Smartphones Are the Real Green Solution to Paper Waste

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Now that even British Airways is letting customers bypass the usual hassle of airport check-ins via their BlackBerry smartphones, it is clear that the real green revolution is underway. This is not the same one being pushed by President Obama and his calls to reduce our ever growing consumption of energy (though it will definitely help in that regard), but one that will one that will find wide adoption because it makes our lives easier. This is the smartphone green revolution.

Business cards, documents and even books can now be consumed on the go without paper. Personally, I sometimes go for weeks at a time without dealing with the hassle of printing. Paper is waste and with our smartphones, it becomes unnecessary waste. Forests will soon no longer need to be cut down to satiate our nearly limitless desire to consume media. Even opening a bank account now sometimes does not require filling out useless reams of paper. It can be done online and confirmation of your identity can be performed by scanning your driver’s license.

Certainly our smartphones are playing a large part of this reduction of waste. They even require less power to charge or operate than a traditional computer—and yes I do consider smartphones to be computers. Like the airport check-in app I mentioned earlier, displaying a scanable barcode on the screen certainly beats paper tickets. Perhaps even sporting events will offer the feature in the future. These smartphone tickets are even more secure than their paper cousins and will not ultimately end up in a landfill.

Until smartphones find their way into every person’s hand, this might all just be a pipe dream, but it shows promise. Technology can increase waste or it can reduce it. Fortunately for the environment, less paper means savings for companies and the paper, security features and instant updatability that these paper-less apps offer can easily make up for the cost of producing them.

Are smartphones making strides for us to waste less paper?

 Let us know what you think and if you know of any other ways that smartphones have made us greener.

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