MORE THAN THREE DOZEN WAYS TO BUY ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND PAPER WHEN
PRICES ARE HIGH
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USE SOURCE REDUCTION: Purchase Less,
- Use your computer to eliminate paper:
- Write communications on letterhead templates in your word
- Incorporate an always-up-to-date letterhead design on all
your letters and eliminate outdated, leftover stock.
- Print forms and memos directly from the computer instead
of using pre-printed forms.
- Preview database and spread sheet printouts on your screen
to ensure best use of computer paper.
- Send and receive faxes from your computer instead of using
- Use e-mail instead of memos and faxes.
- Transfer documents on disk or through e-mail for editing
- Offer annual reports and major documents on disk to interested
- Develop an Internet web page for frequently requested information.
- Eliminate unnecessary copies on multi-part forms. Print
instructions and necessary information on the back to eliminate
- Post messages on bulletin boards.
- Use routing slips rather than individual copies.
- Have several people edit the same copy of a document using
different colored inks.
- Paper Faxes:
- Use plain paper faxes to eliminate the need to copy thermal
- Use fax stick-on labels instead of cover sheets.
- Program your fax to eliminate confirmation sheets.
- Review distribution lists frequently.
- Eliminate outdated or unnecessary destinations.
- See if destinations with many recipients will route fewer
- Carefully calculate quantities to avoid excess which
takes up storage space and may spoil.
- Use two-way envelopes with self-contained enclosures.
Saves paper, inventory, warehousing, handling, printing and labeling
- Use both sides of the sheet of paper, whether for copying
or printing. (Check for high opacity on lighter weight printing
- Adopt double-sided billing for bills, applications, licenses,
and other paper-intensive activities.
- Consolidate forms.
- Consolidate multiple checks to individual vendors and
bills to individual customers. Also reduces envelope purchases.
- Provide half-size sheets for short memos and letters.
- Reduce printing paper basis weight. Saves both paper
and postage costs.
- Reduce size of printed piece (but make sure you don't
increase the amount of trim waste created). Work with your printer
and designer to determine the best size for maximizing use of
parent sheets for printing.
- Reduce font size and margins.
- Purchase printers and copiers that can easily duplex.
Program the defaults to double-sided.
- Use the blank sides of unneeded single-sided copies for
- Use inter-office envelopes with address lines on both
sides, then put labels over them when they fill up and send them
- Reuse incoming envelopes in good condition for your own
correspondence. Use large address labels to cover over the original
- Reduce the paper grade by giving up a little brightness
- Use groundwood papers when appropriate. Make sure it
can be recycled in your sytem.
- Look for closeouts. Buy discontinued grades or odd-lot
papers from job-lot wholesalers and discount paper suppliers.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MARKET
- Sell your recyclable wastepaper to offset higher recycled
- Invest source reduction savings in environmentally sound
paper for the rest of your paper needs.
- Enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with other
agencies or jurisdictions.
- Use paper specifications consistent with other large purchasers
in your area so that distributors can bring in larger lots.
Adapted from "Source Reduction Opportunities," by Susan Kinsella
and Nancy VandenBerg, in Resourceful Purchasing: A Hands-On Buyers
Manual, by Markets for Recycled Products, for Alameda County (CA)
Source Reduction and Recycling Board, April 1996.