Printing Sustainably: Tips to Help You Save Paper and the Environment

Just a few years ago, the idea of the “paperless office” emerged. This idea was backed by the belief that computers were going to eliminate the need to print anything on paper. However, this never happened and paper is still a huge part of offices and businesses across the country and across the world.

Even though it may be a while before an actual paperless office is created, there are a few things everyone can do to reduce the impact of constant printing on the environment. By using the tips and information here, you can stretch your printer paper further, saving you money and helping to do something good for the environment.

Create Strategies to Use Less Paper

There are several printers that can print on both sides of the paper, and in some cases, this can be set as the default method of printing. Also, statistics show that approximately 30 percent or more of the pages printed by workers will never be picked up from the printer. In order to reduce this waste, use a “follow-me” technology. This means a user has to swipe a card or enter a code to print something. This will help you eliminate waste significantly.

Establish Good Printing Habits

The proper training for your workers will go a long way in helping to develop good printing habits. Encourage your staff to only print the pages they really need. For example, when an email is being printed out, most people will only need the first page, or two at the most, not the entire email thread. There are other ways to minimize printing waste, as well, including using smaller margins and font sizes.

Purge Your Mailing List Regularly

If you send out information to a mailing list on a regular basis, you should take time to purge the list occasionally. As a result, you will be able to reduce the amount of paper that is going directly from someone’s mailbox to their trash can. You may also want to encourage customers to subscribe to newsletters that are received digitally, which could help you save even more.

The Ink Matters, Too

Keep in mind, the environmental impact that printing has is not just related to the paper. The toner and ink also have a pretty big footprint when you think about the materials and energy needed to produce the products, manufacturer the packaging and cartridges and then transport the items to their final destination. You can save money and help the environment by choosing remanufactured cartridges or biodegradable ink. Also, make sure to recycle your cartridges, rather than throwing them away.

While paper for your printers, POS machines and office is going to be around for a while longer, there is no need to waste. With the tips here you can save paper, money and help the environment along the way.