Printing Less

Remember when they said that the advent of the personal computer would all but eliminate our need to print?  The truth is, sometimes you just need to have something in your hand, and that’s OK! There are still some small shifts we can all make.  According to the American Forest and Paper Association, the U.S. uses 25% of the world's paper products, and the average American uses about 750 pounds of paper each year. Here are five easy tricks for reducing the amount of paper you use.

  1. Print and copy double-sided: Many printers come with the option to print documents on both sides.  This is usually found in an options menu associated with the printer. Most copy machines come with this feature as well.  The neat thing about copying double-sided is that you can take a document that is single-sided and make it double-sided when you copy.

  2. Print more pages: Your computer also has a feature in the print menu that allows you to print multiple pages per sheet, or in the case of printing a slide show presentation, multiple slides per sheet. 

  3. Shrink the margins: This trick can be done in your word processing software.  Sometimes a few lines of a document are pushed onto a second sheet, but by switching your margins from normal to narrow, you can get it all on one sheet.

  4. Keep a GOOSO pile: GOOSO stands for Good On One Side Only. Instead of recycling whole sheets of paper that are clean on the back, set them aside, and use their good side for printing things that don’t need a clean back, or to make notes.

  5. Go electronic, where it makes sense: There are probably one or two things we all print regularly, at least at work, that might be just as effective if they were sent out via e-mail. If it’s a document you expect people to hang up, take notes on, or sign, printing makes sense. If not, ask people if it would be OK to send via email. At home, consider signing up for paperless billing.