Image Credit: Davide Guglielmo
So many of us use electronic devices these days that the amount of paper we use has decreased massively - some people hardly write anything down any more!
But there is still plenty of printed matter around, from leaflets pushed through your door to free newspapers distributed at railway stations.
So how can you make sure that you don't waste any paper?
Does your printer do double sided printing? Even some of the most affordable home printers can now print on both sides of the paper, so investigate how to do that for your printers at home and work, as well as for your photocopier.
If you have a piece of paper that is printed on one side only, you can use the back as rough paper - I keep mine for making shopping lists and for scribbling to-do lists - before you finally put it in the recycling box.
Schools and offices used to be some of the worst offenders for sending out sheaves of A4 sized single sided letters, handouts and memos with only a couple of lines of text.
Now many schools send out most letters by email or with a link to the school website. I think more of them actually get to the parents rather than hiding at the bottom of school bags until the school holidays.
Could you send out email and text notifications where possible? Could that document be sent out as a PDF? If you must send a hard copy, could you send out that memo on a smaller piece of paper such as A5? Could you include several topics in one letter?
Did you realise that you can contact the Mailing Preference Service and ask to have your name removed from mailing lists. This will reduce it a bit. Also try sending junk mail such as unwanted catalogues back marked 'Moved Away Please Return To Sender’ - most places will get the message eventually!
You can also try and stop that annoying junk mail that the postman often puts through your door. Visit the Royal Mail website for details on how to do this.
to say that you do not want to be sent marketing material whenever you apply for anything by post or online.
Even if you only feel comfortable wrapping gifts in used paper for close family and friends that will still save paper and money.
Or how about using the plain paper that is now often used to fill space in parcels? You could decorate it yourself, or keep the kids busy in the run up to Christmas adding festive decor with fibre tip pens or rubber stamps!
You could phone the companies concerned, but I find that a small polite sign on your door asking that no circulars or free newspapers are delivered will usually be more effective.
Choose to email or telephone rather than send a letter, and receive documents, newsletters and statements electronically if given the choice. Choose the option to pay your bills by Direct Debit and ask to receive paper Bank Statements less frequently or bank exclusively online.
Those magazines that you have read and finished with will always be accepted gratefully by many organisations (and by maybe your friends!). Donate them to hospitals, GP surgeries, dentists, libraries or anywhere with a waiting room.
There are so many places to get seondhand books, from a charity shop, jumble sale or secondhand bookshop, download e-books or borrow books and magazines from your local library.