This article is contributed by Joel Banford.
Environmental responsibility applies to every part of life. Some things that people can do have a greater impact than others but no effort is wasted. Printing documents is something that many people have to do on a regular basis and the collective printing of an entire country or nation can be hard on the planet. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint as it pertains to printing.
1. Do Less Printing
Consider whether you need a hard copy before pressing the print button. If you want to make a backup you can use reusable media such as a flash drive, cloud storage or an external hard drive. If you want to send the document to someone you can use email. A wide variety of conversion programs are available so that you can create just the right file format. Admittedly, some things will still need printing but you can avoid wasting ink and paper on the ones that don’t.
2. Print Double-Sided
If you must print something, make sure you use as little paper as possible. This is best done by printing double-sided. Even if your printer is not equipped to automatically print double-sided you can easily do it manually by printing all of the odd pages, reloading the paper upside down and then printing all of the even pages. Try it out once so that you know how to position the paper.
3. Print Most Documents in Draft Mode
Draft mode is the setting on your printer that gives the lowest quality final product. However, with text documents it is often difficult or impossible to see the difference. Draft mode produces a lower quality product by using less ink so it will make your ink cartridges last longer.
4. Reduce the Font Size
Some documents will need to be produced in an easy-to-read, standard size. However, a lot of documents that need to be printed can be shrunk before doing so. This enables you to fit more pages onto a single sheet of paper and can reduce your use of ink and paper by over half. Try printing a few lines of text in progressively smaller fonts until you find the smallest size that you can comfortably read.
5. Use Recycled Paper
Paper is a substance that is relatively easy to recycle. It is not all that expensive in the first place so it can still be quite affordable to choose a recycled option. Doing so reduces your carbon footprint and spreads the message that people are willing to pay for an eco-friendly option. Make sure to choose an option that was not bleached with chlorine, if possible.
Some eco-friendly paper is made of part traditional wood and part bamboo. Bamboo is a grass which means that it grows considerably faster than any wood-bearing tree and is easier to harvest sustainably. It also does not require pesticides in order to produce a good yield which reduces the impact of the crop on the planet.
Author Bio: Joel Banford works in a professional printing service organisation. During his tenure he has discovered the importance of going green and becoming more environmentally friendly during business practices. The use of recycled paper for catalogue printing and other printing related services can help provide a more environmentally friendly community.
- Carbon footprint courtesy of net_efekt via photopin cc
- Printer courtesy of Quasimondo via photopin cc