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Paper Waste Reduction – 18 Tips And Ways To Use Less Paper

Paper Waste Reduction – 18 Tips And Ways To Use Less Paper

Do you 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 turned into paper.₁ Those who use less paper can also reduce personal costs, remain more flexible and save space in their office cupboards. So there are good reasons to take a critical look at your own paper consumption and optimize it in a targeted manner.

In this article, I'll give you the most valuable tips for reducing your paper waste. Let's go!

18 tips: How can I save paper in everyday life?

Reuse shipping boxes and save paper

The Deforestation of the forests is also making great strides because we are not consciously paying attention to saving paper. I can tell you from my own experience that a significant proportion of your own paper consumption in everyday life can be avoided immediately with just a few simple tips and tricks.

Simply use the following tips to reduce 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 Filling 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 Bin liners made from newspaper fold. By reusing you can also directly Avoid plastic, as the Bin liners 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 letterbox, so much unnecessary paper waste and plastic waste was 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 unwanted emails and letters. As most companies adhere to this, it usually works very well.

4. do without wrapping paper

Wrapping paper increases the excitement and surprise when giving gifts. But wrapping paper is not really necessary. You can also wrap gifts wonderfully Wrap in cloth or at reusable canning jar give away. Also the old Newsprint can of course be used for the surprise effect on gifts and save paper at the same time.

Tip: In a follow-up article, I will explain in more detail how you can use personal Wrap gifts plastic free simply by following your heart.

5. consume newspapers & news online

News from around the world can be seen, heard or read in so many different ways today. The newspaper in paper form is therefore not absolutely necessary. To reduce your paper consumption, you can simply 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 thus save a lot of paper.

6. reject flyer with thanks

Minimize paper waste by rejecting flyers

The next time someone frantically approaches you in the pedestrian zone waving flyers, you simply decline kindly and with thanks. Because people often accept them out of politeness and then throw them in the nearest garbage can a few seconds later.

To learn, to say no, is therefore also a Important measureto reduce personal paper consumption and save a lot of paper.

7. store invoices digitally

Whether privately or professionally - you can save an enormous amount of paper by digital in a folder system save. This means 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)
  • iCloud

8. digitize bank statement

These days, you can confidently do without bank statement folders overflowing with bank statements. Tax offices and tax consultants now also accept the Standard transaction 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 inform your health insurance company that you no longer wish to receive new messages and documents by post, 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, you can't avoid the pressure? 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 Resources reused at least once were.

Also make sure that the paper of your choice has 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 out, you still have plenty of opportunities to save paper. Print your documents whenever possible, double-sided on front and back off.

Depending on the printer model, you can do this easily on the printer itself or in the Print settings an deinem PC festlegen. Natürlich ist das nicht bei allen Dokumenten zu empfehlen, aber im Regelfall macht es Sinn. So kannst du gut und gerne fast 50 Prozent deines Papierverbrauchs im Büro reduzieren.

11. scan paper instead of copying

Copies generate a lot of paper waste. If you want to reduce your personal paper consumption, you should scan documents instead 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. You can save a lot of paper in the long term - and save your printer cartridge too.

12. buy, exchange or borrow used books and magazines

Buy used books at flea markets

The Advantage of the second hand purchaseThe advantages of exchanging or borrowing books, magazines and other paper products are obvious: man Saves money sustainably and avoids the production of new paper goods.

You can buy used books on 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 hand in your own books that you have already read and borrow new books.

Also by borrowing books in Libraries This ultimately saves paper, as 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 only need to be made 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: Das Gleiche gilt auch für Küchenpapier, das du wunderbar durch einen wiederverwendbaren Stofflappen ersetzen kannst.

14. use reusable cloth handkerchiefs

What applies to napkins and kitchen paper is of course no different for handkerchiefs. My grandpa always used to have cloth handkerchiefs - Over time, we have simply gotten used to the disposable paper tissues from the plastic packaging.

Fortunately, however, there are still such handkerchiefs*, which help you reduce your paper waste. They are washable and reusable and protect the natural resources of our planet. However, please only use cloth handkerchiefs once and wash them immediately afterwards, as they naturally contain bacteria.

Tip: More Sustainable life hacks from our grandparents by the way, I have put together a separate blog article for you. Feel free to take a look!

15. use blackboards or used paper as notes

For example, you can complete your shopping list on a small chalkboard in the kitchen, take a photo of 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. You can even get the best out of this "waste of paper"! How about simply cutting your future notepads from any misprints or other used but almost blank paper?

The back of letters or other documents also make wonderful notepads. Just make it a rule to never throw away a blank sheet or piece of paper and still try to use it as sensibly as possible.

16. transport food in containers and cloth bags you have brought with you

Just like plastic bags, paper bags are of course also unnecessary disposable products in many cases. You can save paper, for example, by using the Bread rolls from your favorite baker can be filled into cloth bags brought along.

Also your Meals for the next lunch break you can pre-cook at home and prepare in a such stainless steel lunch box* transport in order to avoid any ToGo paper or packaging waste.

Of course, it also makes you a Backpack extremely easy to avoid using 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 litter* recommend. I have been using it for many years.

17. drinking hot drinks from a cup or reusable mug

Avoid waste from hot drinks through reusable cups

On average, a coffee-to-go cup is only used for 10 minutes before it flies into the nearest garbage can.₂ Allein in Deutschland werden jeden Tag rund 460.000 Coffee-To-Go-Becher verbraucht.₃ This naturally creates a massive mountain of waste. What's more, the paper cups cannot usually be recycled as it is difficult to separate them from the plastic 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 workat the office or in a café. Incidentally, it's even more relaxing to enjoy your coffee sitting down rather than rushing around.

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, the excessive consumption of paper in our Disposable society Born out of habits. Fortunately, habits can be changed.

Whether printing, sending parcels, gifts, in the office or at the letterbox - with all these tips for avoiding paper, 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 many trees from axes and chainsaws.

"Trees are poems that the earth writes in 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 tips on saving paper that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay sustainable,

Waste separation - How to separate waste properly

PS: Do you want to avoid waste in general? Then be sure to take a look at my best tips next. Zero waste tips for everyday life on!

₁ WWF Germany: Turning forests into paper (as at: 10.11.2021), available at [23.03.2023].

₂ Verbraucherzentrale NRW e.V.: Coffee to go - avoid disposable cups (as of 10.02.2021), available at [23.03.2023].

₃ Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DHU): Becherheld - Mehrweg to go, available at [23.03.2023].

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement Newsletter

* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

6 thoughts on “Papier sparen – 18 Tipps, um deinen Papierverbrauch im Alltag zu reduzieren”

  1. Dear Christoph
    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!

    1. 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. 🙂
      Best regards

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    1. Hey Neeltje, thanks for your feedback! Exactly, it pays off in the end for you and also for our environment 🙂.
      Many greetings

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