Did you know that paper fills up nearly forty percent of our national landfills? Or that paper is the number one thing that Americans throw away? All this discarded paper means that more paper is always being produced, and while paper is necessary, we don’t need nearly as much of it as we actually use. People think that because paper is relatively inexpensive, they can just throw away all they want. Since it’s made from trees, they think it’s not a problem in landfills because it’s biodegradable. Paper may be biodegradable, but that doesn’t mean the whole process is good for us or the environment.
When we throw away paper, chances are that it has a lot of ink on it. Ink can be make from harmful ingredients, and it can break down in the landfills and pollute the surrounding land. If it is incinerated, it releases harmful gases into the air. The paper making process can be harmful, too. Chemicals which are used to bleach the paper pulp are very dangerous and can pollute the air and water, as well. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever get by without using paper, but we should attempt to reduce the amount we use. This can help to produce less harmful consequences from pollution, and using less paper can lead to fewer forest being cut down. Deforestation can have devastating consequences on the ecosystem. When you add that to all the pollution that is produced from using so much paper, it can really be a frightening thing.
But how can you change any of that by faxing? Well, now there is more than one way to fax. Fax machines used to consume huge amounts of paper. There was the paper that got thrown away because the printed malfunctioned and the page was hard to read. There were the junk faxes. There were cover sheets. And most of all, there were all the faxes that had only a little information, that someone read quickly and then tossed in the trash receptacle. It’s true that there were also very important documents that were printed and then filed away, and that people would actually need at some point later on. However, these important faxes were usually not the majority of what came through the machine. And even if they were, most people still got quite a large quantity of unwanted paper and short faxes.
The way that online fax can change this is by giving you complete control over what is printed and what is not. You use a web interface to read your received faxes. If it’s something important, you can easily press the “print” button. If not, you can get rid of it, choose not to print it, or read it and make a mental note of the information it contains. There is no need to print out junk or cover pages. If you’re unsure if you’ll be needing a certain fax, you can just keep it there and perhaps choose to print it later.