Having more sustainable printer practices in the office is not just great for the planet, but it can also reduce electricity costs, paper costs and ink costs for your business. A lot of business owners worry that adopting eco-friendly practices means spending more money and that could not be further from the truth! Sometimes it is the smallest changes that can have the biggest impact on reducing your environmental footprint. Being more sustainable in the office can be as simple as using your printer less. Printers use more energy and resources than you might think which is why it’s a good idea to change up some of our worst printing habits to help reduce your environmental footprint and help keep the planet green.
Every day, almost half of all paper printed in the average office goes in the garbage. And it’s important to stress that this is on a daily basis, and none of this paper is recycled. That is a sobering statistic but also an important reminder to take a look at our own office habits. You should be asking yourself what is being printed, for how long will you need what is being printed and if you even need to print anything at all. If going paperless sounds like something you can’t do, simply reserve printing for the most important documents and scan the rest.
Recycling paper is one of the best ways to reduce your printer’s environmental footprint since it takes lots of trees and energy to produce paper. Of course, you should not just recycle paper but also use recycled paper when possible. The next time you buy paper, choose a type that is FSC certified paper and made from recycled paper, preferably 100% consumer waste paper. Another smart way to reduce paper waste is to use printed material as scrap material for jotting down notes and writing grocery lists or to-do lists.
Don’t forget to recycle your ink cartridges and toners! 375 million ink cartridges go to the landfill every year. The good news is that ink cartridges are almost completely recyclable and once recycled, can be repurposed into new cartridges or plastic products.
Most office printers have a duplexing feature that allows you to print on both sides of a page automatically without having to manually turn the page over and hit the print button a second time. This feature can literally save thousands of pages a year. Automatic duplexing is not only great for the environment but helps save you time and money.
We can’t tell you how many times we have printed something and expected it to look one way and then it ended up looking not how we wanted! This is where print preview can come in handy. It shows you what your document will look like before you even send it to the printer.
If you have a bunch of office printers sitting around not being used, it might be a good idea to consolidate and simply just use one. Consider using a multifunction printer which can handle all of your office’s printing needs. It will eliminate the need to have a device just for scanning, a device for faxing, etc. Your energy bill will thank you and so will the planet.
Much like computers and smartphones, printers also have a power saving mode. It helps save energy by putting your printer into a low consumption setting. Your printer might already have the power saving mode configured but if not, you can always consult the owner’s manual for your printer since each printer is different.
Choose a printer that has an Energy Star label because it’s one of the surest and best ways to know that your printer meets efficiency and environmental standards. But that’s not the only thing you should be looking for in a printer. You should also be looking at printers that come with high-yield inks so that you can get the most pages from your inks before they are depleted.
Making your printer more eco-friendly can be as easy as printing in grayscale or using a monochrome printer. Another foolproof way to save ink is to print in Draft mode and reserve only your most important documents for the highest quality print setting. You can even conserve ink by changing your company’s font! The type of font you use for printing can have a big impact on how much ink is used.
We know office workers use a lot of paper but we did not know that they use this much! Your business could be wasting paper and ink and not even know it. We recommend enforcing a company policy to curb some of that waste. Remind your employees to use two-sided printing, encourage printing only when it’s necessary, and configure swipe printing on your printer so that employees must swipe their badge to print. You can even automate reminders to employees by delivering notification reminders that show up on their computer screen. If your printer comes with it, make sure to take advantage of printer logs to keep print costs down and hold employees accountable for doing their part to reduce paper waste.
Sustainable print practices are not just good for the planet, they can help your business save money. By changing some of our habits, we can help conserve the planet’s resources and help protect the environment.
Guest post by Tekburg
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