins: We have found quite a few, old cloth towels and use them for both! At 60 ° C we wash everything (with towels, kitchen towels).
Many greetings, Izabella
Hi Izabella! Always happy to help 🙂
I think that's strong!
That's an interesting tip about duplex printing to reduce paper consumption! I think I might give that a try. It would be nice to buy fewer cartridges for printers.
Hey Neeltje, thanks for your feedback! Exactly, it pays off in the end for you and also for our environment 🙂.