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Reduce paper consumption and save paper in everyday life

18 tips for saving paper

How can you actually get your Reduce paper waste? I would like to answer this question for you today. Because paper is made from wood, a valuable natural resource. Since we humans will consume more and more consciously and plastic-free in the next decades, more paper will be needed. We can counteract the higher demand for wood by saving paper. So today I'm giving you 18 tips to reduce your paper waste. Let's go!

Save paper with these 18 tips

Let's not beat around the bush. Use these tips directly in your everyday life to significantly reduce your paper waste without much effort:

Reuse cardboard packaging

Nowadays, a lot of orders are placed online. Cartons and filling material made of paper result in a high paper consumption. By reusing these cartons for your next mailing, you give the carton a second life and do not have to throw it directly into the paper waste (blue garbage can). In this way, you can significantly reduce your paper consumption -> See also the article Reuse and save waste.

Upcycling old newsprint

Folding garbage bags from newspaper
Give your old newspaper a second life by creating a Newspaper garbage bag fold. By reusing the newsprint paper you can also Avoid plastic wastesince you usually use a plastic bag for the garbage. Alternatively, you can also reuse newspaper to wrap food on the go, as is done in India since the ban on single-use plastic.

"Please do not post advertising"

How much unnecessary paper waste and also plastic waste fluttered into my mailbox before I had stuck the sticker "Please do not post advertising" on the flap... And with every time the resentment towards the advertising companies grew. By using this simple sticker, you can avoid the unwanted advertising junk in your mailbox and reduce your paper waste. If you don't have a "Do not post advertising" sticker on your mailbox yet, you can get one from Wiado free paper stickers and put them on your mailbox.

Say no to brochures

The next time someone comes up to you in the pedestrian zone, frantically waving flyers, simply decline in a friendly manner. Because these flyers are often accepted out of politeness and then end up a second later in the next trash can or on the street. Therefore, learn to say no. Because by doing so, you can reduce your personal paper consumption and save a lot of paper. See also the article Say no and avoid waste.

Read magazines online

On the eReader, you can also read magazines online and save a lot of paper. Magazines are offered at the same price at Readly, for example. At Zero Waste Apps you will get some more helpful tips to reduce your paper consumption.

Do without wrapping paper

Wrapping paper increases the excitement and surprise of gift giving - I get it. But basically, wrapping paper is not necessary. You can also wrap gifts wonderfully in fabrics or in the reusable canning jar give away. In the article about Wrap gifts plastic free you will get even more inspiration.

Consume newspapers & news online

Reduce paper consumption and save paper Read newspapers online

News from the world today can be seen, heard or read in so many different ways. The newspaper in paper form is therefore not absolutely necessary. To reduce your paper consumption, you can simply consume the news on the newspapers' own website or app or, for example, on Facebook in the newsfeed.

Store invoices digitally

You can save a super amount of paper by storing your invoices digitally in a folder system. This way you don't need a warehouse of large physical folders at home and you can use your PC's search function to find a specific document within seconds. The following are good places to store your invoices and other documents:

  • Notebook / PC itself
  • External hard disk (you get here*)
  • Dropbox
  • iCloud

This way you have your invoices and documents stored securely and clearly and can reduce your paper consumption.

Switch bank statement to digital

I still have a few old bank statement folders from the past at home. How superfluous is the paper account statement? Tax offices and tax advisors now also accept the normal PDF sales view from online banking. To reduce your paper usage, you can simply tell your bank to please switch your statements from paper to digital for all your accounts. That's one click. And already, you've saved some paper again.

Print 2 pages on one sheet

If possible, print your documents on the front and back side. Depending on the printer model, you can easily set this on the printer itself or in the print settings on your PC. This may not make sense for all documents, but for most of them. So you can save almost 50% of your paper.

Scan paper instead of copying

Copies create a lot of paper waste. If you want to reduce your personal paper consumption, you should instead scan documents and save them in digital form or send them by e-mail to the intended recipient. Always get a printer that can scan documents. That way, you can save a lot of paper in the long run. And your printer cartridge will be happy, too!

Exchange books and magazines

Reduce paper consumption - exchange and lend books

Exchanging books is especially easy. Many cities even have book exchange boxes where you can drop off your own books that you've already read and borrow new ones. Alternatively, you can simply give books away to a library or on Ebay Classifieds. Either way, you can save paper and conserve natural resources like wood. In addition, swapping is cheap and also inspiring, as you will meet many new authors.

Reduce paper waste with linen napkins

Why cloth napkins are more sustainable than paper napkins? Because cloth napkins only need to be made once and are of course washable and reusable. Such napkins are also produced from sustainable linen fabric. If you want to save paper, reusable napkins are ideal. By the way, they also look really great at any birthday party. -> Here you can get more Tips for a plastic free party.
Note: The same goes for kitchen paper, which you can wonderfully replace with a reusable cloth rag.

Save paper with cloth handkerchiefs

What is true for napkins and kitchen paper is no different for handkerchiefs. My grandfather always had cloth handkerchiefs and over time we simply got used to the paper handkerchiefs from the plastic packaging. But there are still just such cloth handkerchiefs, which will help you reduce your paper waste. This does not waste natural resources because it is washable and reusable. Tip: Please use cloth handkerchief only once, like ordinary handkerchief, and then wash it. Because there are naturally bacteria in the cloth handkerchief, just like the normal handkerchief. Good to know: Did you know that used paper tissues belong in the residual waste and not in the blue paper garbage can? In the article Separate waste correctly you learn everything about ideal, resource-saving waste separation.

Subscribe to Robinson list

Do you already know the Robinson list? Sounds mysterious, but it is nothing more than a list of people who want to be protected from unsolicited advertising. You can simply sign up there. The entry protects you from unsolicited emails, letters and also calls. This actually works very well, because most companies adhere to it.

Use used paper as notepaper

Every once in a while you print out documents and realize it wasn't necessary. Maybe there was a mistake in the text or you just got an ordinary letter that you would file under "waste of paper". In all cases, you have paper in front of you that you can reuse as a notepad at your desk. Especially the back of letters or other documents always serve wonderfully as a notepad. If you want to reduce your paper consumption, this tip is very important.

Food in brought containers instead of paper bag

What was initially intended to avoid plastic waste now naturally also applies to reducing paper waste. Even if the plastic bag is gradually replaced by paper bags, basically both bags are superfluous. So you can save plastic and paper by having your food put into containers you bring with you instead of having them given to you wrapped in plastic and paper. Also, feel free to check out the article about how you can Reduce food waste can. What's true for food is also true for your regular shopping. Take a jute bag or a backpack with you and you can carry many things loosely and plastic free shopping. Works flawlessly and helps reduce your plastic waste and paper waste.

Use recycled paper

Save paper and reduce paper consumption - Here's how!

Get recycled paper for your prints. You can be sure that the resource wood has already been reused at least once. This is of course more sustainable and environmentally friendly than buying newly produced paper. By the way, you can also get printer paper in paper packaging, even if many suppliers still wrap it in plastic. Here you can get a good recycled paper* and thus also supports me and the WWF in the work for the Environment.

Reduce paper consumption - No problem!

Like many other problems, high paper consumption has arisen from habits. In order to conserve resources, we now have to work against it. With the tips for avoiding paper, this should basically no longer be so difficult. In the spirit of the Zero Waste Lifestyle you should, for example, reuse things, upcycle and use durable products such as cloth handkerchiefs. All these tips will reduce your paper consumption and make your everyday life more sustainable.

Do you have any other tips, questions or your own experiences about saving paper that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment under this article.

Stay clean,

Waste separation - How to separate waste properly

PS.: Also like to look at the best Zero Waste Apps an. They help you to avoid paper waste, plastic waste and generally garbage of any kind. You probably already have some of them on your smartphone! 🙂

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


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 “18 Tipps zum Papier sparen”

  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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