It’s about saving energy (which of course also saves money, but we’re looking at a higher purpose here…). An important and easy way to save energy and resources is to look at your printing habits – at home and at work. Many of us have some bad habits – printing on just one side of the paper, for example, or leaving the printer on overnight. Just tweaking a few processes is enough to make a difference in your energy consumption and your carbon footprint.
Use the right equipment for your needs
Many offices and homes still have separate printers, scanners and even faxes. Think of all that electricity! Smart people invest in multifunction printers as they’re easy to use and cut down electricity consumption.
Ask if you really need all that hard copy
Before hitting “print”, ask yourself if you really need to. If the answer is still yes, then you can still reduce your paper usage by opting to print on both sides of the paper. Most printers have a duplex option, which allows users to do just this.
Using the “print preview” option is an often-overlooked measure too. Nearly all of us have thoughtlessly pressed “print” only to find that half the lines of text are missing from the page. Cue scrunched-up paper hitting the bin and a finger hitting “print” once more… Using the preview option helps you to avoid this waste by showing you any missing parts so you can re-format.
Re-use, reduce, recycle
So, we’ve covered reducing the amount of energy and paper you use in your printing, and while that’s great, it doesn’t go quite far enough! You can also cut down on the amount of ink and toner you use. Reducing the amount of ink and toner is a good way to save money too, especially if you also take advantage of Cartridge People toner offers or if you buy inkjet cartridges from them. You can save up to a third of your ink by swapping fonts – Times New Roman uses much less than Arial, for example.
Rough drafts and internal documents don’t need to be of the highest quality – using draft or greyscale saves on ink. The paper used internally doesn’t need to have a high GSM or be all glossy and fancy either – save that for marketing materials.
Recycle ink and toner cartridges
Try to recycle as many cartridges as possible. All major manufacturers offer a Freepost facility so you can return empties. If your office gets through a lot of cartridges every month, you might be able to order a dedicated recycling bin from your council.
Turn off when you tune out
Not many people know, but some printers use almost as much electricity when they’re in standby mode as they do when they’re working. It’s really important to turn them off when everyone goes home, or at least put them into sleep or eco mode, which uses a little less power. Many modern machines have the option to enter sleep mode after a certain amount of time, or outside office hours.