THE STORY OF THE PAPERLESS MOVEMENT
I am amazed at how things change. We go through our lives taking on challenges and solving problems. One thing leads to another, and then leads to another, and so on.
Because we’re so absorbed in meeting our challenges, we barely notice how things are changing. When we put our heads up and look back, we are amazed at how the progressions lead us to where we now stand.
THIS IS HOW THE PAPERLESS MOVEMENT EVOLVED FOR ME.
Let me backup and explain.
I was fortunate to grow up in a home where technology was present. My dad was what you would call an “early adopter”. The kind of person who tries out the newest technology before it has gone mainstream.
This means we always had the newest gadgets, computers, and innovative technology at home. (My father was also doing music with computers, since the first music software was newly released.)
During that time there was so much to discover and to learn—first on my Amiga 500 and later on the first PCs. I always tried to understand everything that was going on in those machines. I started to build my own PCs and then PCs for my friends and their friends.
I ALWAYS HAD A SOLUTION WHEN IT CAME TO TECHNOLOGY.
With the internet everything was revolutionized; with so many options and new areas to discover and to conquer. With the release of tablets and smartphones, the way we think and live changed completely.
At University I studied Physics. However, it wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be so I switched to Biotechnology to get a combination of Technology and Biology. This interesting combination of studies gave me my first glimpse into technology and biology coming together to create a green future.
When I started professional work as a Validation Expert and Data Analyst, I desperately needed a way to organize the efforts and communication of my team. I created a task-management app that improved our communication and increased our productivity.
This began my deep-dive into going paperless for efficiency. I studied apps and productivity systems and shared what I was learning with others.
This is where you come into the story. As a community, we began to talk about the best apps for going paperless. We talked about the reasons why going paperless was so life transforming.
My quote, “Go Paperless, Hug a Tree” resonated well in the community. We all had the same vision. To find the best apps and programs we could use to make our lives efficient and completely paperless.
Then, while I was looking over the facts that were covered in the post I published called, “Does Going Paperless Help the Environment? The Answer May Surprise You” I realized that going paperless is a great goal, but it was only half of the equation.
ORGANIZING AND SIMPLIFYING OUR LIVES IS IMPORTANT, BUT IT ISN’T ENOUGH.
The current research shows that going paperless versus using paper isn’t clearly the better choice. There is not much difference. If we quit using paper we save trees, but using tech in order to live a paperless life creates massive amounts of pollution.
The coal-powered energy used to create today’s technology, and the resulting pollution, are seriously impacting our planet.
That is the point where it all became so clear: We need to go paperless AND we need to shift to green energy. This solution actually solves BOTH problems!
I wanted this new paperless/green energy focus to have a design and a logo.
For a logo, I imagined 5 leaves going from green on the left side to blue on the right side: the green and blue moving across the leaves represent the fusion of nature and technology. The design for the paperless movement is this woman tapping on a tablet, and the combination of nature and technology. You see there is nature on the left side in green and technology on the right in blue. That’s what the sign for the paperless movement is all about.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
ALL OF THIS HAS BROUGHT ME TO WHERE I STAND TODAY. THIS JOURNEY HAS BEEN AMAZING.
So, what is this all about? “Oh Tom Solid, now you’re the ‘captain’ of the paperless movement ‘ship’?” Well… kind of.
The paperless movement is a story. It has lore behind it. This lore needs to be written and it needs to be told. And as a Paperless Community, we will build this lore together.
Don’t misunderstand me; it’s not like a religion or anything. It’s a community where we get together because we believe in the same dream. You don’t have to develop anything, just dream the same dream of a green future and the fusion of technology and nature. Because this is the future. This is the only way that the earth can survive. We are destroying everything if we keep doing things the same way.
Now, we can get overwhelmed when we hear about all of the ways we are hurting our environment. The problem seems so big and scary, that instead of facing it, we look away and try to put it out of our minds. Individually, we might be thinking, “I am just one person. What can I do about it?”
When people start looking in the same direction, focusing on a topic, talking about it, and sharing new ideas, it begins to change. That’s what has always created change.
My belief is, and I believe this truly, look at what humans have created so far. They had a vision, they had an idea, they had a dream, and they just made it.
Take flying, for example.
The first recorded instance of a man-made flying apparatus was a kite made in China, dating back several hundred years BC. Now that wasn’t such a stretch for the human mind, after all, birds could fly and a kite wasn’t heavier than a bird. But the fascination with creating things that fly had begun.
AND IT SEEMS THAT ONCE HUMANKIND LATCHES ONTO AN IDEA—NOTHING CAN STOP THE IDEA FROM COMING TO LIFE.
In the 15th century Leonardo Da Vinci designed his vision of flying machines.
In the 18th century hydrogen gas was discovered, leading to hydrogen balloons. Then hot-air balloons were created.
Curious people were forming theories that would lead to the modern study of aerodynamics.
These studies in aerodynamics lead to experiments with “heavier than air” craft, like gliders, and finally the airplane.
Logically it was hard to accept that flight of an object that was heavier than air could happen. But the few who had the vision and believed it was possible, pushed the limits that were known at the time to create a new reality and a new future.
Now we are sending ships into space.
"…now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together."
THAT IS ONLY ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW HUMANKIND HAS CREATED RESULTS THAT WERE ONCE THOUGHT OF AS “IMPOSSIBLE”.
We are a species with amazing power. On the earth today are some of the most amazing minds to ever exist. They are creating change and helpful technology at an astonishing rate, in comparison to what has been created up until now.
It is called exponential growth: When one technology builds upon the tech that came before it. And the growth gets bigger and faster and bigger and faster, exponentially.
In today’s world we are surrounded by reasons to believe it is possible to create clean energy and find resources to combine technology and nature.
Some of the biggest names in technology are working on it now.
In an article in Business Insider Elon Musk stated, “This is the biggest problem we need to solve on Earth in… production and consumption of energy.” And judging by his innovations in clean energy, he is working on solving this problem.
In an article published in The Guardian in 2016 Stephen Hawking said, “…now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.” And he continued, “…right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it. We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species.”
THIS IS WHERE WE, AS MEMBERS OF THE PAPERLESS MOVEMENT, COME IN.
The power in a group far outweighs the power of one. Alone, I am just one, you are just one. Together, we are a force.
To ignite the paperless/green energy movement, you don’t have to go out and create it on your own.
We come together. We share and spread ideas. We stay informed on the latest news in technology, energy, and our environment. We will spread the word with the hashtag #paperlessmovement.
We use the logo. When people ask us about it, we share our vision of a paperless “blue and green” future, where nature and technology merge.
By bringing more awareness to this movement, we can help shift the conversations and awareness around going paperless and developing green energy.
You can also support the paperless movement by going to Patreon and support the creation of more articles and videos about the current progression of the paperless movement.
If you don’t know what Patreon is, it is a site where you can pledge as little as 1 dollar to support the work of a creator like me who is bringing something you value into the world.
In doing this, you help me to create new content, to make decisions about what videos to make, and to understand what people really want to know.
You can bring your words and opinions to this platform, for a place where we can condense all of our knowledge and conversations about the Paperless Movement into one place, instead of spreading it out across many platforms.
I want to be sure I get everything you say, believe, and want to know about this vision of a paperless “blue and green” future. If you have a question, I want to be sure it doesn’t get lost in the confusion of jumping from one platform to another.
Most important of all, let’s not forget the vision. Simply by reading the articles I publish and sharing the Paperless Movement hashtag and logo, you can increase awareness and shift the tide.
We can do this together.