At the social security administration, it has been the status quo to print off queries regarding each claimant we serve. Many (if not most) representatives print off all the information at the beginning of their day before their claimants arrive at the office. This is a tremendous waste of paper. I do not propose not allowing employees to print this information, however, I do propose a mandate be issued to employees strongly recommending they do not print this information unless necessary. As a new employee, I find it is actually easier not to print the information. Most employees know they should use computers more to help with their work, but I believe employees need to be shown specifically how to use the computer to save their agency, and America, money. Tradition, not a lack in technology or effort, has led to an excess waste in paper.
Although I am unaware of other agencies' waste of paper, I am sure it is very prevalent. This problem may be fixed across all agencies by simply having management assess the need to print given today's technology. I believe significant savings would be realized across all of government by having management identify waste(s) of paper and share with the employees ways to avoid this waste. One or two changes a month would add up in significant savings over time without being "shocking" to those who currently use paper excessively. Showing people estimates of the money saved by making each change would also help "drive home" the reasons to require less printing.
A welcomed and needed by product of showing people how to work without excessive printing would also be increased efficiency. Eliminate waste, increase efficiency and show people HOW they are saving the government money.....win, win, win.