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A boy. A tree. And how paper is threatening them both. [INFOGRAPHIC]

When I was a kid, around nine or ten years old, I loved climbing to the very top of any high tree I could find. Thankfully, my mother never witnessed me clinging joyfully to the crown of an 80-foot cottonwood, swaying broadly on branches no thicker than my arms. Yikes. I was lucky.

It’s those awesome memories that made me even more troubled when doing research for this blog and infographic. How many majestic trees like I perched in are cut down to support our bad paper habits? And what can we do?

Check out the Infographic “DOCU-MENTAL: It’s crazy how much paper businesses still use.

Some more stats that would keep that tree-climbing boy worried.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, we use around 400 million tons of paper products a year globally; predicted to top 500 million by 2020. We’re especially bad in the office. Look at this info from forestethics.org:

  • The average document is copied 9 to 11 times.
  • 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day. That’s about a trillion sheets of paper annually!

All that paper represents about a tree per employee per year. And with 57 million office workers in the US alone (KFF Research), you can appreciate the local and global impact.

No need to go out on a limb to help make a difference.

Read “Top 10 Uses for Electronic Signatures for Small Business."

I was that kid a long, long time ago, way before the advent of the internet and smart phones and tablets. “The cloud” was something in the sky and businesses had no alternative than paper for documenting activities and contracts. Luckily, this is no longer the case. There are more digital ways to create, distribute, and manage documents than ever before. And electronic signatures can just about completely eliminate paper and shipping hassles and costs.

Now grab your smartphone or tablet, download this whitepaper “Top 10 Uses for Electronic Signatures for Small Business,“ go outside, and climb a tree. It’s a quick read while you sway in the wind.




  1. Even though we use Docusign and Sharepoint the owner of our company still likes us to have a paper copy of all files on hand in 2 office locations. If we could narrow it down to one we would save so much paper

  2. I rmember climbing trees, too, and I’m glad we’re reducing our paper use so we can save more!

  3. Let’s save the trees!

  4. My work day is almost 100% paperless because of DocuSign. It’s crazy to think of how much paper is being wasted when it doesn’t have to be.

  5. Just makes sense. Paper belongs in the washroom, not in the boardroom.

  6. I still prefer to read most documents in paper form rather than online. I need to try to do more online reading.

    • Jonathan Riemer

      May 26, 2015 at 10:05 am

      I confess enjoying the feel of paper for reading , as well. But think about all the documents and emails we print out of which you end up only needing one page. Even that kind of careful use of paper will make a positive impact.

  7. I think we can go into more use cases here at my work, but the pricing structure where we’re at needs to be changed and we just need to develope the stuff! and that takes time, and adoption.

  8. I am a teacher. We waste so much paper it is ridiculous. I always think about how many trees are destroyed for tnose wated papers. I try to create paperless lessons using ipads or other devises.

  9. One field more is education, where paper technologies still remain dominant. To free education of them and implement not-paper tools for knowledge exchange will be very useful when we care for our environment and health.

  10. I am working to get the business unit I work for completely paperless. Our biggest paper waste comes from customers who are not familiar with digital signatures or are not comfortable with them. But we are changing the world one customer at a time.

    • Jonathan Riemer

      May 26, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Great to hear about your efforts. Once folks see how easy it is to use, their comfort level will increase. Soon, everyone will expect digital signatures.

  11. electrons save the Earth and life

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