5 Reasons to Switch to Online Faxing (If Getting Rid of Your Fax Machine Isn’t Reason Enough)

“Fax? Why don’t you just send it over on a dinosaur?”

— The Michael Scott character on NBC’s The Office


You’re a modern small-business professional so you always make sure you have your smart phone, Wi-Fi-enabled tablet, cloud storage for mobile access to your files, and fax machine. Really?

Faxing is an old technology, yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re tied to a fax machine.

The good news: You can easily and affordably send and receive faxes without the fax machine itself. In fact, in addition to saving a significant amount of money on your overall faxing costs and simplifying your fax processes, there are great environmental benefits to switching to an online fax service like eFax. And look at that, right in time for Earth Day, April 22, too.

5 Green Reasons to Switch to Online Faxing:

5 Green Reasons to Switch to Online Faxing1. SAVE THE TREES!

According to data from the conservation firm Reduce.org, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of standard copy paper per year. And the National Resources Defense Council states that paper accounts for 42 percent of the trees cut down by industry each year.

So, if you’re interested in making a contribution to keeping a few of those trees alive, healthy and giving off precious oxygen, reduce your paper consumption in the office.

Here’s where an online fax service can help. With eFax, you don’t need to print out your faxes — inbound or outbound. Fax senders will fax their documents to your eFax number (which looks like any standard fax number), and eFax can route them to your email inbox. You can review, annotate and even add your digitized signature to faxes online or in the handy eFax mobile fax app. See more in Quick Ways Your New eFax® Mobile App Will Boost Your Productivity.

You can also send the fax digitally, right from your email account or the mobile fax app. No paper necessary. Faxing online is easier, takes less time and costs less money. And it makes for thankful trees.



Paper production and dumping the traditional fax machine itself can be dangerous. A toxic-release study from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ecology.com points out, states that papermaking releases a significant amount of dangerous substances into the environment. In fact, the EPA finds paper mills among the worst polluters of any industry.

The study notes that each year, millions of tons of toxic chemicals such as toluene, methanol, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid and others are released into the air during the papermaking process.

Electronics like fax machines, computers and printers often contain hazardous materials, and simply sending these items intact to a landfill means that their dangerous chemicals can leak out into the environment over time.

Switching from your traditional paper-based faxing process to an online fax solution is great way to help reduce our overall need for paper, fax machines and to reduce the amount of these highly toxic substances in the air.



Did you know that in many states dumping an old office copier, computer or fax machine into the trash is now illegal? There are two reasons for this.

One reason for this is that, as previously mentioned, electronics in landfills can emit hazardous material into the environment over time.

Another reason dumping these items has been outlawed is that most of these products are manufactured using small amounts of certain valuable elements — specifically precious metals like gold — that are difficult and energy-intensive to mine. Recycling an old fax machine means the ability to reuse those precious metals and thereby save substantial amounts of energy and other resources otherwise expended to extract more of them from the earth.

When you switch to online faxing, you’re contributing to reducing the amount of overall energy needed to mine new materials to make newer electronics and other useful products. Good for you!



According to recent data taken from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, a typical analog landline phone consumes 2.4 kilowatt-hours of energy annually. That’s a lot of energy — more than many other forms of communication. And it’s particularly inefficient when you consider that your fax machine spends most of its days just sitting there, taking up space, not doing anything.

By moving your business faxing to the cloud with an online fax service, you can help cut down on some of the overall energy consumption, which also helps the environment. Again look at all the good you’re doing!



Let’s return for a moment to the paper by conservation firm Reduce.org. They point out something interesting about those 10,000 sheets of copy paper produced by the typical office worker each year. The cost of using that paper is between 13 and 31 times the actual cost of purchasing it.

The fax machine would be an excellent example of this phenomenon. Yes, the ream of paper in your fax machine cost a few dollars. But the costs associated with your whole fax process — keeping the machine loaded with ink or toner cartridges, maintaining that costly fax phone line, making repairs to the machine, etc. — add up to far more expenses than just the paper.

Another one of the (many) drawbacks of using a paper-based fax machine is that all of the paper it generates requires storage and, often, retrieval. You’ve no doubt had to go digging through a file cabinet, storage closet or stack of papers looking hurriedly for a document you either sent or received as a fax months or years earlier. Those searches are costing your business time and money.

With an online fax service, like eFax, all of your old fax documents are stored electronically in the cloud with lifetime storage. Whenever you need to find an old fax, all you’ll need to do is go into your eFax account and search for the document using any number of simple search parameters (date, name, keyword). For the extra organized, you can even tag your faxes for even easier searching in the future. Watch our tagging and searching feature in action here.

In other words, switching to online faxing can mean not only that you are able to remove your old fax machine — it might also mean no more bulky file cabinets!

Try the full-featured eFax today for 30 days free.

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