Reusing Office Paper

The office where I work wastes a lot of paper. I think this is a byproduct of being a newspaper. Sure, we have big recycle bins in the hallway where we dump all the printoffs we no longer need. But we print several pages a day to edit stories we could just as easily mark up in Word. In fact, for certain stories, that’s how we edit. But not nearly enough. There is certainly something to be said for marking up some type of writing by hand and keeping hard copies of certain documents, but there’s also so much time when we print more out of habit than necessity. I know my office is not alone in this.

Part of the pile of paper.
Part of the pile of paper.

I’ll keep trying to push for less paper use and more conscious printing. But in the mean time, I’m trying to figure out what to do with all that paper that gets printed and is barely needed past the ink drying. People often suggest using this paper as scrap, but that just clutters my desk and then I end up shuffling through papers looking for the one sheet I wrote a some phone number on the back of. But building off that, I just decided to try to get a little more organized. I took a stack of more than 40 papers with print on one side, divided them into three (because that’s about all my stapler could take) and made packets of paper out of them. One is my to-do list (I fit about one work week on each sheet.), another is my list of things I’ve done each day (marked by the time of day. I’m working on my time-management skills.) and the third is the scrap.

By making these packets, I’ve been able to eliminate one legal pad and another, smaller reporter’s notebook. It feels great!

I eliminated the use of fresh pads of paper for daily uses like my to-do list.
I eliminated the use of fresh pads of paper for daily uses like my to-do list.

However, the once-used paper keeps coming faster than I can get through what I already have. I’m starting a collection for my next packet. I’d love to hear suggestions of what else to do with all this paper to give it a second (third? fourth?) use!


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