Living

New life for old paper

The pile of paper on my desk is about 7 inches deep now.

No, I’m not behind in my filing or my work, although I’ll admit that sometimes the state of my desk may indicate otherwise.

I feed the paper from this constantly growing stack of half-used paper through our copy machine, printing on the clean sides.

Often I’m printing newspaper slot sheets in batches of about 100.

My colleague and I use about three to four slot sheets daily. On them we list the local stories and photographs set to appear in the next day’s paper. We give this checklist of stories to our copy desk editors so they can design their pages.

After the stories are filed, the pages are designed and the newspaper printed, there’s no need for these sheets.

That’s why I hate the thought of using clean paper for them. They have such a short shelf life and we use so many of them: more than 1,000 sheets of paper every year, or about two reams of paper.

Yes, it takes a little longer to restock the copy machine with this used paper. And I usually have to babysit the copier while it churns through the stack because occasionally Post-it Notes or staples sneak into my stack (since I’m not the only one adding to it) and then into the machine, jamming it up.

It’s a small thing but I’ve discovered over the years that it’s the small things that matter most.

-- Kristina Lord is an assistant city editor who has worked at the Herald for 10 years. She’s also the proud mother of a 3-year-old who knows empty milk jugs go into the recycle bin.


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