Citizenship. Sustainability. Social Responsibility.

a CSR 3.0 life solutions community of the Benita & Catalino Yap Foundation

Saying goodbye to paper

This was derived from a blog post the author uploaded to his own blog last 8 September 2014. You may read it on his blog, The Daily Aloy, here.

Question: What is a social problem you relate with, and how can your CSR lifestyle address such?
For me, one of those is the excessive usage – and wastage – of paper. Now, we all know paper revolutionized the world since being invented in China millennia ago, but we seem to have a tendency to go extravagant on our inventions/discoveries such until the climate (in all senses of the term) dictates the need for otherwise.

About 25-40% of annual wood harvest (according to this and this) goes to paper production and similar. The former article also says that we lose 8 million hectares of forest a year (13 million, in actuality, but 5 million are grown back thanks to afforestation). This means that approximately 3 to 5 million hectares of forest go to paper production alone. Furthermore, much of our paper eventually ends up as trash. In 2012, the United states ended up with 71.6 million tons of paper thrown away, accounting for about 40% of its trash output (the single biggest item on the graph).

We also know that deforestation is responsible for more catastrophic effects of natural disasters, such as increased flooding in lowland areas once there are no more trees uphill to absorb all the rainwater – a very real threat in the Philippines. So there’s got to be something we can do about it.

One company has taken this initiative and turned it into a sustainable, socially responsible, and innovative product that when I first laid my eyes on I simply had to get one as soon as I could: the Boogie Board. No, it’s not a surfboard: it’s an eWriter.


The Boogie Board is a dream come true for someone who likes writing by hand but is also an environmentalist – such as myself. Why? It’s an eWriter that comes with a built-in and very cost-effective erase button and what’s called a Reflex LCD. This is the proposition of Kent Displays, a joint venture between Kent State University in Ohio and Manning Ventures that researches, develops, and manufactures the aforementioned. Made on flexible plastic substrates that reflect ambient light to produce images, Reflex LCDs allow for powerless image retention – the technology that drives the Boogie Board. In fact, the battery provided is only to erase the board’s image, and the power consumption is so small that the battery still worked after 50,000 erases in tests on the Jot 8.5 (which uses a 3V watch battery).

The Boogie Board is produced by Improv Electronics, Kent Displays’ consumer arm. It comes in six different models varying in size. While four are perfect for single-use writings such as grocery lists or quick notes, the other two are very interesting in that they can also save what’s written and translate these into high-resolution PDF notes that can then be transferred to your computer.

I’ve gotten myself used to writing on my Boogie Board, and I haven’t touched my BCYF commonplace book or other scratch papers in a while. Using a Boogie Board is a creative innovation in lifestyle precisely because of how it’s used – it could be used at home as a grocery list, in the office to write notes on when taking calls, or as a daily tasks-to-do list on your desk. The Sync and Rip models can take the place of school or work notebooks, for taking down notes in class, writing down your organizer, or creating drafts of, say, concept papers.

And all for the sake of saving paper, thus saving trees, thus saving the planet, thus saving ourselves. We even save money in the process. These calculations by Improv Electronics estimate that one Original 8.5 Boogie Board can save 50 reams of US Letter-sized paper already, and that the cost benefits (of paper and expenses) will only grow exponentially in large organizations. And assuming that one Board has 50,000 erasures and thus 50,000 “sheets”, the SRP of USD 40.00 means that each “sheet” costs just USD 0.0008. So, using a Boogie Board is tantamount to nature and financial salvation.

Now that’s CSR that you can start living out on your personal level. Give it a try.
To find a Boogie Board retailer, click here.

*Photo courtesy of


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This entry was posted on October 1, 2014 by in Arts, Community, CSR Life, Culture, Environment and tagged , , , .
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