Save money, reduce waste and engage your coworkers with these tips for reducing paper waste in the workplace.
How can I reduce waste when printing?
- Edit your document. Use the spelling and grammar check tool. Use Print Preview to check page breaks and avoid printing unwanted pages.
- Reduce font size and margins. Reduce font size (within reason) and use Page Setup to adjust margins and layout to fit more words on a page.
When you print and copy:
- Print double-sided. Set-up copiers and printers to print double-sided by default.
- Place reminders at copiers with how-to instructions for copying double-sided.
- Print multiple pages to a single sheet, when possible.
- Print a test copy before printing multiple copies of a document.
- Cancel print jobs. Learn how to cancel print jobs from both your computer and printer to reduce waste when you notice at mid-print that something is wrong.
How can I share and file documents electronically? When I need to print, how can I minimize the number of copies?
- Share documents electronically, through email or by posting them online.
- Route one print copy of a document around the office. Pass it around and attach a list of who should see the document.
How can I reduce paper when storing files?
- File documents electronically. Save old files on disks, back-up hard drives, on a cloud-based server or on flash drives.
- Create a central file for shared paper documents. This can save a lot of paper compared with duplicate personal files.
Other paper reduction strategies
What else can I do?
- Reuse paper. Set up a scratch paper bin next to your printer or copier to collect reusable paper. Reuse paper printed on one side by printing drafts on the unused sides. (See example in photo.)
- Reduce junk mail. Eliminate returned and duplicate addresses from outgoing mailing lists. Regularly update your mailing lists.
- Convert your outgoing mailing list to an email list, if possible.
- Use soy or other vegetable based ink. Veggie inks are less toxic than petroleum based inks.
- Paper purchasing guide.
- Engaging Employees to Reduce Paper – case study of REACH Community Development.