my english is not so good, but i think it is important to share an idea which was posted in French about cloud and invisible junk.
Indeed, it seems having all on the computer is more ecological than using paper. BUT, it is not realy true for few reasons.
1) storage on cloud use a lot of energy, from the computer you are using computer, but also from the huge computers which needs special couling system etc...
2) Computers are not recyclable and more of people change them every 2 years. They represent exactly the kind of dengerous waste (especialy the battery with heavy metals in). Try to use them the less as possible, and keep them the longer possible is the best we can do. And using Could or any kind of storage on internet make work and insane number of computers, producing wast realy polluant, "like we can do nothing with them, but hope our children will never find them after while".
3) What is so wrong with paper? If we have a correct utilisation of it, paper is a wonderfull material!
-100 % recyclable, and this for almost an infinity of time
- 90% natural and coming out renouvlable source: a tree is good for the ecosysteme, and can be plant again after while without making pain to any one. (While the plastic use in computer and all what computer needs come from oil and will destruct the ecosysteme it will be in one day of an other.)
- 100% healthy and beautifull (while few studies can show how bad it is for human (espesialy for children) to be in front of a screen to long)
For me it will be a disaster that not paper book are printed any more. Because a paper book never bug, is Always turn on without costing any enegy, can circulate freely in all the social spheres and even if someone thaught it out in nature, worms gonna eat most of it ;)
I hope my Frenglish will be understanable, sorry about that, and i also hope the fight against paper will be a bit less hard ;),
all the best and good luck (as we all need it) with changing the world,
ARS on Eastshore Highway in San Francisco and Frontage Road in Berkeley charges USD 7 to shred a banker's box stuffed to the gills with paper. Keep reusing your banker's box until it's ratty and falling apart, and at that point they'll put the box through the shredder along with your paper!
They also destroy hard drives for USD 8 (12$ if they remove it from your computer) and they will recycle the computer if you don't want it. Pretty sure they also destroy and recycle CDs/DVDs/other magnetic type things. I've seen people dropping off other stuff there - printers, fax machines, other appliance type things.
If you don't live in the Bayarrhea or can't get there, you can mail laptops/computers or hard drives to them to be destroyed.
I try to use recycled paper or at least buy the paper in cardboard boxes or wrapped in paper and not cellophane. But that outside cello plastic wrap is like the plastic around bathroom tissue - it's probably recyclable. I generate enormous amounts of paper in my work but always get it shredded since it's all confidential stuff. Not much I can do until my entire profession is paper-less, and that's just not going to happen during my lifetime.
Google "hard drive destruction" in your area, you will probably find a place that can do this cheaply, and they might even keep your computer for recycling if you don't want it. These kinds of places also seem to recycle and shred everything under the sun.
I'm not interested in keeping computers past the point that they die, like replacing hard drives or whatever. Computers are constantly improved in speed and function as is the software on board. New laptops cost something like USD 200-300 and some probably cheaper than that. It doesn't make sense to keep old computers when new technology saves me time and money personally, plus computers are a tax write-off for me. I'm just not interested in "used" when it comes to computers, I buy it all new, the risk of bugs and weird glitches is too high with used stuff.
I prefer cloud services over external drives. It's just easier and more convenient. You can grab the stuff from anywhere. If you fear the risk of hacking, why bother having anything electronic or using the web? Your personal cell phone can be hacked. I don't worry about hacking. The real issue is being spied on by the NSA. Hacking is a risk we're all taking every day using technology and the internet. No sense in losing sleep over it.
I find that the holidays are the hardest time for me to stay eco-conscious with the amount of paper/shipping supplies that I'm using (between personal and business). I've transitioned from the Amazon machine to sending holiday gifts in bulk using eco-friendly shipping supplies from http://www.ecoenclose.com/, who has reasonable pricing and if you're in business for yourself, the option of branding. My parents used to tease my great-grandparents (who lived through the Great Depression) about saving paper/tape from the holidays to use for the next year, but in all honestly, it's not a terrible idea (although, it can lend to a bit of unnecessary hoarding).