The growing concern over climate change has many business owners re-evaluating their professional practices in hopes of having a more environmentally friendly business. Switching to an online faxing service can save your business money, make your business communications more efficient, and help the environment. You don't need to completely overhaul your current business practices to be eco-friendly, making small changes like using an internet fax service will have a bigger effect than you think.
The Problem With Paper
Online faxing eliminates the problem of excessive paper use by having all business communications online. You may not think that faxing uses a lot of paper, but the University of Colorado estimates that American companies use 210 billion sheets of paper per year solely for faxing. Thomas Counsell from the University of Cambridge estimated that 2% of greenhouse gases come from paper consumption, mainly from the production and disposal of paper. Paper mills generate all types of waste in the paper production process; various types of air pollutants and solid waste are released because of the paper making process. Using an internet fax service would completely eliminate the need to use paper for faxing purposes, and it would drastically reduce the overall amount of paper your office needs for everyday operations. It's estimated that the average American business would need to consume at least four trees in order to provide paper for its faxing needs. If your business pledges to only fax online, four trees would continue to live undisturbed in their native habitat.
Issues With Ink
Reducing paper usage isn't the only positive environmental impact online faxing can cause. The ink that's used to print everyday documents can have extensive negative effects on the environment. In 2004 it was estimated that 1.8 billion printing cartridges around the world were carelessly thrown into landfills. The plastic these cartridges are made from won't bio degrade for centuries, and that's just the tip of the environmental issue iceberg. Ink contains several different types of dangerous components like various kinds of heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOC). When ink cartridges aren't disposed of correctly those heavy metals and VOCs could contaminate local soil and water supplies. Switching to online faxing would dramatically cut down on your ink usage, since you're sending faxes online they don't need to be printed out.
Online faxing reduces the amount of paper and ink products used, but it won't completely eliminate your paper and ink needs. If you're worried about the environmental impact of your printer, consider using ink or toner with more eco-friendly ingredients. Some inks are now made with vegetable oils instead of petroleum oils, and there are limits being set about the amount of heavy metals and VOCs that can be in every ink and toner cartridge. You can also buy recycled paper for your printer, it's better for the environment and cheaper than regular paper.