Printing…the modern office simply can’t live without it. However, conventional printing practices can be rough on the environment. There are the resources required to produce paper, and many inks are produced using heavy petroleum distillate, which is a fossil fuel product. If your office is looking for ways to go green how it does business, printing is a great place to start. Here are a few ways you can green your office with sustainable printing.

1. Prioritize Eco-Friendly Products

The first and most significant step to more sustainable office printing is to green the consumable products you’re using. Look for eco-friendly inks and toners such as those that use a soybean oil or linseed oil base, rather than petroleum. Use recycled paper whenever possible. When your existing printers reach their end of life, have them recycled for electronic components rather than sending them to a landfill and replace those units with power-saving models that are ENERGY STAR certified.

2. Audit Your Printing Practices

Many businesses and organizations print far more materials than they need to. Audit your printing practices to get an idea of how much printing you do, learn what is actually being printed, and identify unnecessary jobs. For example, start with your own paper recycling bin. What is going into it? Similarly, the next time you’re about to print a bunch of materials for a meeting, ask yourself whether the content would be better as a projected presentation and an email attachment. A Managed Print Services (MPS) provider can help you understand the usage of your printers through data collection software, providing transparency for your printing practices and actionable insight.

3. Print in Duplex (Double-Sided) Mode When Possible

Most printers default to printing documents in simplex or single-sided mode, leaving the back of every page blank. Whenever it’s feasible for you to do so, employ duplex or double-sided printing instead. You’ll use the same amount of ink, but half the paper.

4. Choose Digital Archives over Paper Archives

One area that sees a lot of printing is archiving. This used to be just about the only option for document storage, and in some industries, it’s still the norm. However, paper archives aren’t foolproof. These stored documents are susceptible to mold, rot, flood, fire, theft, and being lost or misplaced. Not to mention, they take up serious square footage. As your paper archives grow, they can become a logistical and spacial nightmare.

Storing your documents digitally reduces your need to print, saves you valuable office space, eliminates the threat of natural or data disasters, and reduces your logistical burden. It’s much easier to search digital archives, too, which will increase your business’s efficiency by providing quicker access to the information you need.

Interested in doing the planet a favor by greening your printing practices? Contact Golden Gate Office Solutions today to learn more about how to print more sustainably.