Save the Trees: Alternatives to Paper Lists in Your Home


Even with so many different electronic gadgets and apps available on the market today, many people still rely upon the old-fashioned charm and utility of paper messages and lists. While these are cheap, easy to find and simple to use, over time, this can amount to a great deal of wasted papers. These alternatives can help you cut down on paper waste while still getting the messages across to the intended recipient.


Chances are good that the last time you saw a chalkboard was when you were in school. However, chalkboards are making a comeback in many ways. In addition to the traditional rectangular boards that you can hang upon the wall, you can also purchase accessories such as signs, placards and even flower pots covered in chalkboard surface. Another alternative is creating your own chalkboard out of chalkboard paint, suggests this article from Better Homes and Gardens. You can cover a small area or a whole wall in your home.

Painting the Walls

If chalkboards are a bit too messy for your liking, another alternative to using paper is dry erase paint. This type of paint is as easy to apply as any other type of interior paint. Once the paint has dried, you can use any color of dry erase marker to make lists, leave messages or even create a mural on your wall. Once you’re done with the message or tired of the art, simply wipe it off and create anew. Not ready for an entire wall? You can frame an area using painter’s tape and just use the dry erase paint on a section of space, suggests the Busy Mom’s Helper blog.

Creative Messaging Systems

If you can’t paint the walls because you’re renting or leasing an apartment or condo, but you still want to cut down on your paper use, consider painting another type of material with dry erase paint. You can apply dry erase paint to surfaces as diverse as MDF, plywood or tiles. You could even use sheets of vinyl, bamboo or old paneling. Just be sure to only mix enough of the paint for the project you’re doing. You’ll also need to wait about a week for the paint to fully cure, explains this article on

When You Can’t Let Go of Paper

Lists made of paper can get lost, torn up or damaged, explains this article. If you prefer small areas to write on for when you’re on the go, a small scrap of wood painted with dry erase paint will work just fine. You could purchase a clipboard and paint the flat surface with dry erase paint and have a handy holder for the marker. However, if you just can’t let go of using paper, there are some ways you can reuse scraps, junk mail and envelopes. Try using dry erase paint board message systems at home and lists for when you’re out.

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