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Double Your Waste


More fuzzy-minded righteousness from the same sort of folks who gave us food miles:

Use Both Sides
(warning: link has annoying auto-play soundtrack/video)

This campaign has a simple objective: to give paper another chance. We hope to convince everyone that we can—and should—use both sides of paper.

I admit, when I first came across this, I expected they were talking about toilet paper. Thankfully, no.

After you print, don’t dispose of the pages, just because the printout didn’t come out perfectly or your printed something you didn’t need. The other side of a sheet of paper is still a blank page, waiting for your thoughts, ideas, notes, or even the order for the new intern’s coffee run at 5pm. It’s also very good for phone numbers, notes to a mate in the office and drawing caricatures of people during meetings.

Or for doodling out ridiculously trivial ways to pretend one is saving the planet. Keeping notes on scrap paper is no innovation, and has no ethical caché. We all do it already. The Both Sides movement assumes too much.

Further, this socio-moralistic demand to make use of blank sides of paper invites waste. Waste of time. Those already drawing during meetings, perphaps their time isn’t worth much. But I can’t track an inventory of partially-used paper. Or upon seeing a blank side, I can’t abandon productive work (or e-snarking) just to dream up some ephemeral nonsense to fill a blank side and justifiy the sheet’s pre-ordained trip to the waste bin.

There’s too much to do, and I don’t get any more minutes in life. I cannot afford to spend more time finding uses for my trash. Using both sides would only double my workload.

Writing on garbage doesn’t make one frugal, it proves one loony.


We've been reusing the other side of printed sheets at work for years. We always have a need for small pieces of scrap paper that will be disposed of soon after, and we kept running out of the more expensive notepads. We're doing it because it makes sense, not because we think it's a revolutionary idea that's saving polar bears and penguins. Please. That's just plain silly.