Printing is an essential task in many businesses, but it negatively affects the environment by consuming three resources: power, paper, and ink or toner. For one, electricity use can emit greenhouse gases and other pollutants, while paper and ink cartridge consumption leads to tons of waste.
Thankfully, there are many environment-friendly printing habits that organizations can practice every day. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Enable power saving mode
Your printer consumes energy even when idle, so it’s important to enable its Power Saving or Sleep mode if it goes unused for a long time. This feature reduces the energy the printer consumes without turning the machine off completely, thereby reducing power usage and preserving the battery.
2. Print on both sides of the paper
By using both sides of the paper, you cut the required number of sheets for your print job in half, reduce paper costs by 15%, and decrease the waste that ends up in landfills.
If possible, print on both sides of the paper. This can be done by enabling duplex printing on your printer’s settings. By using both sides of the paper, you cut the required number of sheets for your print job in half, reduce paper costs by 15%, and decrease the waste that ends up in landfills.
3. Print in grayscale and economy mode
Most office printouts don’t need to be in color, so print in grayscale unless necessary. This saves your colored ink, which you can use for documents such as brochures, newsletters, and executive summaries to distribute to customers, investors, and stakeholders. Also, use “draft” or “economy” printing mode, as these print faster and use less ink.
4. Proofread your documents first
We’ve all printed out a document only to notice a formatting or grammatical error. When this happens, the document needs to be reprinted, which will consume more paper and ink. To mitigate this problem, make it a habit to proofread your documents. You can also use your printer’s Print Preview feature to check or adjust your document’s layout or resolve any issues before printing.
5. Use recycled paper
Recycled printing paper is an environment-friendly alternative to regular printing paper. And thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, the quality difference between recycled and regular paper is almost imperceptible.
6. Recycle ink cartridges
If a cartridge ends up in a landfill, the remaining ink will leak and contaminate the soil. Or if it gets incinerated, it will emit gases that contribute to smog, a form of air pollution that hovers over many places worldwide.
That’s why it’s best to recycle ink cartridges. Manufacturers offer this for free, while third-party retailers will donate to charity or even give you in-store credit for recycled cartridges. These will then be turned into new items, such as pens, mouse mats, disposable cups, and furniture, so nothing goes to waste.
7. Recycle paper and printers
If you’re done using your printed documents, use them as scrap paper. Shred old documents and scrap paper once they’re all used up. Shredded paper can be turned into a rich, organic compost that’s great for plants. This way, you don’t just protect your sensitive information, but you’ll also do Mother Nature a favor.
Or if you’re looking to upgrade your printer, why not sell your old machine for extra cash? Selling a secondhand product is a great way to reduce waste and allows the buyer to get the product at a reduced cost. If your printer is broken, however, you can send the device to e-waste recycling facilities.
Complete Document Solutions offers managed print services that can help your California business practice environment-friendly printing habits. For instance, we will replace small, low-use printers with larger, high-use ones that are energy- and ink-efficient. We will also help you cut the waste and expense of paper documents through our Digital Documents solution. Drop us a line today.