These days, many of us are making an effort to live a greener lifestyle. Using less of our planet’s resources in everyday life can have a real and positive impact on the Earth. Green printing is one way to contribute.
While technology has evolved and less paper is used than in days past, it is still important to ensure we make careful decisions about what needs to be printed and what does not. Cutting back on paper waste can be a great way to help the environment, and lower your carbon footprint.
But how do you print sustain-ably? In this post, we take a look at some sustainable printing practices that you can implement for more ethical printing decisions.
Sustainable Printing Practices
1. Print on both sides of the page
Printing on both sides of the page is a great way to reduce paper waste, while also saving on printing costs! Duplex printing means you can cut your paper usage in half (literally), which means less paper expense for you or your business, and less wasted paper for the planet. Many printers these days come equipped with an automatic duplex printing option, printing on both sides of the page without you needing to lift a finger.
2. Use recycled paper
Another green printing method is to use recycled paper when printing pages. Lots of companies now sell A4 printing paper that is 100 percent recycled, so you can print pages from sustainable sources.
3. Ask yourself if a page needs to be printed
One simple step for sustainable printing is to ask yourself if a page needs to be printed before pressing the “print button”. If it is for a client, would it be easier to email the document, or present it on a tablet? Instead of printing a portfolio, could you create a website for your work to be displayed? Do you really need to print out that resumé, or would a digital copy suffice? Small changes can help reduce paper waste in your home and office.
4. Choose an ethical printer
Choosing an eco-friendly printer can be a great, long-term sustainable printing decision. Many printers have features such as a power-saving mode, and automatic duplex printing, which can help lower electricity use, and paper use, respectively. Sites such as The Good Shopping Guide can be used to compare printer brands (along with other brands), to show which are the most ethical. These companies are rated on a variety of factors, including their environmental report, and their commitment to animal welfare. On the Ethical Printers ethical comparison table, brands are given an Ethical Company Index Score out of 100, so consumers can view which are rated the highest.
5. Choose eco-friendly inks and toners
When it comes to their environmental impact, not all inks and toners are created equal. If you’re looking to enact more sustainable printing practices, then choosing inks and toners that are environmentally friendly could be an option.
Instead of replacing the ink tank once all the ink has been used, some people may choose to refill their existing tank with bottled ink, which can also reduce waste and be an eco-friendly ink choice.
6. Dispose of waste correctly
Try to recycle used products wherever possible. If you’re done with a collection of printed pages, use them as scrap paper, once they’re served their purpose as scrap, recycle the paper, rather than just throwing them in the bin. There are many places across Australia where you can take your ink and toner cartridges, and toner bottles to be recycled.
Once you are done with your printer and looking for an upgrade, don’t chuck it in the bin! If it is still in working condition, and you’re just looking to upgrade, why not sell your old machine for a little bit of extra cash?! Selling a product on the secondhand market is a great way to reduce waste, and the buyer can get the product they need at a reduced cost! If the machine is broken, you can recycle your printer for free. E-waste recycling service TechCollect can come to grab your machine for free! If you are looking to dispose of multiple printers, there are also companies around that can collect and recycle large quantities of e-waste.
These above six tips are just a small selection of the eco-friendly printing methods you can adopt! Implementing green printing methods in your home or workplace can be a wonderful way to help the environment. Not only can they be great for the planet, but sustainable printing practices can also save you (or your company) money.
Something as simple as double-sided printing could greatly reduce the amount of paper used at your office, and with many printers now having an automatic duplex printing option, this can simply be selected when you need to print (no need to manually flip the paper and put it back in!).
If you’re looking to give back to the Earth, why not integrate some of the above green printing tips into your life?!