Save by Printing Less Paper resized 600Isn’t a bit ironic that you have a high-speed office printer, but that nowadays everyone’s primary concern is helping the environment and printing less?

The cost of paper becomes a concern once you have multiple employees and no printing policy.  And the more you print, the more you use your printer, and the sooner you’ll have to make a printer repair.

Here are some of the most common ways paper gets wasted in the modern office, and what to do about it:

    1. Double-check to see what you’re actually printing.  How many times have you printed off a single-page e-mail, only to instead get 5-10 pages?  And then half of those pages have two lines of text!  It’s not always clear what you’re printing.  When you press “print,” and the print dialog comes up, make sure you print what you intended to print.
    2. Use PDFs instead.  It’s so much easier (and more paper efficient) to do things electronically.  You probably own a smartphone and tablet PC.  You rarely actually need paper anymore these days.  Use an electronic PDF instead of its paper counterpart.
    3. Print on both sides of the paper.  Called “duplex printing,” print on both sides of any piece of paper.  There is an option to make this the default printing setting, so either do that yourself or have your outsourced IT vendor show you how.  Most major office printers have this feature, but if you have a smaller office and printer, it may not.
    4. Send electronic invoices and financial statements.  Not only do you save the paper, but you save on labor costs by not having these documents assembled and mailed.  Use electronic delivery instead – your customers expect this anyway.
    5. Format your documents for more efficient printing.  Use a smaller font with a thinner typeface (this also saves you ink).  Increase the width of your margins, and if you can do it without sacrificing reading quality, shrink the spacing between lines.
    6. Create a company-wide policy and reinforce desirable behavior.    Whatever you decide, make sure everyone in your organization knows about it.  But, people won’t necessarily change their habits just to save paper and money.  It works better if you provide an incentive for reducing paper usage.  Pit your departments in a competition with one another and take the one that uses the least paper out to dinner.  The reward can be whatever they want, but you get the idea.

So if you follow those tips, you’ll use less paper, save more money, help the environment, and you’ll reduce the wear and tear on your printer.  This results in fewer printer problems later on down the line.

Enjoy your newfound savings!

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Learn more about the author Bob Martin