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Top Tips For Making Your Printing And Photocopying More Eco-Friendly

In the modern world, it is more important than ever to implement more sustainable and environmentally-conscious working practices. So, with this in mind, let us take a look at how you can make your printing and photocopying more eco-friendly. 

1. Get one machine that can do it all 

It goes without saying that using separate machines for printing, photocopying, scanning, faxing, and so on, can use a lot of excess energy. Instead, get your hands on a digital duplicator that can do all of these things in one. 

Instead of using electricity to power multiple machines, you will only need to fuel the one. This will reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity bill in the process. 

2. Recycle cartridges and misprinted paper 

Before you throw your old toner cartridges away, check the boxes or manufacturers details to see if they can be recycled. Even if they cannot be recycled in common household recycling bins, the manufacturer themselves may stipulate a more efficient way to dispose of these old cartridges.

Don’t forget to recycle any misprinted or scrap pieces of paper, which can be recycled alongside your household recycling. If you are worried about the contents of the pieces of paper, invest in a shredding machine, and then recycle the output. 

3. Print on both sides of the sheet 

The average person is estimated to use 27kg of paper a year. In order to manufacture this paper, the raw materials must be harvested from the earth, and energy used to transform the wood into functional paper. In doing so, this can cause mass deforestation, which contributes to a rise in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. 

Plain paper has two sides – so use them both! Turn on the duplex printing option before printing any document, halving the amount of paper that you need to use. 

4. Switch your printer into power saving mode when not in use 

Even when your printer or photocopying machine is not actively printing anything, it is still using up energy. This wasted energy can not only negatively impact your carbon footprint, but also unnecessarily increase your electricity bills. 

Try to choose a machine that has an ‘eco’, ‘power saving’, or ‘timeout’ mode. When this mode is activated, the machine will automatically go into a low power or standby mode when it is not in use. For devices that do not have such settings, you may find it beneficial to switch it off entirely between uses. 

5. Only print things when you need to 

Some business sectors have already begun switching to e-documents, with Sales only printing around 38% of their materials. However, for sectors such as Human Resources, printed documents are more essential, making up 62% of their materials. 

Before you go to print something off, consider if it is truly essential. Can the file be transferred, signed, filed, or distributed digitally? By questioning each choice, you will be able to determine the areas in which physical copies are necessary, and cut down on the amount of paper and energy you use. 

6. Offset your energy usage 

And finally, if you find that you cannot implement a lot of these tips, whether it is due to a lack of funds, limited resources, or rigid protocols, consider keeping track of how much energy you use. You can then use this data to offset your carbon emissions, lowering your carbon footprint.