Do a simple mind experiment and think about the number of times you actually read the product manual that came along with the product you had bought. Your attempt to count the occasions is most likely going to result in “I can’t remember”, “Very few times” or even “I never read them”. Now, consider extending your mind experiment to include your friends, colleagues, or family members. At this stage, you can be more than sure that you have recognised a pattern, as the results of your experiments, will mirror the behaviour of the vast majority of consumers who do not read the manual.
The lack of customer product manual usage is a problem not only for the uncalled resources spent on producing them, or the lack of ability to onboard or support customers efficiently, but more importantly very significant and yet avoidable exploitation of natural resources. Have you ever thought about the environmental damage that is directly linked to the production of such hard copy manuals? From deforestation to air and water pollution through the manufacturing processes and waste containment. After all, the issue of climate change is an issue of consumption. And such a problem can’t be solved with the same thinking we used when we created it.
Why should we continue exploiting our planet for something so inefficient and unnecessary when we can take advantage of today’s digital world? At Layerise we focus on reducing the environmental impact for businesses by introducing better, environmentally-friendly, and highly efficient consumer-tailored digital Product Assistants. The digital and always present assistant your customers would want to “engage with” and at the same time have a clean conscience that no tree has been cut down because of them!
Looking at the environmental footprint there are several detrimental impacts of paper and ink production. Only the paper industry alone emits around 0.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases each year. What’s even more stomach-churning is that the same industry is responsible for almost half of the “football field of the forest” lost every single second around the clock. With the current pace of deforestation, the world’s rainforests will be gone by 2100. No one would prefer seeing their grand or great-grandchildren living in a world without oxygen or protection from destructive extreme weather events.
Besides, paper pollution from paper waste is another serious problem. When paper rots, it emits methane gas which is 25 times more toxic than CO2. What’s more, producing only a single page of A4-sheet of paper takes 10 liters of water, which sounds mind-blowing if we know that we have less than 19 years left till the world runs out of freshwater unless water use is drastically reduced.
There is no doubt that a significant amount of freshwater is being used during paper manufacturing processes, but what adds to the disastrous effects even more, is that most of it is thrown out as wastewater highly contaminating surrounding water bodies. Just the thought of a life without clean water to drink is difficult to conceive. Perhaps, it’s a good time to consider these effects the next time you are deciding whether you keep utilizing conventional paper-heavy methods or going environmentally friendly with digital options.
In addition, compared to paper production, ink cartridges are considered to be a much smaller global issue. Still, in our opinion, even minor issues deserve attention - especially when we have superior alternatives. An overall approximation of CO2 emissions per average ink cartridge production is 8kg. With more than 1.1 billion inkjet cartridges used around the world every year, this amount does not sound so insignificant anymore. Nevertheless, the real environmental issues with the printer come when disposing of a printer, with contents primarily composed of plastics and resins, cartridges take a significant amount of time (between 600 and 8,000 years!) to decompose. With almost 350 million printer cartridges disposed worldwide each year, we are slowly building the world’s growing plastic mountain. It is hard to imagine that is the place you would want to spend your winter vacation or your hiking trip. However, if we want to make this mountain smaller, we need to burn the waste. When burned, toner and ink cartridges are hazardous to the environment as well as humans. This seems like a dead-end - how can you help solve this issue? Once again, it’s time to “dig out the roots of the problem” by promoting digital transformation over printed conventional manuals.
Let’s face it, in today’s fast-paced life and busy schedules, people are increasingly more dependent on digital solutions that have a fairly simple interface instead of “wasting” their precious time reading the manual page by page. Who has time to spend 30 minutes reading the instructions when we can get the same amount of information in a 1-minute long video? People need something that is time-efficient, easy, universal, and effective. Moreover, the unnecessary production of conventional manuals and their environmental impact is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just about pouring time and money down the drain. It’s about real-life consequences as one thing leads to the other. It starts with you making a choice of producing such manuals, which leads to deforestation, air and water pollution, and scarcity. This leads to climate change and consequent destruction of our livelihoods as well as the well-being of future generations. It’s a butterfly effect - the concept imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon. If you want to prevent this “climate typhoon” from happening - make a choice again. This time opt for not only environmental neutral, but also more efficient and time-saving solutions like the one offered by Layerise. It’s a “win-win” situation - playing a part in saving the planet and making customers happy by assisting them in an interactive, effective, time-saving, and content-rich manner.
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