Less Paper; Never Paperless

October 16, 2011


use less paper

We are living in a slowly and continuously dying planet. In every little way there are those who try to think of small interventions on how we could, if not stop, lessen the destruction we cause mother nature from day-to-day.

Among a lot of campaigns advocates promote is the “save the trees campaign” where they try to lessen the demands of cutting down trees for non beneficial causes. Though there are those advocates who deal with the problem by confronting the main cause of deforestation – illegal logging. There are many reasons why people cut down trees. Some because of housing and development, some maybe out of boredom, but one among the high-ranking reasons is paper production.

Working at  a fast food chain we depend a lot on these papers, just imagine how can we sell a cheeseburger without it being wrapped, how will you be able to enjoy your cup of coffee ‘to go’ if it’s not poured into a paper cup with some personal dedication of your favorite barista scribbled on the sleeve. You see there are two parts of a product sale, the product itself and the wrapping that holds the product for keep safe.

conserve paper

reuse… recycle…

Let me show you some facts were mutilated trees  (a part of it) goes as useful paper products. The fast food industry (where I belong) spends almost half a million per month per fast food segment in food related paper cost which includes wrappers, pan and tray liners and more. A different count is made for utility papers like documentary papers, napkins, transactions slips and the like, which in rough estimate, ranges from 200,000 to 300,000 pesos per month. Imagine all that for just one fast food segment in a month what if we multiply that to just how many are there in the country per annum and that’s quite a fortune and not something we could just set aside.

Next to it is the print industry – you know I also swing in writing for a third-party firm that I cannot mention the name as it  was written in the contract I signed just months ago. Writing a training manual for an establishment in the metro requires me to do a lot of drafts, not that my writings are always rejected (they’re kind enough to sugarcoat it as “revisions”). It actually took me around 4 drafts of 10 pages minimum each draft for my writing to actually make it to the revision stage. See I am already in the third revision two more before compilation but far from seeing it in print. I have walked through a lot of research (paper) each draft, after research I write it mano a mano in yellow sheets (paper) then print it in hard copy then I’ll send it to the editor then he’ll scribble some modifications that I wish he would’ve just written ” rejected”. Then, I’ll go home to do the ritual of research,writing by hand, encode and print. Just imagine how many drafts I made how many revisions have I survived and I suppose there’s a lot more of those before it actually hit the approval of the publishing body. Do the math on how my five fellow contributors deal with the completion of that training manual. Expand the math of how many books are being published every year. How many papers end up in trash before authors see the finality of their work? Not to mention the doodles they do like what I do when I write “pogi ka” next to my name as writing gets boring from time to time. Paper is the canvas of the writers’ art so it cannot be taken away from them.

Aside from the first two I also have little engagement over the education sector as I am a part-time tutor, though compared to the previous this is considered charity because of the small compensation I get out of it. It requires me a lot of yellow paper to explain and make John Patrick understand that whatever you do you cannot bond the noble gases, and just the same amount for the explanation of nomenclature. Multiply that to how many lessons are there in a High School Chemistry syllabus, how many subjects are there in your junior year, multiply that to your stay in school add up your love letters, photocopies, exam sheets questionnaire and answer sheets. Bless you if you survived high school by asking paper from your seatmates, you may not count as a responsible student but you are a deduction to the contributors of beneficiaries of cut down trees. Pity your seatmate because she shouldered twice the price out of your paper cost.

go green, use less paper

Go Green!

Those were just shabby computations and simple proofs that man really has a high demand in terms of using paper. Taking it away from them is like inducing a paralysis to a lot of consumers . Though this wasn’t written because I was asked to promote paper by Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. and Canon Marketing Inc. Point being because we cannot actually enforce a paper less community. When we do man’s instinct is to hoard and use more because they have the feeling that we are antagonizing them.What we should do is resume to a less paper world where we offer men with smart and non-expensive alternatives to the use of paper. Why not provide them with recyclables? Maybe that’s a little to expensive but if we try to spend a little more we see that the reward is a less demand for trees to be stooped down. Instead of asking for hard drafts why not engage to electronic file transfer, promote the use of downloadable materials instead of asking for copies of balderdash that at the end of the day just ends up in trash . This list may go on longer and I know men can think of greater possibilities. Let’s face it Paper less?? Cannot be. Let us promote Less Paper as a new environmental fashion…

This blog was written as a contribution to an old friend’s Mother Earth Advocacy , and as a consolation because i declined to teach side by side with you.

maybe soon.. 


Christmas time is about to arrive days from now we will be celebrating and enjoying the merriment brought about by one of the most awaited occasion in our lives. Every Christmas we never missed out on  writing lengthy Christmas wishes and letters to Santa asking for our reward because we were nice kids this year.

Years back, when I was used to live in Bicol with my mom and two of my siblings, Mom used to provide us with individual Christmas sock that’ll serve as Santa’s mailbox where he would pick up our Christmas letters and determine if we deserve to receive the gift we wrote there.  I always write there these sets of Power Ranger toys, you know from time to time they never missed out on having then again another set of rangers with new gadgets robots and sets of new missions, and each year I’d ask for one, though I never receive a complete set because what mom always give me are individual rangers and they’re just lonely saving those toys of mine that are in grieve danger. I am also fond of these toy robots that transforms into animals or cars or whatever entity that would serve as their alter egos if they are just too tired of saving the world as robots.

Those were some of my wants back when toys and cartoons were major reasons for my happiness. Growing up I realized I have missed out a lot on my childhood, there were really important things that we need to have or to experience as kids that would make us better teenagers and person as a whole.

Up until now I never really wanted extravagant things in life. I never demanded nor depended on the help of others that if I could do it alone, and there were times when even I can’t, still I didn’t ask for help. Much to my pride’s insult there are those cases when I badly needed help. And this call for back up goes to Dear Uncle Nic. I wrote nights ago a letter addressed to North Pole, I really don’t know what mailing service brings letters to Santa or if he even use snail mail as a medium of communication to nice kids maybe he already is into facebook or e-mails that i just haven’t heared of.  After those material things I suddenly ( as in without me knowing)  begged for him to please give me was my childhood. I asked him to bring me back to those innocent times. I needed my childhood back cause I asked Santa to make me experience a “generic” family. I needed to be that boy that has a wonderful family who shares Sundays together, who goes out to church parks and malls.

I wanted to be that boy who looks up to his dad as his hero, as his role model, someone he would want to be like in the future, not someone that would look down to his son as a frustration and never let a day pass without making his son feel inferior like he is never good enough. A father to advocate my growth rather than be the one to end it by saying I’ll end up as a nobody in the future. I needed someone whom I could sit down with when I am curious of things and what I  have was someone that makes me think “Are the answers really worth knowing?” that I just never thought of ever asking again.

I wish for Santa to turn me into a boy who has his mom preparing his lunchbox and kisses him goodbye before the school service picks him up to school.  A mom who would want to know who my friends were rather that be the one to ask me to give them up because as she says I don’t need one to grow. Someone whom I could confide all my thoughts to and considers all of it rather than be the one to hide it. A mom to defend me when those armies of insecurities attack me rather than the one who would add up to my loads’ worth of crap. Someone that would make me hope that life is great and not the one to make me realize that life sucks point blank.

I also cried out to have siblings that would look after me, defend me, be my best friends and not the ones that tries to murder me, takes things away from me, kills the happiness and be glad that I screwed up.

I wanted normal things; it’s not an impossibility. It’s even achievable (minus the go-back-in-time part). I could have had it before, I am sure, I don’t even know what went wrong. But I know I can’t save myself from this sandbox of insecurities, where truth bullies me saying I could never be that little boy.

Not to my surprise I am a broken vagabond in this planet of love. I , as I complete this travel, have to look for my good examples. So dear santa I could use some help please exist and bring me back my childhood.

I am a vagabond in the dessert looking for the oasis of love where it springs eternal. This travel is long so maybe looking back is a waste of time there will be crossroads a lot of travelers, nomads and gypsies in Venus that would provide me with parts of my broken life, persons to show me love and that I am excited about. Maybe soon I’ll be able to experience a better life (if Santa does get letter and grants my requests) after this Christmas ends.