Environmentally Friendly Printing Tips and Ideas

By: Derek Rogers

Many environmentalists believe that the recent advancements in technology are bringing more convenience at the expense of the environment. Fortunately, many manufacturers are responding by using other advancements in technology to lower energy and resource consumption so money is saved and the environment isn't as affected.

From television sets to notebook computers down to the peripherals like printers, doing the environment a favour by using these right products responsively is one great way to help the planet. Here are some environmentally friendly printing tips that you can try.

Buying an Eco-friendly Printer

If it is finally time to get a new printer, one huge step in the right direction is to get a nice printer that focuses more on eco-friendly features than other features. There are several laser printer models and multifunction printers that all have special energy-saving features or printing presets that are designed to save paper and ink. These printers are often decorated with catchy logos like the Energy Star logo or any Eco-friendly logos that the manufacturer may boast. Before getting that printer read the customer reviews and editor reviews to ensure that the printer is really environmentally friendly.

Use Recycled Paper

Even if your old printer isn't really environmental friendly, you can still help the environment in other ways by using recycled paper. Recycled paper can even be useful for printing more serious projects like brochures. Using unbleached recycled paper for your brochures adds a nice design element since they are usually slight brown. It gives your print outs a greenish feel to it.

Be Minimalistic

Just about all printers support the letter and A4-sized paper types, but that doesn't mean that you cannot print anything smaller than that. Many printers have adjustable feeders so you can print documents that size. All you need is knowledge on how to configure the software to print smaller sizes. The "print" or "page setup" dialogs in the program are good spots to look at first. If you are printing brochures, small documents, or pictures, use the smaller size to your advantage and save some ink in the process too.

Go Easy on the Ink

The less often you use the toner or ink cartridge, the later it will fully drain. This also lowers the frequency that you dispose used cartridges. If you are printing documents purely for reference and personal purposes, use economy print settings or make the text gray instead of black. When printing images, use the black ink if colored ink isn't really necessary.

Properly Dispose Cartridges

Once you drained the ink or toner cartridge, don't just throw it in the rubbish bin. It is certainly better than leaving it lying around, but you can do more for the environment if you bring the ink cartridge to the computer shop where you purchased it so it can be properly recycled. You may even earn a discount for buying a replacement cartridge. If the computer shop doesn't accept, ask for advice on how to properly dispose the cartridge.

Following these tips may not do much in the short term, but if everyone works together in using printers responsibility with the environment in mind, everyone can be saving money while environments can work better to preserve the natural world.