World Paper Free Day?

For the love of beer
The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you’d announce that I was buying the first round.

Why am I paying?”

I figured you were still celebrating your holiday.

What holiday?

World paper day? Paper freedom day? Something stupid like that. You tweeted about it.

World paper-free day. That was yesterday, and it’s far from stupid.”

How did you celebrate? It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing you send cards for.”

Funny. It’s not a holiday. It’s not like we freed the people of Paper Island.”

“So, what is it?

It’s a day where we call attention to the efforts people are making and the things organizations can do, to reduce or eliminate paper from processes and recordkeeping.

What do you have against paper?

Nothing per se, but, in a lot of cases, paper is redundant or unnecessary.”

I like paper.

MiMi-MuMu Paper
A truly good use of paper. MiMi and MuMu love playing with the packing paper in the box.

Who doesn’t? That’s not the point. You have to cut down trees to make paper and you have to store paper in boxes and file cabinets (which you can’t carry around with you). Why do that when you don’t have to?

Why do you say: ‘you don’t have to’ like we’re using paper just to use it?

Because, in some cases you are.”

I’m almost afraid to say this, but give me an example.”

Do you ever print an email?



It’s easier to read. Also, maybe I want to keep track of something when I’m traveling or I want to track a package being delivered at home, when I’m at work, or I want to call somebody about something and reference the stuff in the email.”

“Chances are, you can access that email, over the Internet. You can probably access it from your phone. Even if you can’t access your email, you could save the content in a web-based repository like Box or Dropbox and read it from there.”

Cheryl, bring him a Yuengling, and give him a menu, a to-go menu and a few extra napkins.”

Your point?

Of course we need paper menus.

I have two points. First, although I know that I can look at their menu online, on my phone, right now, holding and reading this menu is a much better experience. If I want to flip from Entrees back to Appetizers, I don’t have to click a button on the page and I don’t have to wait for that page to load. I just flip the page like so…

I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t have menus in restaurants, but I’m pretty sure I don’t need a to-go menu.”

Oh, you need one.”

What makes you so sure?

Two things. One, I’ve met your wife and she loves paper.”

OK, you got me there. But what’s the second thing, you keep forgetting the second thing.

The second reason you need a to-go menu is because it’s easier to use than their website or their App.”

We don’t have an App. Here’s your beer. I’ve been telling the owner he should have an App for years

I think that would be a good idea Cheryl.

What are you talking about? Are you going to order from an App? You have a to-go menu. You have Internet access. You have a phone, but you still show up here an hour and a half before you want food so you can sit at the bar and order it in person. Has this guy ever called in a to-go order Cheryl?

Not that I’m aware of.”

Then why on earth would you want him to have an App? So you can reduce his time here to the 45 seconds it takes to run his credit card. No beer sold. No tip given. No pithy conversation?

OK, I’m convinced. I’ll stop bugging the owner about the App. You want another glass of wine?

Yeah, but remember, my earth-friendly young friend is paying.”

As much as I doubt I really want to know, what was your second point?

Oh, you do want to know this. I’m going to explain why you’re not making progress with this whole paper-free thing.”

I’m listening.”

Basically, it’s the things you say, and the things you do.”

Is that all?

“When you say things like ‘web-based’ and ‘re-pos-i-tory’ and ‘App’ and ‘content’ you turn people off. People don’t want to hear those terms. Add to that, tiny fonts, mismatched colors, ads popping up all over the place and the fact that if I enter my information, you’re going to spam my a** into the stone age, and you send me to paper.

I have to agree with him. Besides, all your repositories and computers use a lot of electricity to keep all those paperless records, I’m not sure it’s really saving the planet anything.”

Et tu, Cheryl?

Sorry. Here’s your bill and the credit card slip. Top copy is mine, the bottom one is for your records (giggle).


Ah, the sound of a vanquished foe. I love it.”

115 thoughts on “World Paper Free Day?

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  1. Good Read! Some good points as well. I hate trying to read the news online and get all those pop-ups that hide the little “X” in the box to close them; so you end up hearing most of the ad before you close it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paper Free Day? I wish someone would tell my senior exec that. But the Presidential, Paperwork Reduction Act didn’t have any effect… Never mind. That’s a story for a “satirical” dystopian novel.
    Great post Dan! Perfect kitty picture too. Indeed they love paper! Mega hugs =^-^=

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not relying on so much paper (granted I still use it some, when it’s helpful to me), makes it much easier for me to organize. But my coworkers kept coming into my office — they’d complain that my office was bigger than theirs (one actually stepped off the footage). Without boxes of paperwork stacked up, naturally mine looks bigger. Then they insinuate that I must not be working. So I keep some folders and papers haphazardly strewn across my desk, to shut them up… ;)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hefty topic – good thing we have beer to chase it down. :-) Okay, so I’m a ‘mature’ adult, and they’ve been working on a paperless environment for a long time now. I can remember when I would get monthly reports delivered in a box, and it was wonderful when I could view on line and maybe only print a page or two if necessary. But, for my money, moderation is the key. I don’t want my entire life on my phone in case it is stolen. When we travel, we take an old netbook that has no personal info on it. Phone books are long gone and Facebook basically takes over that role. The internet rules, but I do think you have to be careful. Definitely a topic that encourages a conversation. Now, if we could only stop getting junk mail. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judy. It is a hefty topic. I push some initiatives and I get my share of pushback. We make some progress and then I’m asked to sign off on a carton of binders and I want to cry a little. I’m not for total paperless. I think we could use less, but we have to have a plan that will work. That junk mail may be the only thing keeping the Post Office afloat :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Everyone know why the world consumes more paper each year. It is because every year more and more employees pilfer supplies. Look at the numbers, every year the world consumes more pens and pencils too – and it all comes out of the supply closet. Ask yourselves, when is the last time you BOUGHT paper and pens?

    That is all….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am in the unenviable position of being in charge of Information Services and being responsible for the supplies budget. I get smacked either way :( Then again, looking at the tray where I put my wallet and keys when I get home from work, apparently, I do take pens.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha, given the topic, I figured you’d be the one arguing the negative, not the affirmative, Dan. I do agree that it’s good to reduce unnecessary paper use, though the idea of a truly paper-free world doesn’t sit well with me (and I realize you’re not an absolutist in this regard).

    I read tons of things online that I used to read on paper, and I’m fine with that. It’s often quicker and more convenient. But there are things about paper that I miss, even if it’s mostly for things as amorphous as how it feels.

    But I will say this — paper does affect how we read things. I catch, for example, more typos and errors when I read a hard copy than on a screen, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. We don’t rush as much with paper as we do online. And though I am a proud Kindle owner, there are times and places and specific books that I want to have on paper. Much as I appreciate the convenience of a virtual book, it’s just not the same to read it on a screen.

    Anyway, another thought-provoking post, Dan. Cheers! *raises beer you paid for*

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad to hear you prefer paper, Dan, but I can’t join you in your desire for less of it at work. I can understand if that’s a personal preference — motivated, perhaps, by a desire for less clutter or the feeling that it’s easier to do an electronic search for a piece of information than to do a manual one. But I’m afraid that you may be gaining feng shui or convenience at the expense of something far more important: the ability to process information well. In short, to think.

        A 2008 article in The Atlantic explains what I’m getting at. It’s titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (You can find it by, ha, Googling the title, though I would suggest printing it to read.) Author Nicholas Carr writes: “I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.”

        Why should this be? Carr continues: “For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets — reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link.”

        In short, what a lot of us do on a daily basis. And I had observed the same trend in my own experience (reading far fewer books than I used to, starting many articles before bailing after only a few minutes of skimming, etc.) The question is, why? Back to Carr: “[W]hat the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

        That’s me, I’m afraid. And I don’t like it.

        Now, I’m not laying the blame for this on your desire to use less paper! But I DO think that desire is symptomatic of the trend that Carr describes. Pulled along by the siren song of simplification (which has adherents going back from Steve Jobs to Henry David Thoreau and beyond), lured by assurances that everything we need is in “the Cloud” (which could never disappear or be manipulated, right?), and perhaps goosed by guilt-inducing pleas to “save the planet”, we may be slowly but innocently ensuring a future where we have not only less on our desks and on our bookshelves, but in our heads.

        Does Carr’s argument go too far? Maybe. But I’d rather at least stop and think (assuming we still can) about what a Google-centric, paper-less society will mean for our brains BEFORE we charge blithely forward and then discover how right he is. And as I mentioned in my initial comment, I know that I detect more errors when I read from a printed page than on a screen. Why? Because I’m slowing down and engaging my cognitive abilities more fully. Is it any coincidence that typos are more rife now than ever before? Take it from a professional editor — they are. And I don’t mean just in long pieces. No. You can hardly find an Internet meme without an error or two in all of, what, eight or nine words? That’s pathetic. But should we be surprised? That’s what happens when we rush our semi-literate brains through a glorious paper-less world.

        I’ve gone on too long here (even though Mr. Carr did most of the work, not me). But I wanted to, well, slow down and wave a few caution flags before we leave this topic behind. I used to think my preference for paper was mere nostalgia, but I don’t think so anymore. Now I know why it makes a difference when I write an article on a screen versus actually scribbling it on a piece of paper. I remember writing all of my college papers that way — in long-hand on a yellow legal pad, filled with cross-outs and margin notes, before I typed them on a real typewriter (making revisions along the way, of course). Now I sit here, my attention span almost as shot as my Palmer-method handwriting.

        So my apologies, Dan, if I seem to be overreacting, but I think you’ve inadvertently put your finger on a trend that, well, merits a bit of overreacting (so to speak). You may well face pressures to go paper-less at work or even at home, and I’m sorry to contradict those voices. But for my money, we don’t need less paper — we need more. In any event, thanks for letting me pontificate a bit here. I’ll try my level-best to make my next comment more concise!

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Thanks for reading and commenting Kate. I do think we suffer when we apply the modern skim-scan approach to the stuff we should be reading. I think it might help though, when we add even small bits of tangential knowledge to our understating.


        1. This post has certainly brought out the passion for paper. I did read that article Paul and it may surprise you to find that I tend to agree with most of it. I’ve actually started and erased a few replies. I’m going to abandon that effort. Besides, according to David (above or perhaps below) the more paper we use, the more trees we will have :) I still think there is a lot of room to improve things but, well, I’ll save that argument for next year’s WPF Day (and maybe I’ll forget to add that post to my editorial calendar)

          Thanks for the great summary of what really was a thought-provoking article.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My pleasure, Dan. Sorry that I posted this after a certain amount of topic fatigue had set in. I’m sure you were all talked out about paper, and here I come, posting a few hundred words and probably causing an eye roll or two! But hey, some things just get us stirred up, you know? Paper matters. Why else would it beat rock in rock-paper-scissors?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s the best argument for paper ever Paul. I wanted to try to narrow my “use case” and try to convince you, but the more I tried, the more I kept hearing the other side of my new argument. It’s hard to argue against paper – everybody loves it.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. AH-HAH! gotcha. My biggest paper consumption comes in two places. One is editing reports/book. I can’t “see” to do a good edit on the screen (dyslexia.) Second, I print some images to sketch in bed when I am sleepless late at night. I COULD just turn on the light and draw Mitchell and the cats endlessly but he would notappreciate it. Instead I use a teeny light (saves electricity) and draw in the dark . . . .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I do print and edit the stuff I write. I work with paper notes and I tend to sketch woodworking plans first. I say first, because sometimes, after I sketch them, I do put them into a TurboCAD. Thanks for adding to this Kate.


  6. Ugh, Dan, no. No, no, NO. Just the word “paperless” makes me want to slap somebody. This is actually one of those things that really gets me worked up (ha, surprise!). I suppose I can understand the appeal of paperless, digital services and recordkeeping, but paper feels far more permanent to me. Sure, as they say, once you put something online, you can never truly get rid of it. And yet unless you back up that important information, either to a cloud or onto another hard drive….. well, every time that my laptop takes just a BIT longer than usual to fire up, I start having palpitations over the thought of losing all my stuff.

    But the major flaw with paperless? Sure, if you’re in a big city, you probably have internet access wherever you go. But that’s not the case everywhere. In my town, which sure, isn’t HUGE, but also isn’t some backwater dive either, has only 5 free wi-fi spots. And only one of those has a signal that’s strong enough to pick up if you’re outside the building. And one of the 5 is a café that requires you ask for an ever-changing password before you can start clicking.

    And when the power goes out? Or your phone dies? Or your cell’s service goes down? Yep, sweet out of luck. I do all of my business IN my bank rather than using an ATM or banking online (online banking is something I REALLY hate), and it’s pretty annoying when you’re standing there paying bills or need to take out cash, the lights go out, and the teller says, “I’m so sorry, but I can’t do anything until the power comes back on.” Or if I’m at the grocery store checkout and the power goes… they won’t sell me any groceries. I have to either wait or leave my stuff and go. And I’m standing there with CASH money! (Also very much against electronic money for everyday purchases.) I swear, it just irks me to no end.

    It’s also been my experience that an electronic payment transaction can get messed up. As in the money is paid out, and then the company who’s receiving the money claims they didn’t get it and they send another bill. And it’s in those times that a paperless proof of payment can bite you in the rear. A lot harder to argue that you didn’t get paid with a paper receipt, physical, tangible proof of payment, in your hands. I could not live without my bank passbook, because I want to know exactly where my money is going and what’s being done with it. So easy to make a mistake when entering numbers into a computer. No wonder people lose track of what they’re spending and what they have/haven’t paid. Paper (for me) makes it so much easier to SEE what’s going on, and keep track of it, and that means a more efficient management of resources.

    And as an amateurish genealogist, I NEED paper. Yes, I like being able to search for/access documents without having to travel to a cemetery or hospital thousands of miles away, but we wouldn’t even HAVE databases like unless somebody first saved all that paper hundreds of years ago. Gotta have something to transcribe.

    So I will leave you with the thought that maybe technologies should compliment certain mediums, manners and methods, not necessarily strive to replace them. Why not use the best of both instead of one or the other?

    And did I mention that I’ve never had a cell phone? Nope. And I won’t even start on how much extra electricity all this paperlessness would use and cost…….

    Don’t worry, I’m leaving now!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Wendy. Did you talk to my wife before writing this comment? I won’t even try to argue. I would buy you a beer of glass of wine and listen to what you have to say. I’ve given up on the idea of paperless. I see problems and opportunities on both sides and I agree with s log of your points. In fact, a future post will address power failures in a way you might like. As I reply from my phone, I wish I had your whole comment, on paper, in front of me :)

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I agree, technology should compliment processes that work well.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Wendy I concur about the important stuff, and so i also print business reciepts, phone book, and reports. I don’t print mails unless they are contractual. I am willing to bank online because it allows me to check my acccount in this crazy age we live in, but I go in to make some transactions too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As I understand it, for every tree that the Swedish paper manufacturers cut down for their production they plant another three. As the use of any electronic device requires energy generally produced, worldwide, from carbon fueled power stations, the obvious choice is to use paper to save the planet!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow! What Wendy said! Also: I have a bazillion photographs on my phone and on my computer, where nobody ever sees them. We used to look through photo albums all the time — still do pull them out and pour over them. I have files of letters from friends who have since passed on, but the emails from others are long gone. I long since stopped printing out hard copies of my writing, and I’m not the only one. If anything happens to electricity or the grid or civilization as we know it, a lot of timeless prose is going down the memory hole. heh

    So OF COURSE I agree with the man buying the beer! As Martin Luther said, “Moderation in all things.” Not paperLESS, but LESS paper. :)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Marian. I think. Less paper would work. I actually do miss printed photos. I’ve never thought about the fact that I don’t keep printed copies of this stuff. Maybe that’s not as big a risk for humanity as I’d like to think. Thanks for the comment :)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m with the paper dinosaurs on this one (and apparently your ever-youthful wife). I love paper – there’s no glare; there’s no buttons; there’s no infuriating pop ups and stuck screens while stuff I don’t need or want loads, I can make a note in the margin without opening another App; I can find my note days later without having to decipher Apple’s confusing retrieval icons (how they destroyed ‘shuffle’ in I-Tunes is a rant for another day); i can feel it, sort it, recycle it, find it again all without Apple interfering with MY processing methods. (‘It’s either in pile 1,2 or 3’). I can also look ahead or behind for ‘the big picture’ rather than be limited to a screen shot.

    I ALWAYS use paper judiciously – both sides to print; turning blank junk mail and bill backsides into note pads and recycling it all.

    I only wish I had a way to blog on paper 😊

    Great cyber-dialogue today though, Dan! Honest 👍

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Sammy! I knew many of you would stand with my lovely wife. That’s ok. You all make good points. I will say, she prints in booklet form, so four pages on one sheet of paper. And we recycle. My paper complaint is at work and in other businesses where the waste and redundancy is staggering at times. But, I’m trying to understand and improve. I gave up trying to win this battle.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh yes, the business world – and more importantly the fed govt – could stand some rigorous self checks.

        I mainly blame the gov’t for their profligate paper waste – for Hub’s knee replacement surgery, the doc, hospital and PT all give out their ‘mandated paperwork’, in piles so big we had bags and notebooks from them. But it’s Medicare that sends REAMS of paper, including notebooks of duplicate info we already received from the medical facilities plus every month a 5-page ‘Monthly Drug Summary (even though Hub takes only one pill)’, a paper bill, a 70-page re-enrollment book and those are just the ones off the top of my head!! I can only imagine how many federal employees the taxpayers are subsidizing and the number of trees being buzz-sawed to send this crap to millions of Medicare recipients, all for a program that is basically universal, standard, repetitive and non-competitive. There is no way to opt out of that paper monopoly morass !!

        Liked by 2 people

          1. I receive a set for each of my parents as their (long-distance admin caretaker) and they receive two sets (one each) at their house. Hub receives a set for himself. Next year I will receive a set. I’ve tried to get Medicare to change it, but the behemoth cannot handle individual anything. We boomers and greatest generation are one glutenous mass in their eyes.

            I laughed derisively about 15 years ago when the Feds passed a Paper Reduction Act then sent each business and individual a 10-page informative packet explaining the Paper Reduction Act.

            I do not understand why we taxpayers have not organized enmasse to refuse to pay taxes for a year or a cycle. Talk about a gov’t shutdown – we’d get their attention. What’re they gonna do – put us all in jail? I’ll share a cell with Tim Geitner, Charlie Rangle and the officers of the Clinton Foundation.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ha ha. That’s scary. My daughter had an operation earlier this year. She was in the hospital about 28 hours and they had a 3-ring binder full of paper by the time she checked out. I don’t know how much paper she’s received on top of that.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. And how about the four page crap that comes at the end of every single thing from Kaiser? Want a flu shot? Want this or that? Want to know what to do in an emergency? Two eyars, same thing, four pages each time. I rip them off and hand them back every time.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Our office has talked about going paperless for a few years now….but, I don’t see it happening. Not unless printing something out so I can type it into my client file and then tossing the printout counts as paperless. My coworker has boxes of files stacked in her office and I keep empty boxes (for her) stacked in mine. So cringe-worthy, I know…. But do not, repeat DO NOT, make me read from a Kindle. I have to have my paper books and magazines.


      1. We do use a lot less paper by about 2/3 in our office, however. e only make paper copies of the important stuff. Once a client has a contract, we print that. We save the emails in their files but do not print unless contractual change. Also, the rams of research — not good books, but just information such as MSDS and so forth — we no longer print them unless we have to discuss it wiht a client. So I DO feel good about that.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thought provoking post Dan! I too stand on the side of your wife and many others here; less paper, but not paperless!

    I always print out the text directions of a travel destination just in case Stuck up Stephanie;my GPS, or my cell phone can’t get a signal. I still carry paper maps in my car, and I too prefer to read real books rather than on my Kindle. I’ve cut down on the number of books I buy in paper though. I buy reference books, how-to manuals, I need a new dictionary mine is falling apart, and series novels that I’ve gotten hooked on.
    I send my negatives in JPEG to a print lab to print my favorite images from photography shoots. The average size of my prints are 11×14 inches.

    I keep every receipt, and statement. Some I’ll keep forever, others I keep only 10yrs. The IRS still requires a hard copy of documents if you’re audited I think which is why I keep all that stuff, and
    I print out receipts for my bill-pay, and online banking in case there’s a snafu in cyber-space.

    I do use less paper, but I can’t live without it just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You did a great job with the writing. LOL you don’t send a card for Paper Free Day. Well you could send an E card. I thought most places are paper free. It is a bear to store a lot of paper files I agree. But these computer files are not fool proof. Like from the fools who enter the data. And I do like a physical book and love paper. And I do like a hard copy of things sometimes. Reading off the computer screen is more tiring I find as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. I find writing these things to be very challenging but kind of fun. They let me explore things from different angles. I’m torn on this one. A big part of my job is to make electronic records available for people to access from remote locations. It doesn’t help when people decide to work with paper instead. I love real books and I only get ebooks to travel. I also love paper cause I love to doodle.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I like paper.
    I like to flip pages, scribble in notebooks, work tangible crosswords, color books, make scrapbooks, wrap cheese in paper, wrap gifts in paper, paper walls, mod podge, paper towels, toilet paper! — what are you trying to do to me?!?
    Are you INSANE?!?
    LOL We do paperless billing and banking (mostly.) I will never be one of those people who moves to e-everything, not books, not recipes, not movies or music. Never. You hear me?
    My complaint has always been the schools. Good gravy. Useless paper wasters. Here’s an email for you and your spouse, but here’s a hard copy for both of you per kid, and one to give to Grandma, times each kid, and let us call you during dinner hour every bleeping Sunday to remind you to read them, even though we’re going to tell you RIGHT NOW.

    I hate receipts, Dan. Receipts are vile. Like yellow jackets.

    I also love to RECYCLE paper!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. I’ll put you on the side of the bar with the Mrs. Joey. I’m not trying to eliminate paper but I’m trying to kill processes like the one at your school. I read paper books and I do like paper. I don’t like useless redundant paper. If you ask me if I prefer email or text or paper, don’t send all three anyway. Thanks for supporting my editor :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, well I do tend to support your editor. If you’d like to call the township, I’ll give you the info. Dealing with all the useless flyers and print-outs hurts my brain! It would be much easier if everyone just chose ONE means of communication. Really. Just one.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Agree with less paper, although I use notebooks and small pads in case I need to remember something (seems to happen more these days!). And I don’t like the new trend with wine lists on an iPad. Although I don’t drink much I like to choose from a real list. Turning the pages and checking what’s available, being able to return to the first page, etc. I think the iPad for wine lists kills part of the dining out experience. On the other side I like it when the kitchen counter is free of too many statements, bills, etc. As in many things, balance is key.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Balance is the key Evelyne. I’m not a fan of the iPad as a wine list, menu or the restaurants that have put the credit card reader on the table as a constant reminder that I have to pay. I prefer a simple old school experience. I do use electronic notes, but that’s because I want access to them wherever I am. I also leave paper notes on my desk for the stuff I really need to do tomorrow. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m all for saving trees Dan but as a medical tech I can tell you the new EMR system we have to deal with is maddening. I want my chart and black pen back. NOW! And not just because I like being able t write what is being said and actually pay attention to the patient instead of trying to remember protocol and where everything goes since the latest “update”. And there is that part of me (okay I do think of such things) that feels if the power ever goes out, the big switch gets flipped or some giant virus infects the grand computer brain, where will all of those medical records go? The girls I work with don’t have one clue about actually scribing in a paper chart. I use my internet all the time, to search, shop, learn, surf, pkay, communiacte and share. But I do take offense to the twenty something sales clerk at Macy’s telling me, when I asked for a physical receipt, that they are just waiting for all of us “old people” to die off so they can go full conversion to electronic…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All valid points. Once at Macy’s I refused a gift box. I said “why waste more paper” and the child-clerk said “I’m surprised that someone your age would care about the environment.” Maybe it’s the store. My doctors all seem to still be paper based, but one did have my daughters chart in my folder. Thanks for covering the bar :)


    2. And then when the doc decides to delete your files and you can’t get access to that info? Already happened to me on a surgery ten years ago. NO record, even though the records should be paperless.


  16. Well we will save the ineptitude of medical offices for another time. But I have heard that slander implied before, as though anyone over the age of thirty is a waster, unconcerned anti environment human. Where did that idea come from anyway? As always, it was my pleasure serving you guys. ,aybe we could compromise and have an electronic menu board built into the bar every few stools. Or better yet, a pop up laptop screen with the me u and you can just tap out your selection. 😄


  17. Okay , have Paper-free Day. Then , how about an IT-Free Day ? Would it work ? I used to hang wallpaper. Does wallpaper count in the paper-free day ? Maybe some details should be worked out before we jump into this thing .

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Very thought provoking post, Dan. I think recycling is the way to go with paper. As for printing out all my photographs, that might take a whole forest full of trees. I should select my favourite ones though, especially of family, and frame them. Haven’t done that for a few years now.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Although I use less paper, there are plenty of times when I use paper, and I bet you do too without knowing it. Do you buy coffee at Starbucks or McDonald’s to go? That’s paper. Sure, both could switch over to the Styrofoam, but the isn’t eco friendly like paper. Do you really prefer reading a book on a Kindle? I don’t despite the fact that do that when waiting for my appointments. As a writer, do you like having that book you just wrote JUST in digital for Kindle, or do you want it in paper form?

    Yes, we could all use less paper and safe a few trees, which I’m all in favor of, but paper has it’s place in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paper clearly has a place and I would prefer it over Styrofoam cups and plastic bags which will never leave the environment, at least trees are a renewable resource and we recycle paper well. I shake my head that things like preparing a document in Word, printing it and then scanning the printed copy to turn it into a PDF – yes, this happens. I always appreciate your stopping by and I love comments, so thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A little info. for you: I used to have Word, but I lost the digital key to it. What a waste of money. Nonetheless, the Word online is free and I believe you can change a document to PDF within the program. OpenOffice can do this too.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I have to comment because, while I totally agree with the fact that the computer can’t and shouldn’t totally replace paper, I have a different kind of paper story, which goes into the “less paper” category. But it’s a huge peeve of mine, way beyond pet.

    When I was in Taiwan, everything that was done had to be backed up with paper. And I do mean everything. Here is the most ironic one. As teachers, we were encouraged (to put it mildly) to use the online teaching platform (we used Moodle). I used the online system so much that I even got an award one year. I even found a way to grade on it, and gave demonstrations to others how to do so. In addition, I put assignments, handouts, links to websites, you name it. I only had a couple of competitors for the title of Moodle Queen.

    That’s the good news. The other side of the equation was when it came time for our yearly faculty evaluations. We had to do a self-evaluation first that got turned in to go through three levels of committees. After we checked off eight pages of items to accumulate enough points to pass each of the three sections of our evaluation, we had to print out those pages, even if we completed them online. AND then we had to attach documentation for each of the checked items. So, for example, if I served on an admissions committee, all participants were given a certificate that they did it, so they could attach it to the evaluation. The amount of paper and secretarial time that went into that task was ridiculous to say the least.

    But the crowning annoyance was that in order to document my use of Moodle, I HAD TO PRINT screen shots of several of my MOODLE pages. Whenever possible, I rebelled. If I didn’t need the points, I simply wouldn’t claim them. That helped save a branch of one tree anyway.

    I guess you touched a nerve. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Tony and Wendy really touched a nerve. I think people are stupider (if tha tis possible) sicne Google. And now we have the ultimate in stupid, the itty bitty puter called a smart phone. I HATE cell phones yet we have to get a smart phone — HAVE TO — for business. I hate that too, and will turn off texting fully. Here is the biggest thing I notice in our business, and this jives back in with what Tony said, above. WE now get “texts” on our email addresses from people who want an estimate on their grandmother’s sofa. No picture, no commitment by talk to us, no info as to where they live (which is often in Timbuctoo), and they have not done research to see if we are a good fit. AND, worst of all, they’ve sent it to 30 other people, all in the same boat. They want 30 businesses to take the time to estiamte restoration of their “fictitional” (it is if you can’t see the damn thing) sofa. We have a rule about estimates. We need phone number, address, name and an image to begin a ballpark. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA NOW HOW MANY PEOPLE GET MIFFED WHEN I ASK FOR THAT? Geesh. The internet totally wastes our time, a LOT.

    Curator love paper, and I don’t blame them. Fifteen years ago I sent everything to our clients on the miraculous CD, and now they’ve probably failed or can’t be played on the new laptops. So paper is very good for all the important stuff. That includes good pictures.

    And I also don’t print lots and lots of things — emails. I would be sad if things I have stored from my now-dead brothers were erased, so after hearing all this I better print those silly beloved things out.

    And finally, I think it is easier ot share printed material. And then there is toilet reading. I don’t advise taking electronics into the bathroom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I am enjoying your comments here very much. I can’t think of you working without paper. I absolutely love your journals and I marvel at your ability. I remember trying to estimate projects, having people tell me that “the finish doesn’t matter” and then telling me that the agreed-upon-and-delivered finish to be rejected. I still enjoy woodworking, but I think I’m glad I’m not trying to deal with customers today.


  22. Has anyone told you that these bar conversations are hysterical? Dan, you have me laughing so hard you have the cat that was sleeping so soundly on my lap now bumping my phone, making it impossible for me to type, typing with forefinger as in one, not 2 thumbs. Your pictures and your captions had me howling! I love the one of your cats. Mine do the same. As for this paper issue, I detest e-books, only reading real books made out of paper. As for the filing … sighs … I should give you a pic of hub’s office. Multiply the organized desk you have heard (aka messy desk) by 100. There. Now you have hub’s office. LOVE this post! I adore your beer chats! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. You notice that I didn’t include a picture of my desk. Let’s just say that I don’t practice what I attempt to preach. I own fewer (that was ‘less,’ caught by editor) than 6 eBooks and I don’t see me hitting double digits for a long time. I am so glad you enjoy the bar-side chats. They are fun to write and they let me explore topics that I can’t write an ordinary post about. This one has been crazy. I think I touched a lot of nerves. Thanks to everyone here, I’ve had a lot of fun with this. My wife printed these out (yes, she printed the comments and yes, I get the irony).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am going through the comments and am amazed by the reactions. I tend to agree about the fact we as a society are getting dumber due to not reading or writing the written word on paper. I write all my thoughts down on paper and edit on same paper, scribbling, crossing out, changing. It feels more comfortable. I am going to read these comments some more. I understand why your wife is printing them. And no the irony is not lost on me. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  23. So much layered here – with a few things to ponder (as usual) – and I really like how when u pay at the pump we do not have to get a receipt-
    And just a side note – last year some Google exec warned that people should be prepared for changes in technology – esp when it comes to photos and vids (something like that) because some archived stuff might not be accessible if they do not have the right gear – anyhow – there was some discussion about printing out some pics on archival paper just in case – so I try and do that now – I print out about ten pics a month – on good paper –
    Oh – and as noted earlier – love the pic of the cats – but all the pics had such a story in a way – like wondered what kind of records were in the boxes along that hall – and the file cabinets show what was in at different times 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading. I remember the warnings from Google, and others about digital file formats not lasting forever. I’d like to think that we will always be able to figure it out. JPG has been around for years, and it’s not difficult to read those files. Higher up in this list is a comment from David, who pretty quickly wrote a JPG reader for a project he had. I am thinking about starting to print some photos, just in case.

      The boxes along the hallway had been sent to us by a lawfirm in support of something. It was a depressing sight. I think the cats have the right idea – you can have fun with anything if you work at it.

      Do you print your pictures yourself of do you send them out?


      1. Oh so those r your boxes in the corridor? And I normally print at home – but paid for some in September because I was doing a collage (very rare project though) -and did u hear about the paper menu from the titanic sold for 88,000 dollars?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently you are Janet! After reading through all of these, I’m thinking that I should have been printing mine. I like to think that I’m safe, I have the original files. I have a copy in email from WordPress and WordPress doesn’t seem like it’s going away. I like that I can easily search my posts, but I get annoyed when I know I’ve written about a subject but WP search doesn’t return it on any of the terms I search for. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


  24. Dan, I agree paper needs to be recycled or diminished. I like to use a cloth bag at my local farmer’s market and community market but at the grocery, I ask for paper bags instead of plastic. I like to use these for garbage take out to apt dumpster and lining kitchen trash “can.”
    I like real books to hold on to, real bills to read on my mail and send back checks on the mail. I an not online banker either. I like to blog but wish my cell phone would not take wirds as nd “morph them!” :) :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. I’ll put you on the side of the bar with my wife, but close to the middle. I read real books. If my wife didn’t take care of the bills (with paper as you do), I’d mess them up online and have no proof to use when arguing with the bank. I recently sent a text msg to my daughter in which I hit the ‘v’ instead of the ‘c’ when typing ‘coffee table’ instead of leaving is as ‘voffee’ or correcting it, my phone changed it to ‘vmciffee’ – I’ll never understand that one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I forgot to say, Dan, I love one of my favorite set of photos of first born, Carrie. One is in a medium sized box and the other, she is in a grocery bag, her head only showing. Paper is “good” fun for cats and toddlers! :)

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Ohh, I’m rather torn on this. I understand and peruse the logic of e-readers, but I have lots of books too. However, I spend all my days in front of the screen anyway, printing out barely a thing, so the few things that are still in paper can they please stay that way? Especially toilet paper. Hihi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK. First, I never meant to include toilet paper :) – I also would vote to keep real books. I work at a screen all day and although I do print several things (which are easier to work with in paper form) I think I have reduced the paper I use. I think I’ve saved enough. Thanks for the comment (which I read online)

      Liked by 1 person

  26. An excellent read indeed.
    I also stand for no-paper, saving trees. Trees are dwindling across the world. Over here people cut down trees as if trees are their archenemies. Real estate developers don’t even spare a thought. And right now, real estate is extremely ripe in Nairobi, lots of “undeveloped” land. Which means woe unto the trees that grow in those areas. It is sad. You can find yourself somewhere and think that some absolute lunatics own it. Environmental terrorists. Then come the charcoal and timber traders. It has made me wonder: “when all trees are gone, will these people die off? What are they afraid of? Won’t there be other ways for them to make a living?”
    But of course there will be. Only they aren’t thinking about alternatives now. Until it is too late. Ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you Peter. There are many places around the world where activity like you describe is taking place. There are places where we are losing forests, jungles and all the wildlife that depend on them. All for quick profit.

      Liked by 1 person

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