Worldwide paper consumption has plateaued worldwide after rising steadily for the past two decades, and the world’s richest countries saw a 6 percent decline in paper use between 2000 and 2005. Some folks forecast that a paper-free world is nigh, and trends back up that prediction: in more and more homes, you’re more likely to find a scanner than a Post-it. (Worldwide shipments of personal scanners nearly doubled from 2005 to 2007, and are expected to nearly double again by 2010.) Efficiency is likely driving the trend more than eco-mindedness, but a paperless world would certainly mean less stress on forests — along with an increase in energy use and electronic waste.

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