Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Paperless? Ptah! I Say ... Ptah!

One of the promises of our electronic, computerized world was that we would become a paperless society. Although I see that in many things - email, facebook, twitter and the other social media methods of reaching out primary among them - I don't really see this coming through in spades throughout my life. I would LOVE to rid myself of paper, but I don't think it is possible, at least not yet. My notes and instructional manuals, my alternative keyboards for odd fonts such as my Egyptian Hieroglyphic fonts, and my other odd keyboard instructions are all are printed in hardcopy because I need to refer to them. My weekly and monthly story prompts are printed because I take them with me to work on a variety of different computers while composing the storylines. Forms, legal letters, etc are sent via email, but printed out, again for easy reference. Every time I print, I hear a tree cry. But...I have to print these things to make sure that I catch everything. My memory isn't as good as it used to be, I guess.

What happened to our 'paperless' society? 

It's a real Catch-22. I want a paperless office/life, yet my unreliable or overloaded memory and my lifestyle demand pieces of paper to remind me of things like passwords, account numbers, instructions, and procedures. For example - today I printed out the exhibition times for an art and crafts exhibit I'll be attending on Sunday. Although I know the times, my DH won't take my word for it, so I'll have to back it up with proof *sigh*. One tree.

Maddy Haggith put together this paper mountain of an average year's worth of
paper waste. It's a really interesting article if you follow the link. 

The second tree was sacrificed by my printing out the addresses of the Mazda dealers near me so that I can go and take a closer look at one of the autos I'm thinking about purchasing. I want to check it out from top to bottom, and I'll probably request a full brochure also so that I have all of the statistics at hand. Two trees...

I will admit that I read almost all of my books in e-versions now. I use my Nook
or my Nook App on my phone and cruise through my usual 2-3 books a week
on those. My house appreciates the fact that I don't have to find space for more
paperbacks and I love the fact that I can read practically anywhere with more
ease. My Nook app on my phone gets used to the max daily. I LOVE e-books. 

The third tree was sacrificed printing out the instructions for the B2MeM Compilation Ebook. I want my story and artwork included in this, but I've made a couple of very important text changes to my story since the original submission and must make sure that the version used is the most up-to-date one. I need to read through the directions carefully to make sure I'm doing everything correctly and submitting the proper required information. Sometimes it is easier to have a checklist, and that's what this basically is. Nonetheless - it is my third tree of the morning.

Are we trapped in paper? Is the dream of a paperless society just
a pipe dream? 

My DH was contacted by the attorney who is working on the income taxes for his father's estate. He needs one more bit of information phoned into him this morning. I printed this out and put it on DH's keyboard where he'll see it first thing this morning when he awakens. This particular tree was an important one, but nonetheless, was my fourth tree of the morning.

What things would we miss in a paperless society? Paper airplanes, certainly,
but also things like the morning newspaper and catalogs. I hope to always enjoy
handwritten letters and cards from dear friends, however, and I will continue
to design, make, and send my annual Solstice cards in December. 

My final felled tree for the day was used to print out the April Challenge Prompt I had received in my email for my monthly LOTR Community story. Again, I work on my stories on several different computers (thank goodness for Dropbox) and need to remind myself about prompt words, deadlines, and headings so that my submissions meet the criteria. I carry these with me until I've submitted the story, then shred them. Tree number five.

Of course, if you must use paper, please recycle the pages when you
are through with them. So few things actually need to be archived in physical
form these days. 

Now, I also admit that I am a HUGE fan of recycling, and that all of these pages will be shredded and added to my recycling bin. But still ... the paperless office is a joke in my life. How about in yours? Have you managed to eliminate most printed paper and leave lighter footprints on Mother Earth?

We can all dream of living in a new Emerald City of clean air, pristine water,
ample food and supplies for everyone throughout the world.
If we stop dreaming, halted by the immensity
of the challenge, we won't make the slightest dent in our future. Work
for progress in your own life and it will impact the lives of others. 

Sorry for the rather 'preachy' post today. Have a fabulous Tuesday...

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