Did you exchange Earth Day gifts this morning? Sing Earth Day songs with your family? Make that traditional Earth Day meal? Ok, so probably not.

If you are like most (me included), Earth Day is one of those observances only remembered when you run across a post or meme on social media or hear about it on the news.  Then you think, “Ah crud,” I bet there was some clean up project or neighborhood recycling drive I could have participated in.  Maybe next year.

Take heart, you can still do something. Right now. In your office.

It all starts with paper. Copy paper. Printer paper. Notepads. Sticky notes. Why am I picking on such “necessary” parts of doing business? Consider these statistics from the EPA and ThePaperlessProject:

  • Global consumption of paper has gone up 400% in the last 40 years.
  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year.
  • Paper in the average business grows by 22% a year.
  • More than 40% of industrial logging still goes into making paper.

Just how “vital” is paper really?

Research shows that nearly half of the paper printed in offices is trashed by the end of the day. Half!  No wonder the cleaning crews have plenty of waste baskets to empty every night.  And I challenge that the half not thrown away is not really needed either. Otherwise why would so many companies be enjoying such success with electronic versions of documents? Here’s a couple…

  • Centric Digital – Saved up to $200K annually by eliminating paper and equipment.
  • Halfords – Eliminated paper, printing & postage for more than 100,000 applications per year.
  • San Diego Zoo Global– Has saved more than 30,000 sheets of paper since launching in 2014.

Money savings from saving the planet? You read right. Here are two ways to find out more:

Infographic PAY-PER: Money doesn’t grow on trees. (No wonder it costs so much to keep using paper.)

Whitpaper: “Why It Pays to Use Electronic Signatures

Go ahead and mark next year’s Earth Day in your calendar. (But not on a piece of paper.)

Start planning that local park or stream clean up. Let me know about it, I may join you. But in the meantime, consider what you can do at your workplace this minute to lessen your dependence on paper.  There are more digital ways to create, distribute, and manage documents than ever before. And electronic signatures can just about completely eliminate paper and shipping hassles and costs.