Set yourself free, go paperless.

How many paper products do you own? No just the stuff in a printer or on the desk that’s clean and read to go, but how many phone books, bills, catalogs, AAA maps of Northwest Arizona, user manuals, coupons, bank statements do you glance at once and then never see again?

Although at first benign, these small, tedious, obstructing pieces of paper are everywhere if you keep looking around. They stick out of cabinet drawers or are placed in brown boxes and put on the top shelf. At my house we even have a whole table, right in the front, dedicated to two things: our keys and piles of papers from schools, banks, companies, or cell phones that nobody looks at. It doesn’t do much for the foyer. And it’s not just from the mail. Every time I get a new gadget or toy there are 4 or 5 user manuals that along with those “DO NOT EAT” silicon packets usually get thrown away.

However, not only are these stacks of useless papers product messy and obnoxious they have an environmental impact. Most of the paper that lands in your life is not certified from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). That means that when it was produced giant machinery drove through huge, carved roads and deposited invasive species along. That machinery took out whole acres of wood at a rate that’s unsustainable and yielded a profit, not more growth. That land was then ignored until rains came through and washed most of the unprotected soil into polluted bodies of water downstream.

Paper is archaic. Nowadays, most of the same information is online. Of course services like Catalog Choice allow users to opt out of unwanted catalogs, but there are also many other websites that are working on ‘paper’ as well. The Paperless Petition wants to scrap the phone book since most of the information is online, UserManualGuide.com has all sorts of guides for phones, cameras, dvds, and tvs. There’s even the Paperless Hymnal which has all your congregation's favorite songs.