Going paperless is an obvious lifestyle choice to make when the future of the planet is at such a crossroads. We are all encouraged to make changes to our daily routine. But what is involved in going paperless? Apart from the obvious, there are ramifications to doing so that not all of us will be fully aware of. We took a look at what is involved, and the pros and cons of doing so.
As technology advances, the need for paper regresses. That has been the clear pattern in the last couple of decades. In the past, a paper trail was perhaps the only way to keep records. For many businesses and individuals alike, it was certainly the best way to do so. But technology has made keeping records child’s play. Computers have of course been at the forefront of this change. Now you can see records seamlessly and digitally. There is no need for a paper record when you can source all your personal information in seconds. And yet bizarrely paper usage is getting bigger with each year. So clearly not everyone is deciding to go down the paperless route. Thus more education is required as we enter a vital period in the planet’s life.
As the name implies, paperless refers to removing paper usage from a business where possible. Usually, as hinted above, the main motivation to be more environmentally-friendly. However, in addition it can quite simply be more efficient and user-friendly to store records digitally rather than physically in folders. Paper as you have probably noticed does degrade fairly quickly, and is not the environment hazard that something like plastic is. Nevertheless, its production, use and recycling plus waste it may cause still leaves a significant carbon footprint. Better not to use it than use it. In fact, paper is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases.
As you might expect, there are plenty of good reasons to consider cutting back on the amount of paper you or your business uses. As already mentioned, it removes a huge carbon footprint. Thus it is good for the environment. Recycling helps, but not having the paper in the first place is even better. Additionally it’s just more efficient and cheaper not to use paper for many businesses. Automated records are easier to access, and to update and share. They are also cheaper, as you cut down on costs such as paper itself, postage, storage and more. Then there is the cost and frustration that comes with owning and using a printer! If you have one, you will know exactly what i mean. Online recording speeds up correspondence and takes up less space. Cloud space will not leave your office cluttered, that is for sure.
When deciding how to store information, the security aspect is always key in making the right decision. Online data is usually very secure, but not always of course, and is open to hacking and theft. I have had bank accounts set up in my name without my knowledge, as they requested paperless communication. Thus i never received anything in the post to alert me to the fraud. Physical copies of information of course require to break into a property and locate it. What’s more, computers are not carbon neutral either. The cloud is thought to have a huge carbon footprint. It is so easy to store things nowadays, we hoard more than ever. Every photo, conversation, email, transaction. All this requires electricity. Also, by automating processes, it is easy to forget to pay bills and the like. With a paper trail, you receive a hard to miss reminder.