They say a Paper Tiger is something that is not scary. It is time to change that view — but this time, let us say the tiger is not scary but the paper part is. Here’s why, as we mark the World Paper Free Day (You know there is a day for everything, but this, believe us, makes it worth it).
Imagine, as you drive in a choked city like Delhi/Gurgaon/NCR, or Mumbai or Bangalore on how lovely these cities will be if you had more trees that breathe out oxygen at night and give you that leafy drive as you commute to or from office. Fact is, 42% if all global wood harvest is used to make paper (Source: Theworldcounts.com).
If only you are disciplined in your office and cut back on the use of paper (or preferably, stop it altogether), you will have more trees left on the road.
Remember the times when Bangalore was called the Garden City? Now it is called Bengaluru, and it is not just the name that has changed. Glass monstrosities have taken the place of leafy trees and right now, citizens are protesting against a proposed steel flyover. Seriously, you need a paperless culture to atone for the sins of urban explosion.
The beauty is that it is information technology, what Bangalore and Gurgaon are famous for, that can make such cities more green and environment-friendly.
A mission to make the world paperless estimates that about 18 million acres of forest are lost each year, equalling a loss of 20 football fields every minute. The scary prospect is that if the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.
It isn’t just trees that we need to save. Water is also scarce. Shekhar Kapur has been trying to make a film called Paani (Water) about a world heading for scarcity of the life-giving H2O. As many as 324 litres of water is used to make 1 kg of paper, i.e. 10 litres of water for making one piece of A4 paper. It is estimated that by 2020 paper mills will be producing 500,000,000 tons of paper and paperboard each year!
Now do the math. You can avert a potential environmental nightmare by going paperless and promoting the idea. Just think not twice, but many times, before you take that printout.
Are you scared how it might affect your productivity or efficiency? Worry not. New technology can fix a lot of that. In fact, it might make things easier. All you have to do is get used to a new culture. A paperless culture that leverages new technologies.