Many businesses have to print things like memos, emails and other important company docs. It’s inevitable. But, all that printing is costing us a lot of trees and a huge carbon footprint. The ink and toner, the parts of the printer/copier – everything takes energy to make. And then energy to ship. Although many businesses can’t go totally without printing, anything companies can do to scale back the amount of printing is commendable.
First, to figure out how much energy your office is wasting, go to the HP Carbon Footprint calculator at HP’s Web site, here. This online tool can estimate your paper usage and printer energy and tell you how to apply energy saving technology or how to consolidate devices to lower costs – for you and the environment.
Appending a “green” message to the end of an email is great to remind recipients not to print the email unless absolutely necessary. Many just say “Think before you print. Only print the pages you need.” Anything to that effect will make recipients think twice before printing the email.
Recycle unnecessary printers. Many organizations keep buying new printers without recycling the old ones. Next thing you know, people with offices have a printer in their office and there’s a large printer/copier for every 5 employees. Recycle old printers and when you need new printers, buy multifunction printers/copiers/fax machines to reduce the amount of energy and paper wasted. The multifunction printers also cut down on needing to print something, copy it, and then scan it for faxing. All this can be done with one machine and one printout.
Also recycle ink and toner cartridges. All major printer manufacturers have cartridge recycling programs, and many also recycle printers. Might as well send them all your recyclables at once – another way to save yourself some money!
Turn off printers during non-business hours. Many printers can be automated to be turned off, or at least put to “sleep mode” during hours when no one is using them. This can significantly lower your electricity bill over the course of a year. You might also save money on parts and ink since the printer won’t be continuously re-setting itself to get ready for a print job that won’t come for another 12 hours.
Use double-sided printing. A simple, yet effective plan. Set your printers to automatically print double-sided; make employees manually set the paper to print one-sided for important docs like contracts. This is usually called the “duplex” option in your printer “Options” menu.
Print on “draft” mode. Not every doc you print is the final version. And many printed docs are for personal use. There’s no reason to use two or three times the amount of ink needed to print these. By setting your printers to “draft” mode, your docs will come out lighter, often with just one layer of ink. You get plenty of ink to read your doc and you’re saving ink costs and environmental costs for not refilling the ink or toner as often.
All PrintPlace brochure printing, booklet printing, catalog printing and postcard printing services are done on chlorine free and FSC or SFI certified paper stocks with vegetable-based inks.