Needless printing soon racks up cost both through expensive toner and the paper upon which it is printed, not to mention creating damage for the environment through using precious paper resources.
Whilst it is impractical to think that we can eradicate printing entirely there are some simple steps you can follow, both at home and your place of work that will help to reduce printing costs whilst lowering carbon emissions.
Only print what you need
This may sound obvious, but how many times have we gone to the printer only to filter off the bits that we need and then dump the extra 2 or 3 almost blank sheets in to the recycling bin? This applies for both the home and businesses. Make sure that you choose your page selection and only print the pages you need. Better still, highlight and copy paste in to a new document the parts of the pages that you need and only print those.
With web pages it can be even more useful to do this – when you think you might only be printing out what you can see on your screen you will end up printing out the entire page including plenty of useless information. Copy and paste!
Proofread. And then proofread again.
Much of wasted printing documents are through needless repetition – if you do need to print something out make sure that you check, and double check, what you are printing. For the workplace it's a good idea to habitually have a secondary staff member double check work before printing as it's easier to miss your own mistakes.
Turn your printer off when it's not in use.
This may be easier to remember at home however it's as important (if not more so, given the scale of usage) for businesses to do the same. Keeping machinery powered up overnight costs a vast amount in bills and environmental damage.
Again, this may seem like common sense but it can be easy to forget to quality and cost control your office or home stationery supplies. Always keep an eye for the best deals on toner and paper as switching can save you money instantly. For an overview of different brands check out Ebuyer and see what you might be able to save.
Re-use and then recycle!
Whilst recycling printed documents once you have done with them is a step in the right direction, it is even better to make further use of the paper before it makes its way to the bin. As we rarely use both sides of the page when we print, you have a ready-made pad if you turn the page over. An excellent measure in the work place this will also be effective at home – simply designate an area for your old sheets and use it as notepaper, which also saves you money on buying new notepads. After that is the time to recycle.
Keep documents online
Consider if you can share your copy digitally before printing it out. For businesses this may mean switching brochures and client presentations to digital versions, rather than running up printing costs. Email presentations or put them on a USB stick.