Reduce, reuse, recycle. That phrase has been a hallmark of the environmental movement for some time, and it’s a good rule to live by. You might even choose to purchase recycled when you order discount copy paper.

But while most businesses are looking for ways to go green, there’s also the business side of things to worry about. The promise of the “paperless office” never arrived for most companies, and most are still in need of bulk copy paper and inexpensive toner ink. Most businesses use quite a lot of paper in their day-to-day work, and that trend doesn’t seem to be changing. People just love to have a printout of their email for some reason!

The question is, just how guilty should you be feeling for using so much paper? Should you be doing more to be more environmentally friendly? How many trees are you responsible for? Let’s take a look.

The Bacon Principle

A wise man once said “if you want more bacon, don’t raise fewer pigs.” (Don’t ask us who it was, we can’t remember!). What was the basis behind what he was saying? Basically, when you have a renewable resource, you ramp up production. So when it comes to trees, the way to get more paper is to plant more trees.

Now don’t get us wrong: deforestation is still a huge issue. But deforestation occurs for two basic reasons. The first is the demand for non-paper wood in order to build houses and create furniture. The second, and far more destructive, is the leveling of forests in order to raise cattle or grow crops to feed the exploding human population. That’s certainly a type of tree cutting that should be quelled.

But when it comes to paper, you don’t have to worry too much about the trees themselves. The trees of today that are used for paper were planted for the expressed reason of becoming paper. In other words, they wouldn’t have been planted in the first place if the growing demand for paper wasn’t real. Trees used for paper only take between five and 20 years to grow, and new trees are planted to replace them.

If you’re not convinced by the Bacon Principle, plant another tree on your business’ property. Over time you will have made up for between 10,000 and 20,000 pieces of paper!

Some Of It Will Be Recycled

The history of recycling in America is truly interesting, from wartime recycling drives to bottle deposits. But the idea of curbside recycling really didn’t get going until the first Earth Day in 1970. People started caring more about what they were doing to the Earth, and recycling efforts started up in the big cities and then moved on to the smaller cities.

Here’s our advice: recycle as much as you can. A lot of recycled paper is used to create cardboard, and it’s pretty obvious that more cardboard is used as online shopping increases. You might not be saving a tree, but you’ll save some of the energy it takes to make a raw tree into paper.

Should You Reuse?

Reusing office paper can be a chore. While an office 20 years ago might have taken an old pile of paper and turned it into scratch pads, the fact is that everything — the new paper, the scratch pads, and memo sticky notes — are cheaper than having someone find a way to reuse paper. Add to that the fact that reused paper can lead to information leaks from your company and it’s hard to argue that reusing paper can be hard to support.

If you can find a way of reusing your paper, go for it. But in most cases it’s simply not cost effective or time effective.

Should You Reduce?

Sure, we sell copy paper wholesale, and we try to sell as much of it as we can at the absolute best price available. We will get you the best price on copy and print paper, and we’d be more than happy to prove it to you with a free audit.

But we’d have no problem if you found ways to reduce the amount of paper you use. After all, it’s not just the Bacon Principle that you have to keep in mind; you also have to consider the energy that goes into creating the paper in the first place. There’s the fertilizer used to make the trees grow, the diesel fuel used to chop them down, the energy that goes into turning them into pulp, the forming and cutting of the paper rolls, and the gasoline used to transport them to us and then to your office. There is a cost of using too much paper when you look at it that way.

If it’s recycled, you have to think about the chemicals and energy used to break it down and turn it into something else. So reducing the amount you use isn’t the worst idea in the world. Even if we sell you less, we know you’ll still stick around with us for all of your other basic office supplies.

Don’t Worry Too Much About Discount Copy Paper

You really don’t have to worry (too much) about how much paper you use. As long as you aren’t running thousands of pieces of copy and print paper through your machine and directly into the trash can, the biggest worry you should have is getting the best price available on it. That’s something we can promise you each and every time at United Imaging. We have the absolute best price on basic office supplies, including printer copy paper, in the country. Contact us and we’ll prove it to you again and again.