Adopting green solutions when printing is more than an option, it’s a necessity. Printing requires the use of trees and energy. It also produces some volatile organic compounds related to the ink and its petroleum components that affect not only the environment but also people’s health. Printing is also an expensive practice for any kind of business or office. So, whichever way you look at it, green printing solutions will bring nothing but positive results.
To start with, you should consider replacing printing by digital solutions. It’s not about giving up printing; it’s just about reconsidering when it’s really necessary to print and when you can use PDF and emails instead. In case you use printing for promotion you should also design an online marketing campaign to promote your business or services through the web.
Here’s what to do when printing:
Print only the amount of copies you really need. People often print more than what they will actually use, wasting money and resources. Plan ahead the number of copies you need and also make a good use of digital printing and printing on demand solutions to reduce those unnecessary copies while printing.
Ensure you use recycled paper to print. Many people feel that using recycled paper is a sign of low resources and poor quality that would affect their company’s image, especially when it comes to promotional printing. However, nowadays you can find really high-quality recycled paper to print.
Also consider margins. Expanding margins on documents will help you include more text in one page reducing the number of sheets you will need.
Ink is another critical aspect. Start looking for soy-based inks that produce far fewer VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions. Actually, they are also easier to remove from paper, facilitating the recycling process.
Never forget to print double-side if possible. Most printers offer duplex options, however, many people just prefer to print one side instead of changing the printer configuration. This will take just a few seconds and will allow you to save 50% of your paper. If your printer doesn’t include duplex printing options you may want to consider getting a new one. It could be an investment but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
It’s also important to recycle paper. Just consider that almost 33% of the wasted material solid in USA comes from paper and paperboard. People use tons of paper but just a little is being recycled. It’s time to change that.
Small details in the printing process can make the difference. There is no need to invest too much. Sometimes it’s just a matter of attitude and conscience.