Well kudos to the kid but the within-the-box mantra of “If it’s not really necessary to print it, then don’t print it.” is really the better approach.
I used to work for a company that built filing systems for companies in the finance and medical industries. The small insurance companies in our area would take up three or four floors of an office building (guesstimate about 12 two-car garages per floor) just to house the disputed claims paperwork. That kept us in business for years, supplying shelving and folders and labels and eventually lateral-rolling shelves and so on.
Now the judicial system allows electronic evidence. For most of our cases, the company I’m with creates a CD-ROM containing all the paperwork that would fit on four feet of shelving for 8.5" x 11" pages. We give to the court administrators, the judge, the opposition lawyers and our own lawyers one CD each. That would be a lot of paper if we had to make photocopies for everyone involved. Instead, it’s maybe 20 disks. Now, admittedly, those disks sit in landfills for a long time.* However, we didn’t waste the trees, or the ink/toner, or the electricity to print all that evidence (for each of the recipients), and we didn’t waste all that petrol in hauling all those pages to the courthouse. And we’re a workers’ comp company so we’re rather conscious of the fact that we didn’t strain any lawyer’s back by making him/her lift all that paper in and out of the car.
And, even then, we get a ton of paperwork from medical offices and brokers and clients, etcetera. We get enough to fill a four-foot wide shelf at each clerk’s desk. Each time I go to fix someone’s computer and see a clerk with a frown on his face as he riffles through a two-foot stack of papers, I say, “Ain’t it great to be in the 21st century, working in a paperless society?” :dubious:
The future: It’s taking a long time to get here.
*And maybe, when they’re allowed to purge the case material after the case has been closed for ten years, there will be some neat technology for destroying those disks in a safe, confidential, and planet-friendly manner.