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My tools • September 26, 2019
modified on June 11, 2021

Do your share for the environment by reducing paper consumption

A great way to reduce our environmental footprint

Decorative image: paper tree representing using less paper
Make green choices to protect the environment

There are many ways to reduce our environmental footprint. The younger generation, following Greta Thunberg, is rallying worldwide to raise awareness among governments. In Québec, numerous artists and well-known figures have signed the Pact for Transition, which aims to mobilize efforts to go from words to action. Among the many initiatives to do one’s share for the environment, there is one available to all of us that has a direct impact on our daily lives: reduce our paper consumption. In 2017, 1,342,309 tons of printing and writing paper were used in Canada alone. Here are some concrete things you can do to reduce the tons of paper used in both the office and home.

Take action: Secure and efficient online banking transactions

There are a number of solutions to the paper consumption problem, especially when it comes to banking operations, which will probably all become virtual. Banks, governments and businesses have all encouraged the use of electronic services in recent years. These services include:

  • Direct deposits instead of receiving cheques by mail;
  • Electronic statements for bank or credit card accounts with services like epostTM that replace paper statements and let you see your balances and transactions, updated every day, directly on your bank’s secure transaction platform;
  • Electronic transfers of funds to your own accounts or to those of friends or relatives to replace bank notes and cheques;
  • Online billing to receive and pay bills online, another great way to reduce paper use simply and safely.
Other things you can do every day, because every little bit counts!
  • Get into the habit of asking yourself if it’s really necessary to print out a document, and if so, print on both sides of the paper in black and white:
    • Use software features that let you revise documents on screen instead of on a printout;
    • Print out more than one page per sheet and check your document’s layout before printing.
  • Opt for electronic forms over paper ones.
  • Reuse paper:
    • Use up sheets that have been printed on one side only;
      • Gather sheets for note taking and grocery or to-do lists;
      • Use sheets for children’s homework, etc.

The impact of the choices we all make every day in taking on new habits must not be underestimated. Reducing personal paper consumption at the source is something we all have to do to start making positive changes and help save our forests.

1. Source : Natural Resources Canada,

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