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Save on Paper and Save on Green: The Monetary and Environmental Kind

You may be going through more paper than you think. Each year the U.S. uses 4 million tons of copy paper. Most of this is used in offices, where the average office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper annually. Obviously the vision of the paperless office is still a long way off. However, if you are looking to save money or just interested in keeping the environment green, the following tips on how to conserve paper and printer ink should help you out.

Save paper

Use emails

Why use a sticky note or paper when you can send an email. Besides, it’s a psychological drain to see a mass of sticky notes stuck to your monitor and every flat surface of your cubicle. Besides, sticky notes can get lost and the glue on the back of them makes it more difficult to recycle them. Also refrain from printing emails unless you must because, let’s face it, paper just creates clutter.

Save on paper

Print on Both Sides

Implement this strategy and see big reductions in paper usage. This will obviously not work for all documents, but it can be used for in house uses. Make duplexing the default choice on your printers and copiers. Then format your documents so they take up more of the page and use less paper.

Paper save - print both sides

Preview Documents

Before automatically pressing the print button, proofread and make any necessary edits to the document. This allows several advantages. For one, you can take a general look at your paper and check if anything looks awkward.

For word documents you can check if all your formatting is correct; things like correct line spacing, indentations, headers, and other errors that can be spotted without looking too closely. In addition, you can thoroughly read through your text and make one last check of your sentence structure, ensuring correct grammar is used, spelling etc.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve printed off a paper and immediately see I made a mistake in the first paragraph. It’s a waste of expensive ink toner, so use print preview to your full advantage.
Cut back on TPS reports (remember Office Space?) Reduce the amount of paperwork that staff members have to complete. Move forms, reports and similar documentation over to your computers where they can be filled out electronically and saved.

Think of the space saved from filing cabinets you’ll never need or the money saved from shredding services. Think how happy everyone in the office will be when you buy them their own stapler with the money you save!

Cut Back on Using Printed Material

If your company has a periodic newsletter, put it online instead of in print. Do the same with employee manuals and other similar materials. Save on using paper catalogs to order supplies by shopping and ordering directly from your supplier’s Web site.

Save on paper

Move your Money Online

Set up direct deposit accounts for your employees. Make all of your payments online. If you work by yourself, take advantage of accounting software, online banking, electronic credit card statements, and payment services like PayPal. Larger companies should also take advantage of online payroll and tax programs.

Avoid color printing

If you need to print a document, print it in black only. This saves the expensive color ink for those documents that absolutely require it.

Reuse and Recycle

No matter how much effort you put into conserving paper, a pile of wasted paper will inevitably build up around the printer. Make use of this waste by placing a tray beside your printer for paper with only one side printed on. Assign one of the drawers in your printer for this paper and reuse it to print drafts. Also buy paper with recycled content.

Paper saving

Frugality, while it may seem insignificant in the short run, will stack up in the long run. The little amounts you save now on efficient printing, printer toner, and on paper will accumulate quicker than you may think. Think if you saved 8 cents per print job and you make 100 prints per month, that’s $8 per month that was previously going out the window. Save that up over the course of the year and you have $96 per year. Point is, making habit of frugal printing practice will not only save the environment, but also your hard-earned dollars.

One Comment

  1. Avatar LatoyaSmith says:

    Great post. Over the years I’ve ordered dozens of catalogs that were
    printed with less than expected quality, some being downright scrappy. A couple
    months ago my company in Hobe Sound FL, printed some catalogs with PCA Delta
    and they were great. I’ve been printing with them ever since. They show care
    for the environment by using soy based inks, plus recycled papers are available
    upon request. If you need items printed on recycled paper go to I strongly recommend them.

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