Easy Ways to Practice Green Printing in the Office

Environmental responsibility is essential in today’s office. Not sure how to start doing your part, beyond recycling paper? Read on for some easy strategies to increase your company’s commitment to sustainability by focusing on greening your business’ printing practices.

● Print on both sides — Two-sided (also called duplex) printing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to green your printing practices. By choosing this setting, your printed documents will use as much as 50 percent less paper.

● Use fast or draft mode — Fast mode speeds up printing time and dramatically reduces the amount of toner used per page. Only print in normal or high-resolution if it’s absolutely necessary—like for formal presentations and proposals.

● Print in monochrome — Black and white printing uses less toner than color printing. Even “black” text can use color toner, unless you specifically designate grayscale or monochrome printing.

● Program eco-friendly defaults — The best way to ensure green printing practices from your staff is to make it automatic. Set all printers in your fleet to default to environmentally-friendly settings to ensure the biggest impact.

● Avoid printing pictures — Unless an image is essential for understanding the content, stick to text only when printing.

● Use print-friendly formats — If you must print a webpage, look for the printer icon—typically at the top of the page—to print without wasteful images, sidebars, and menus. For PowerPoint presentations, print in handout format, with three or six slides per page.

● Share print resources — A networked device makes it possible for multiple users to share one machine. You’ll save energy by slashing the number of machines in use, and you’ll have less unused, wasted time for each device.

● Consolidate to a multifunction printer (MFP) — A single MFP can handle the duties of a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine. Switching to an MFP will use less power, take up less space, and save money.

● Use EnergyStar-certified machines — Look for the blue star that indicates a device is as energy-efficient as possible. These models will usually include advanced sleep modes to save power when not in use, upping your sustainability efforts even when you’re off the clock.

● Recycle printer cartridges — Used cartridges can be refilled as many as a dozen times, conserving raw materials and preventing waste.

Contact Infomax Office Systems today for help putting green printing practices in place for your company!

Do Your Part: The Big Impact of Toner Recycling

Electronic waste is one of the fastest-growing types of waste in today’s environment—and one of the most dangerous. From computer components to mobile devices, flash drives to batteries, electronic devices and their constituent parts are being used—and thrown away—more than ever before. Printer cartridges are a major contributor to the electronic waste problem. In North America alone, over 350 million printer cartridges end up in landfills each year. Not to mention, the entire process before the cartridge even gets to your office—drilling for oil, refining, shipping, manufacturing the cartridge, packaging, delivery, and sales.

With such an impact resulting from just a single printer cartridge, a little effort on your part can go a long way. A toner recycling program involving the toner cartridges you use will have a positive impact on the environment.

Disposal and Waste – Let’s start at the end—the final destination of a printer cartridge and its waste. It’s estimated that each laser printer in your office produces about 100 pounds of waste each year.  The majority of that waste ends up in landfills, where—for cartridges made from specialized non-biodegradable plastics—they take 1,000 years to filly decompose. Disposal also contaminates the surrounding environment—landfill-based cartridges can leach toxins into the ground, while incineration produces poisonous air pollution.

Production and Raw Materials – It takes approximately three quarts of oil to produce a single toner cartridge, and production of toner cartridges also takes its toll on energy and water. Fortunately, cartridges can be refilled as many as a dozen times, slashing the cost in raw materials, water usage, and energy expenditure. With consistent efforts, you can save as many as nine gallons (36 quarts!) of oil through recycling a single cartridge. Every component saves raw materials—the plastics, metals, and inks from a used cartridge can all be reclaimed and reused.

While technological strides for greener offices continue to advance, we can do our part for the environment today by simply recycling the toner cartridges we use. Consistently applied, this small habit can have a huge impact. Contact Infomax today to get a toner recycling program underway in your organization.