How Smart Printing Practices Reduce Environmental Impact

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Up to 80 percent of a printer’s environmental impact comes from paper consumption. Lexmark’s John D. Gagel shares his advice on how to reduce the volume of pages you print

Organisations of all sizes—from large enterprises to small businesses and home offices—should be looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact as they conduct business. No organisation can afford to cut out printing altogether, but there are ways that can help them become smarter about how they print.

Forward-thinking organisations have realised that just buying a product that’s dubbed green or energy-efficient is no longer enough. Today, organisations must go one step further and implement best practices about how they use their technology devices to promote a greener office environment. When it comes to printing, this means businesses must directly address the amount they print—and look for ways to print more efficiently.

The following are nine easy methods that any organisation can implement to immediately reduce the volume of printed pages:

Method No. 1: Think if it really needs to be printed

Before anyone within the organisation prints out an email message, a document or a presentation, they should take a second to stop and think if it really needs to be printed.

Documents and email messages can always be reviewed on the computer using tracked changes or shared with a colleague via email for their review. Organisations that commit to only printing out final documents eliminate the waste associated with printing out multiple drafted versions. Also, reducing the margins in all text documents will fit more content on each page and reduce the total number of pages used.

Method No. 2: Use both sides of the paper

This one may seem simple but, whenever possible, print on both sides of the paper. Many printers today offer a duplex or two-sided printing option. Leveraging this function is easy, and can reduce the amount of paper and cost of paper supplies.

Method No. 3: Leave out the ads

Internet ads always find a way to sneak from the screen to the paper, wasting valuable resources. Ensure that the printed version of web pages only includes the text; eliminate pictures and ads that can take up a lot of space and ink. Use the free, smart printing tool bars that are available and allow you to only print information you need.

Method No. 4: Save your ink

While ink and toner can be costly, higher-yield cartridges can save businesses more money and reduce the printed cost per page. Printing in draft mode also significantly reduces the total amount of ink or toner used.

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