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5 ways to reduce paper use in your office

5 ways to reduce paper use in your office

Save your business some cash while helping the environment by following a few simple paper and power saving steps

If you’re hurrying to finish a last minute presentation, or hand in a report at 4:45 on a Friday, it’s easy to put concerns about the environment to the back of your mind. How much difference can one more print job, or a couple more sheets of notes, really make? Well, it turns out, rather a lot. A 2014 report, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency compiled information about paper usage in American offices. Some of the more disturbing figures include:

  • S. workers use 8 million tons of paper annually, or 178 million trees, and print 10,000 pages each a year, 14% of which are wasted.
  • Producing a ton of office paper uses the same amount of energy it takes to power a home for 10 months.
  • 350 million ink cartridges are sent to landfills every year, each one taking 450 years to decompose.

Even if you’re not an environmentalist, these figures are shocking, and reflect a larger waste trend in offices around the world. So if you’re interested in cutting down some of that waste, to save the environment and save your business a significant amount of cash, follow these 5 simple ways to reduce paper use in your office, courtesy of Syntax IT Support London.

Recycle and reuse

Rather than filling up landfills with empty toner and ink cartridges, take them to your local printing supply store to be refilled, which is significantly more cost effective. If you do need to purchase entirely new ones, select recycled toner cartridges with remanufactured ink.

Paper can also be easily recycled. Set aside a location in the office to keep scrap paper (paper which is only printed on a little, or only on one side) and use it for unimportant print jobs. Keep a bin or box next to the printer for waste paper that cannot be reused, and take it to the local recycling when full. When buying new paper, make sure it is recycled as well.

Use paper wisely

Little changes can make a big difference. Simply changing the size of your margins from one inch to half an inch can save a lot of paper in a large document. Similarly, reducing the size of your font, or selecting the double-sided option in your print settings, will help office paper usage to fall.

Invest in an energy efficient printer

It might not seem like a single printer is going to make much difference, but in an office, where it is used by a team of people, or where multiple printers are located across many rooms, the energy a company spends through daily print jobs can reach surprisingly high levels. By investing in energy efficient printers, you will reduce ink usage, paper waste, and cut costs. Do some research to find an environmentally friendly printer that suits your business needs.

Conserve ink

Unless the item you are printing is especially important, or being presented to a client, print it using the draft settings on your printer, which will use up less ink and print more quickly. Also, where possible, try to print in black and white rather than colour, which is a lot more expensive. Even the font you choose can make a difference, as some of the finer ones, like Calibri Light, use less ink to print than bolder alternatives.

Think carefully before hitting ‘print’

We’re living through the digital revolution, so take advantage of it! If something doesn’t absolutely need to be printed, don’t bother. Email it instead, or download it to PDF, or save it to the hard drive or a memory stick.

There is no downside to making your office greener. It saves you money and energy by helping you work more efficiently.

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