8 Piles of Paper Replaced by iPads

Pilots, preachers, politicians and football teams among those taking the plunge with the Apple iPad tablet.

The iPad as paper shredder

It's almost enough to test one's vow never to speak of the mythical "paperless office," because the iPad in its relatively short lifespan has managed to remove quite a few tons of paper from quite a few workplaces … and other places. What follows are only a few examples, including the locker room, classroom, glove compartment, cockpit and church pulpit.

'Son, go see the coach … and bring your iPad'

According to an article in Sports Illustrated, two NFL teams – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens – are issuing their players iPads instead of paper playbooks, with another 14 considering the move. It's estimated that the league consumes 7.6 million pages of paper annually (no wonder they can't line up correctly) at a cost of more than $100,000 per team.

Lightening the load on pilots

Before they started swapping their flight bags for iPads, some of us didn’t even know that airline pilots were lugging up to 40 pounds of maps and manuals into their cockpits day in and day out. Alaska Airlines was among the first make the switch, with larger players such as American Airlines and United Airlines following suit. The change didn't come without controversy, but even the U.S. Marines are on board now.

And schoolchildren, too

According to Apple, some 600 school districts have already ditched textbooks in favor of iPads. Saving paper and money are not the only objectives. One principal says: "I don't want to generalize because I don't want to insult people who are working hard to make (textbooks), but they're pretty much outdated the minute they're printed and certainly by the time they're delivered. The bottom line is that the iPads will give our kids a chance to use much more relevant materials."

Smaller than a glove box

An iPad instead of a car owner's manual? Sure it was a sales gimmick more than anything else, but when Hyundai started providing a free iPad with each Equus it sold last year it was replacing a manual that nobody reads with a tablet that everyone wanted. Hyundai recently discontinued the giveaway, with its CEO sayingof its affluent customer base: "Not surprisingly, they didn't buy the car to get an iPad."

What would you expect?

Apple retail stores have started using iPads as signage instead of paper placards. The paper saved may not be measured in tons, but the point about the iPad's versatility is made clear.

You can fight City Hall clutter

Anyone who's ever been to a city council or school committee meeting can attest to the number of trees that give their lives to keep the actors in these productions on script. Some – Nantucket, Mass., being one of the latest – are putting iPads in the spotlight once occupied by those piles of paper. Is it really a good investment? Well, this investment firm estimates it could save $3,000 to $5,000 a year doing the same thing.

TV talking heads, too

A television news operation in Albany, Ga., went to iPads last year as replacement for the paper scripts you see anchors shuffling reflexively during broadcasts. An executive told The Poynter Institute "his station spends $2,000 a month on paper and printer repairs. Once he began thinking about the potential savings for the 15 stations owned by his company, Barrington Broadcasting, the experiment seemed worthwhile."

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