5 Ways to Achieve a Greener Printing Approach in 2014

For many businesses and individuals, reducing your carbon footprint and adopting a “greener” approach to your daily routine is something that continues to be a clear objective.  We enjoy a greater understanding of the needs and benefits of recycling, compared to a decade ago; but for many people, it can be all too easy to fall into old routines and bad habits in the workplace.  This includes printing documents when you don’t need to and using color print after color print because “it looks nice”.  This isn’t always a necessity and it can impact on your costs in the long run.  We all try to find ways to save money in our business or indeed in the home, so below we are going to take a look at five ways you can do this through print.

Five Ways to Improve Your Printing Habits in 2014

  1. Only print what you need:
    One of the most common mistakes any business can make with print is to print more than they need.  Whether you are printing leaflets and flyers for a promotion or creating a brochure for an event, it can often be all too easy to opt for more than you actually need.  This is usually done because it can be perceived as value for money, especially as your print run starts to run into the thousands and tens of thousands.  The reality is that you won’t need them all, and you could end up binning thousands of prints because you felt you were getting value for money.  This also means you are basically throwing money in the bin.  This year, only order what you need, when you need it.  The advances of digital printing solutions allow you to receive print orders of what you need, in no time at all. 
  2. Use both sides:
    This is a lesson to learn when it comes to printing in the office.  Sometimes it easier to just hit print rather than actually editing how you want to print.  For all internal documents or those documents that aren’t overly important and will be shared with many individuals in your office, consider printing on the reverse of the page.  You may even be able to get two pages printed on each side of your page, essentially reducing your print-run four fold.  Print on both sides to reduce the amount of paper you use in the office on a daily basis.  Again, this approach will help you save money on your printing and paper costs in the long run.
  3. Recycled paper doesn’t mean poor quality
    For years, recycled paper had a reputation and perception of being something that was inferior in terms of its quality.  The print just wouldn’t be the same and the page just didn’t look great.  Those days are long gone and nowadays you can purchase top quality recycled paper to use in the office or for promoting events and offers you may have coming up.  It really is one of the easiest ways that you can change your printing habits this year.  Use recycled paper but also remember to recycle paper and prints that you no longer need (I know this may sound obvious but it’s the best place to start).
  4. Think with ink:
    Adopting a greener approach to printing doesn’t have to just involve the paper you use (or don’t use as the case may be).  You can also change your printing habits for the better by considering the ink you use in your printer.  Vegetable or soy based inks are a great alternative to the standard ink cartridges and because they have lower VOC emissions, these inks are easier to remove from paper during the recycling process.
  5. Embrace technology:
    The last way you can look at your printing habits in 2014 is by cutting them out altogether.  While you won’t be able to do this with everything you do, you can start to do it with a lot of your printing, whether internal or external.  Start with the basics and start using email and PDF’s to send and read documents.  Send your customer’s digital formats of any leaflets or flyers and encourage customers to visit your website and social media channels for certain promotional messages.

Print will continue to play a big role in your business for many years to come, but make 2014 the year you start to take a green approach to your printing.  It’s amazing the difference that some small changes to your print habits will make to your business, from your carbon footprint to your overall costs.  You can then reinvest any of these print savings into other areas of your business, no matter how large or small the saving is.