Reducing Your Carbon Footprint While Printing
There are a lot of ways to go green. Whether you retrofit your house with green energies or opt for organic cotton sheets, even the little things can help the environment. When it comes to printing, there are a number of tiny changes you can make that will help make your carbon footprint a little smaller and make the world a little better.
You can start by looking into alternative ink options. Soy ink is starting to get more and more popular with consumers. It prints just as well as oil-based ink and reduces the amount of petroleum needed to make typical ink. Consider the number of people relying on oil-based ink every single year, how many cartridges one person's printer might require during that year. By switching to soy ink, you will be using a product made from sustainable resources and that does less damage to the environment.
Another good idea is to utilize scrap paper. If you simply need to print out something small or unimportant, hang onto old pieces of paper and print on them again. Using other pieces of paper for little things such as directions or online coupons saves the need for new sheets of paper every time. Likewise, when possible you should print documents utilizing both sides of the paper. Taking these steps will save you money as well.
There are a few options out there for recycled paper. When you buy recycled paper, you are saving trees from being cut down in order to make new paper. If you find paper that is made from postconsumer recycled material, then that is a guarantee that the paper is made from materials that have already been recycled once. It's a great option for being green - especially when a ton of office printing paper can require up to 24 trees. If you have no choice but to use virgin paper (paper that has not been recycled), see if you can find paper that has come from sustainable forests, which makes it easier to replenish the source.
Once you've finished with papers, you should recycle them, scrap or not. Dedicate a bin for office paper where you can throw in unwanted pieces of paper, scraps, or misprinted sheets. You will see how quickly adds up. This is another reason to opt for soy or vegetable-based ink as well. When you recycle paper, it has to be de-inked, and oil-based ink is more difficult to deal with, as well as being toxic. However, soy ink is biodegradable and is easier to remove from paper before it is recycled.
Don't forget about the printer itself! Look for one that is Energy Star certified. A printer with an Energy Star seal uses a lot less electricity to function, and therefore needs less energy overall to work. More and more printer companies are putting their machines to the Energy Star test.
By putting all these steps together, the environment will be better and you will save money. You can do even more by encouraging friends and family to make the same changes, spreading the idea of practicing green printing and leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint than before.
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