(ReReRe) Paper
(Impact) -186 KG CO2/year
(Date) 01.04.2022
(Author) Loudi Langelaan
(Illustration) Jelle van Bouwhorst

The printer goes out the door, but the sketch pads stay — of certified paper, of course.

A few years ago, the message “save the environment, don’t print me,”
popped up at the bottom of emails. Printing an email would double the footprint it’d already contain. Our day to day digital use is still exponentially growing and the days of copiers in average offices spitting out printouts
all day long seem to be over.

In comparison to paper, digitally doesn’t necessarily mean better, though.
There are figures circulating that reading a digital newspaper for half an hour has the same environmental impact as reading a paper newspaper.

But comparing these is difficult. In the case of printing, the use of wood, chemicals, water and transport are the pollutive factors. With online reading, the pollution comes from the high energy consumption (computers consuming power plus data centers running, usually not on green power), and the production of electronic devices. Here at the office, the ratio is slightly different again: we can’t go without our computers, but to print we would need an additional device.

In a digital world, most communication requires digital action and digital reference. We do this as (energy) efficiently as possible (see last month’s ReReRe’s on our digital footprint). In addition we are reducing our use of paper and print.

During our design process, we would use the printer for color testing, a contract or to see a design on full-size. Yet for true-life-colours, we still needed a professionally printed proof-sheet. That made us realise we could go without our own printer, definitely since contracts are digital anyway and to see a full-size design we can use a projector. For necessary prints we go to the copy shop; always a good way to put a little bit of the sharing economy into practice. Without a printer we will save 12 cartridges and 6 packs of printing paper (of 500 sheets) per year.

Sketching on paper is such an important part of our design process and we will continue to do so with our computers off. We use sketching paper from Canson, which is certified on several sustainability aspects; the paper comes from sustainably managed forests and no harmful (chemical) products have been used during production. Since the journals go through several hands here and we pick them up even more often, we think it’s better to keep those on paper as well. At the end of the year, we’re taking the thank you and New Year’s greetings for our relations as an opportunity to give a creative interpretation to the reuse of the sketching material.

#rerere is our action program to rethink, repurpose and redesign our social and ecological footprint for the better. you can find all our #rereres here. We hope that it inspires you to take action. Because the only way to create a future that includes you plus new generations to come is when we all take action. #timeisup