When it comes to going green, there are a lot of ways to make a difference. Car-pooling, CFL light bulbs, eating locally sourced foods – all of these are great alternatives for improving your environmental impact. But there’s another noteworthy, yet often overlooked, method for loving the earth: virtual filing cabinets.
For decades, we’ve heard about the evils of chopping down trees, creating paper, and failing to recycle, and without question, these warnings were more than mere myth.
- In 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the average office worker in the US uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, or four million tons of copy paper annually.
- According to the US Department of Energy, the energy used to create a single piece of paper could run a 60W light bulb for 48 minutes.
- One third, or 33%, of the municipal solid waste stream is made up of paper or paperboard products, according to the US EPA.
Until now the only way to combat these startling statistics has been to take advantage of the friendly blue recycling bins that grace nearly every home, office, and store. But finally, there’s a new (and better) solution! Virtual filing cabinets, also known as electronic document management systems, allow people to survive without actual hard copies of data. In other words, no more paper and far less waste!
With such software programs, you can maintain old and new files in electronic format. Old files simply need to be scanned in, while new files simply need to be electronically generated.
What’s more, the benefits of using virtual filing cabinets extend far beyond the environmental savings too! With a e-document management software, you can organize, track, and find documents in only a fraction of the time it would take you to sift through the paper jungle of a tradition filing cabinet.
Even more convenient is that the cloud-based nature of many of these software programs means that you have access to all of your documents from any device – your tablet, laptop, and even your smartphone! No longer will forgetting a document in the copy machine or on the kitchen counter be a problem. As long as you’ve wi-fi service, access to all of your documents is just a few clicks away.
Nevertheless, in the end, the most prominent benefit of virtual filing cabinets is certainly the positive environmental impact. By minimizing our paper usage, we can also reduce paper production and waste, all of which pose harmful impacts on our Earth. And while it’s unlikely that our paper needs will be completely eliminated in our lifetime, we can start making the change today.
About The Author: This piece was contributed by Jeff Frankel of docSTAR, a B2B Software firm specializing in cloud document management and business efficiency. Follow docSTAR on Twitter (@docstarsoftware).