It’s 2020 and the need to take care of our environment is becoming a very serious matter. There are so many conscious and sustainable solutions for food waste, plastic straws, transportation and more. Yet, something about using the old school pen and paper note-taking method feels too comfortable to let go of.
If you’re serious about reducing your carbon footprint and not willing to break old habits, know that you don’t necessarily have to. There are numerous ways to take and keep track of your notes, whether you’re looking for something your used to or want to go in a new direction.
The following five methods for sustainable note-taking will ensure that you don’t waste another new piece of paper during your next board meeting or college lecture – and Mother Nature will thank you for it too:
If it’s the act of physically writing out your notes that keeps you productive, you don’t have to break this habit. Instead, invest in a device that allows you to do so electronically. Almost any tablet can work hand-in-hand with a note taking app and styluses that allow you to write your notes electronically. Then, you’ll be able to access your materials on any of your devices. It might not be the real thing, but it’s pretty close to it.
Along with loving the pen and paper method, you might also be an avid highlighter. And although you can’t always control the handouts given to you in board meetings or textbooks provided for classes from teachers, what you can control is your own zero-waste contribution. To do so, purchase your forever highlighter that never runs out of ink, and even extracts material onto your smartphone device and desktop computer.
This is known as ScanMarker, a highlighter-shaped scanner that enables you to pull selected text from books and paper, and then instantly transfer the words onto any of your devices via the Scanmarker app or any of your preferred documents.
A simple fix for limiting your paper waste is to start using ebooks instead of traditional textbooks. You might need to invest in an e-reader tablet up front, but it’s definitely worth it if you plan to buy a lot of books. E-books are nearly always cheaper than the paperback version.
On top of this, you can highlight, copy, and search text within ebooks. This will allow you to easily extract notes and save the information, without having to hand write anything. It will save you time and save the environment – a double win.
Maybe giving up the traditional book form is not something you’re willing to do. If that’s the case, make an effort to only purchase used books. You won’t be contributing to the destruction of trees, but rather reducing the number of items that go to waste by taking them into your own hands. On top of being sustainable, this solution will also save you money too.
Despite our efforts to persuade you to go electronic, it’s perfectly fine to want to live a life with less screen time. You can still stick to your pen and paper method and be sustainable, just look for eco-friendly versions. There are many journals with pages made from recycled paper available, you just have to look for them and ask around.