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There is never a better time than the present to adopt eco-friendly practices. Printing, in general, is an area that can generate large amounts of waste, both in homes and businesses. Did you know that 45% of paper printed in offices is thrown away by the end of the day (Steiner, 2018)? Unfortunately, much of this waste is not disposed of properly, which can harm our planet. But fear not. As experts in the print industry, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can cut down your print waste. And best of all, most of these tips require minor tweaks to your printing habits.

Double-Sided Printing

Double-sided printing, otherwise known as duplex printing, is a great way to reduce your paper usage when printing. It not only saves paper but also minimizes paper waste. As an added bonus, it also helps make printed materials less bulky and more manageable. You can easily configure your copier to print on both sides and set your default print settings to double-sided printing to avoid changing it every time you print.

Use Recycled Paper

When it comes to printer paper, consider using recycled paper. Several brands, such as PrintWorks and Hammermill, offer recycled paper options that are indistinguishable from non-recycled paper. This means you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your prints by opting for recycled paper. Our top pick is the PrintWorks 100 Percent Recycled Multipurpose paper. This particular one offers a good level of brightness, so you still get the traditional paper look and feel.

Preview Documents Before Printing

This is a simple yet effective tip to cut down waste. Before printing, always check what your document will look like in the preview mode. By doing so, you can spot any typos or layout issues and correct them before hitting print. This basic step can save you not only paper but also toner.

Recycle Toner Cartridges

Did you know that globally, only 20-30% of toner waste is recycled, and the remaining waste is dumped in landfills (Parthasarathy, 2021)? That’s why it’s always a good idea to recycle your used toner cartridges and toner waste collection containers so they are disposed of properly.  If you have a Sharp MFP, you can conveniently dispose of your used toners through Sharp’s Stop, Drop, Recycle recycling program. For non-Sharp toners, click here for a list of vendors in Florida that offer toner recycling services.

Use Eco-Friendly Fonts

When possible, opt for fonts that use less ink, such as Times New Roman. Some fonts are designed to reduce ink usage without compromising legibility. This not only helps save on toner costs in the long run but also supports environmental sustainability.

Use Draft Mode

For everyday printing that does not require high-quality prints, consider printing documents in draft mode to reduce ink consumption significantly. This is a great option for internal documents or rough drafts that do not require professional finishing.

Recycle and Dispose Responsibly

Once you’re done with using your printing materials, it is important to dispose of them responsibly. If your organization provides recycling bins, be sure to utilize them. If no recycling bins are available, you can start a recycling program within your organization. The program can be as simple as keeping a designated box to collect scratch paper that could be used for notes and other purposes.

Shifting Perspectives

At the end of the day, a big part of sustainability is changing the mindset. Before you go to print something, ask yourself, “Do I really need to print this, and if so, what can I do to reduce potential waste?”. Use these strategies to save valuable resources, reduce costs, and print sustainably.


References

Steiner, H. (2018, Novembe 6). Less paper, save forests, rescue the environment. Tired Earth. https://www.tiredearth.com/articles/less-paper-save-forests-rescue-environment


Parthasarathy, M. (2021, August 29). Challenges and emerging trends in toner waste recycling: A review. MDPI. https://www.mdpi.com/2313-4321/6/3/57

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