Paper has had a great run. It has been a key ingredient for making books. It has played a role in innumerable societal advancements. It has saved a president’s life. It beats rock.

But paper is also a drain on resources and the environment. For people and companies looking to go green, reducing paper is a great place to start reducing their carbon footprint.

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Yet at properties all over we still see paper being used in a number of places and situations where simple technology can be used instead!

For example, many properties have a paper guest log. Sure it might not be using a ton of paper, but why have it at all? Many desks by the front door are already equipped with a computer or tablet. Plus, where are all those logs stored if you have to go back through them in the event of a problem?

The same applies to permission to enter forms that residents sign when they want to let people in when they are not home. One building we visited had a binder nearly two inches thick full of active authorizations. These are legal documents that managers need to have access to in the future. Not to mention, what if something happens to the binder?

Another example is the bulletin board. It may not get used frequently, but it displays paper that does not need to be used. There are plenty of electronic means through which the messages on the board can be distributed, and, let’s be honest, get more eyeballs looking at them. Heck, even the bulletin board itself is often made of cork or other tree by-products.

The last example we’ll mention (but certainly not the last one on the list) is package notices. To be fair a number of properties we’ve seen have adopted electronic systems. But to be fair to the trees, a large number of properties have not. Post-it Notes seem to be the weapon of choice. Not only are they a waste of paper, but often they’re also a waste of money; sticky notes are expensive!

Actually, we will mention a few others. Leases. Feedback forms. Rent checks!

You see where we’re going. Electronic solutions that are easier for residents to use and for managers to control exist. They are an awesome way to show off green credentials while saving time, money, and trees.