Monday, July 28, 2014

Goodbye to Paper


A financial Guru friend was trying to convince me that investing in Blue Chip stocks i.e. big famous Companies was still a smart move for the future.

These companies have been around and prospered for decades

he confidently chirped.

Lehman Brothers? I chirped back!

Well to me though many financial, social and moral values and principals stay firmly rooted and in some cases still far from the logical world or reality, some things do change.

For me one of the biggest changes (which people told me could never happen) is  

Paper!

30 years ago, sans Internet, or high density Hard Disk drives you had to read and then keep paper.

Our UK company had a set of procedures to yearly file all paperwork, transactions, sales etcetera into Box files and then secure them.  As per UK law they were then kept for 7 years and then destroyed.   We did not keep copies!   There was no such thing as electronic storage.

I thought of this as one of the plastic storage wallets  (now at least 15 years old!) slipped into view. I used it to keep a map dry when I made a small run locally.  A fitting end to a wallet used before for much more important things.

Today the Marcus and Agata household has very little need for paper


  • We actively refuse the paper Supermarket magazines from the big Swis Coop and Migros Supermarkets
  • We don't accept paper advertising mail into our letterbox  (you put a don't dump paper crap notice on the box in Switzerland)
  • All paper documents received that need not be legally kept are scanned, push into our quadrupliate+ documentation storage system (local, copy, offsite, cloud1 cloud2)
  • All originals are then shredded and the paper recycled
  • All magazines are now read electronically  (save for some UK magazines where paper is the sole option)
  • All paper newspapers are detested and only read online

We do plan for the future and we estimate that a lifetime's documents for both Marcus and Agata will easily fit on a single 4TB hard disk, which is the size of 2 Penguin Paperbacks  (so with at most 5 copies, that is 5 disks, for 2 people, for 1 lifetime).

Goodbye paper, we like your feel, but you are not ecological or portable or efficient.  Your time has come, and now gone.