Waste, waste, waste

So much waste around us. So many examples of unthinking silliness.

Here are two:

  • Why do phone bills come on A4 pages? Usually 2 or 3 pages long. Once upon a time a phone bill was the size of 1/3 of an A4 page. WE STILL HAD TO PAY IT!
  • Why do companies send out forms to be filled in and sent back, on nice heavy paper. It’s only a form. You fill it out, send it back, somebody types all that guff into a computer and then the paper is tossed out.

How to save the planets paper:

  • Use the lightest grade of paper you can for routine bulls**t forms. The difference between 70 gsm and 80 gsm paper will not even be noticed, but the lighter grade uses 12% less. Going to 60 gsm paper is a saving of 25%.
  • Use smaller paper. Why put invoices, bills, and so on, onto an A4 page when A5 (1/2 the size) will do? This should cut the paper bill by 50%.

Two simple measures. For anybody who adopts them, the saving in paper could be from 50% to about 75%. That’s less paper consumed, less landfill or recycling to worry about.


I *know* – A5 paper, and below standard 60 or 70 gsm paper are harder to get and therefore probably cost more. The price would come down if there was more demand… It’s a Catch-22.


The “gsm” rating of paper refers to grams per square metre. 80 gsm means that if you had exactly 1 square metre of that grade of paper, it would weigh 80 grams.


What I think is terrible is the flow of company junk you get when you trade shares, you can’t turn the flow of either.

So after having held a share for a day I will get a verbose ‘Welcome to our company’ letter and all attendant forms in the mail some time later, and annual reports are such a waste of trees as well.

Comment by Andrew | August 21st, 2006 8:27 pm | Permalink

I completely agree with you there – there is so much waste. My super fund insists on sending out a letter statement every single time super is paid into my a/c, which means I’m getting mail from them every other week. It always consists of 2 pages – a standard cover letter that is always the same (after the 3rd letter, you know it off by heart) and the 2nd A4 letter that’s 1/4 filled because they’re only stating the transaction that’s been made. In an attempt to be environmentally conscious, I called up my fund to ask if they could email me the statement or even not bother letting me know at all. After all, I can check my fund at will via the website (and I only have 1 job and my paychecks tell me what they’ve deposited). The super company told me that even though I don’t want it, they’re obligated by law to send me these letters. Crazy.

Comment by MadameBoffin | August 21st, 2006 9:59 pm | Permalink

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