In honor of Earth Day (April 22) and Earth Week, the State of Illinois encourages employees do your part for the environment and help the state save money! Instead of printing on paper, for example, forward emails electronically only, and scan or save documents to an electronic format to your computer. Turn out the lights; overhead lighting is the biggest electricity hog in the typical commercial building.

  • According to the U.S. EPA, about 69 million tons of paper and cardboard are used and more than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers are published each year.
  • Approximately one-third of paper materials is made of trees – which are precious resources that throughout their lifetimes, help generate oxygen and purify the air, strengthen root systems, prevent soil erosion and recycle water.
  • In addition, EPA estimates show that paper makes up the majority of the national solid waste stream.

Your efforts make a difference!

During Earth Week—and beyond—please consider these simple techniques to reduce paper consumption, ensure recycling and reduce costs throughout the state:

  • Recycle at the nearest recycling bins.
  • Unplug unused appliances.
  • Turn off the lights when exiting a room.
  • Send faxes electronically.
  • Prioritize email communications.
  • Use your monitors, e-readers and tablets.
  • Use Adobe’s Portable Document Format (.pdf) to electronically “print” and save documents.
  • Deliver official documents electronically instead of through the mail.
  • Emailing invoices, statements and purchase orders is an easy and quick way to distribute important documents that also saves envelopes and postage.
  • Minimize junk mail and opt out of prescreened offers by visiting, run by the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion. DMAchoice and the National Do Not Mail List can also help eliminate unsolicited commercial mail.
  • Think about necessity before you print!

Additional Resources

The State of Illinois is committed to increasing awareness of unnecessary paper use, fiscal responsibility, protecting the environment and reducing the government’s carbon footprint.

More information on the state’s recycling efforts is available at: or visit to learn more about Illinois’ efforts to go green.