5 Ways to Make Printing at Home as Eco Friendly as Possible
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How’s your lockdown going? One of the things that’s been highlighted for me is the importance of all the resources I have.
As I’ve been ‘into an eco friendly lifestyle’ for many years, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but even I am seeing the value in so many more things.
Take my office for example. I already work from home, so this move towards remote working hasn’t been too much of a shock for me. However, I’m looking at my rapidly reducing pile of paper in my printer and know that I won’t be visiting my local stationery store any time soon. So I need to eek it out. The same goes for my printer cartridges. I have two left, so I’m making every print count!
Here are five things I’m implementing to make sure my printing is as eco friendly as possible:
Print only when necessary
I’ve received countless emails from companies who remind me to only print when absolutely necessary. And I admit I do find a printer handy as I find it difficult to read on a screen. So I probably print more than I need to. During lockdown, however, I’ve been really mindful of everything I print and I’m switching to paperless wherever possible, such as storing files digitally, rather than hard copies.
Adjust printer settings
When I do need to print something, I’m making sure I have two settings in place – duplex (printing on the back and front of paper) and draft quality. Funnily enough I can’t actually see the difference between the quality of a standard print and draft print. I can only imagine it’s applicable to printing photographs and images. In fact I prefer draft quality because it prints in around a quarter of the time!
One of my ‘must get around to doing one day’ jobs has been to recycle my cartridges. I have a big pile of them in my office and I’ve just not done anything with them. However, Cartridge Save tell us that the plastic in a cartridge can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfill. Not to mention all that toxic ink leaching into the environment. So this week I’ll be packing mine up and sending them off to be reprocessed.
Choose your font wisely
Did you know there is a piece of software called ‘eco font’ that reduces ink consumption when printing? It works with popular fonts such as Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman. What it does is print less pixels than usual – it’s hardly detectable to the human eye, yet can save up to 50% ink. This is a solution for large organisations, so when you eventually get back to the office, why not bring it up at your next eco meeting?
For small business owners like me, choosing a font such as Ryman Eco Font which is made up of thin, hollow lines, can reduce ink usage by around one third.
Close the loop
Recycling is all well and good, but we need to close the loop and increase consumer demand for recycling products. So purchase recycled paper made from post-consumer waste, buy your printer for longevity and remember to WEEE it after use and purchase refilled or refurbished cartridges where possible.
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