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Green Printing Tips and Advice

Updated on March 12, 2012

There are many things that can be done in an office environment, to help make it a little greener. The largest way to make the office a little greener is with the day to day printing. This is the single largest contributor of costly environmental impacts that the small office has. The cost savings that you can have if you were to follow some basic steps is enormous. Here, is a list of ways to make your office a little greener and energy efficient.

There are three main areas that a printer has on the environment

1. Paper

2. Ink or Toner

3. Energy

Paper reduction

When in an office environment, the easiest and most cost effective way to save money is paper. Set the printer to a default setting of, double sided printing. This will literally allow you to use half the paper you normally would in one day. Today’s printers automatically come with a double sided printing option, but if you do not have a newer printer you can also purchase attachments that will allow you to fix your older printers to print double sided. Even if you have to invest in a newer type printer the cost in just being able to print double sided would pay for itself in a very short amount of time.

Another way to implement green technology to cut paper waste is to setup a request at the printer for the user. There are many requests that are sent to the paper either by mistake or other means that no one ever picks up. This is an immediate waste of paper. So, setting up your printer to confirm the print job when the person is ready to use it helps save on the cost of paper.

Simply using soft copy technology will significantly reduce the amount of paper used. Not every PowerPoint slide needs to be printed out. There is software out there that will let you edit a document digitally. Also, simply adding a message at the end of an email before you sending it to remind the end person to consider the environment before printing has been found useful in reducing paper waste from the office.

Ink and toner

Ink and toner are the second largest consumption in printers, in an office. They are needed to be able to print out in color or black and white the information the person is sending. However, many companies simply put them in the trash when they are done, and this can be highly hazardous to the environment. Check and see if the manufactures of your cartridges are available to be recycled before you decide to throw them out.

Many ink and toner cartridges are recycled so make it a habit to purchase ones that have been recycled. They help the environment as well as allow you to save money from having to buy new cartridges every time. Also, check and see if the toner cartridge that you are using is a vegetable based toner. Many manufactures are starting to go this way, so that when those cartridges do get thrown out they have a less negative impact on the environment.

Energy consumption

Printers are the largest consumers of energy in an office besides air conditioning. The newer printers are being designed with new energy saving technology. This technology allows can help you save a tremendous amount of energy cost in the office. Many when they leave the office leave their printers on over night or on the weekends. Make it a habit before you leave to turn the printers off before you go away for the night or over the weekends.

These three tips on saving energy, money, and reducing your carbon foot print can help the environment tremendously. Most of them take little to no effort to do. So, make your impact on the world and help make it a little better one print at a time.


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