Build a Paperless World

Eyes of the world are turning to Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009. Delegates from 192 countries are trying to come up with a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation is one issue that is high on the agenda, the intergovernmental panel on climate change now estimates that the cutting down of forests contributes almost 20 per cent of global carbon emissions. We are facing the melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, expanding desertification, widespread drought and a series of problems, so we have to do something to avoid those in our daily life.

Some people might say, I have never cut down a tree in my life. Think about it, how much paper you consume every day? According to a case study by Heinz Center, 0.30 to 0.32 tons of carbon (1.11 to 1.17 tons of CO2) are emitted for every ton of paper produced. So building a paperless lifestyle is essential for reducing carbon emissions.

Building paperless office

PDF format plays an important role during the process. Use PDF format to create, display, interact and store can greatly reduce the consumption of paper. Also, wide use of PDF format can lower the cost for the office.

According to Adobe, over 1.5 billion PDF files have been downloaded from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website since 1998. Distributing PDF files online costs about a penny for 1,000 tax documents and forms, compared with about US$6 for each individual taxpayer order sent via mail.

For enterprise, dealing with paper flow is one of the troublesome challenges. Everything is paper-based, accompany with manual processes in the past. But now with the concept of building paperless office, we keep everything in PDF format. Contracts are saved in PDF format and sent via Email instead of fax. PDF/A is a file format for the long-term archiving of electronic documents, so keeping all the data in PDF format for future review and backup is reliable. A free Adobe Reader is the only requirement for viewing PDF files. Creating a PDF files is as easy as ABC since Microsoft Office 2007 has the save as PDF add-on. And it is easy to convert PDF to Word for editing. Dealing with PDF format is much easier than handling paper. Of course, a company can save the warehouse for data storage, the cost for paper, copy machines and fax facility. Meanwhile, paperless office has the power to benefit the environment and the communities.

Personal paperless lifestyle

Paperless lifestyle is also a fashion in our daily life. With the boost of E-reader, like Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, publishing and related print industries are facing revolution. We will change the traditional reading experience forever.

Do you still remember the last time you write a letter to your friends? Maybe some teenagers have never write a letter in their life because we are getting use to communicating with others via Internet and Email. We have Facebook, Twitter and some other social media. We send greeting e-cards instead of sending paper cards during Christmas. If a person have a good command of using Internet, creating and editing PDF, paperless world will make them more colorful and easier in daily life.

Transforming paper-based documents to digital-based documents is a main concept of reducing of paper consumption, which will control the deforestation, so that we can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Copenhagen Climate Change Conference is just a call to action.

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