There are several ways to green up your printer usage.
Recycle Used Cartridges: Recycling used printer cartridges is a popular way to save money and help save the environment. Many office supply stores will take back used cartridges and give you a store credit in return. Office Max and Staples both offer a $2 credit for each cartridge, which also saves you money on office supplies if you purchase from these businesses. There are also numerous toner cartridge recycling businesses popping up nationwide. In addition to the environmental benefits, recycled cartridges often cost half of what new cartridges do, offering savings to business owners.
Use Soy Ink: Another option is to switch to soy ink, instead of the more common ink products, which are petroleum-based. Soy ink has several benefits. It is made from soy oil, which comes from a renewable resource, while petroleum products are not. Soy ink is more biodegradable, degrading four times faster than regular ink. Also, less soy ink is required for the same amount of printing, leading to few cartridges made and fewer cartridges thrown away.
Consolidate Printing: A final option is printer consolidation. Consider removing desktop printers and fewer networked printers. This leads to less printing by your staff and fewer cartridges that need to be purchased. Educating your employees on the costs of managing paper is also beneficial for a company attempting to go green in the printing department.
For most small and medium sized businesses reducing paper consumption can significantly reduce an organizations carbon footprint. If the US cut office paper use by just 10 percent it would eliminate 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases which is the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road for one year. According to reduce.org, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year. Further paper statistics conclude that it takes an entire tree to generate 12,500 pieces paper, of which only 5% will ever be recycled.
Even though the principles of a paperless company are beneficial, it can be challenging to leave behind a data format on which your business has always relied. Here are just a few easy tips that can start your business to reduce and recycle paper;
Use both sides of the paper. You can set your printer default to print both sides, make double-sided copies, and use the backs of single-sided documents that have served their purpose.
Think before you print. Double check print/copy properties before you print, only print the necessary pages, and share documents whenever possible.
Put forms, newsletters, articles and any other applicable documents online. Your management, employees and customers will have immediate access to what they need.
Recycle, recycle, recycle. If your company does not yet have a recycling program, get one started. If you have one, make sure you employees know how to properly use it. Be sure to use post-consumer recycled paper whenever possible.
Going completely paperless is a commitment that will take your company time to fully implement. A first step is getting better organized electronically Then, start by improving overall automation of processes. As identified by the numbers, if every business made improvements it would make a significant impact to climate change.
Long gone are the days when a recycling bin or a catchy slogan sent the message to your employees that your company cared about the environment. You’ve talked the talk about your business’ sustainability practices, now it’s time to implement. Here’s a couple of quick ideas for you to green your business operations;
Encourage Carpooling. Carpooling is as old as commuting itself, but it’s also an exceptionally straightforward way to cut down on carbon emissions. Each participant in a carpool completely takes that person’s tailpipe emissions out of the air that day, and reduces the need for parking. But don’t just tell employees you value carpooling, show them — help them with ride-share matching, and incentivize carpooling with reduced-cost (or free) parking in better spaces. And consider programs such as prize drawings to reward your carpoolers; discounts, swag, or even cash.
Ban the Bottle. Sure, everyone knows most plastic water bottles are recyclable. But “recycle” comes after “reduce” and “reuse.” Many businesses — and some municipalities — are retrofitting their old drinking fountains to include bottle-filling stations, eliminating the need for countless bottles to even be manufactured. These fixtures are available from most of the major drinking fountain suppliers, and deliver cool, clean water into a user-supplied reusable cup or bottle.
Support Bike to Work. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the number of people biking to work in the last few years has gone from impressive to staggering — up 75% in New York City, 110% in San Francisco and 144% in Portland since the last census. Don’t stop at putting a bike rack out front; consider setting aside safe indoor spaces for cyclists to store bikes easily, and make sure you have facilities in place (or nearby) so employees can “freshen up” in plenty of time to start work.
For more ideas on sustainability in the workplace, feel free to contact us.
This years begins a new day to help get rid of clutter and reduce waste called ‘Give Your Stuff Away Day”. A citizen based movement started by Mike Monroe that will initiate its first year of formation in 2010.
Give Your Stuff Away Day will happen onSaturday, May 15, 2010. Citizens across the U.S. willbring items of value that are longer needed or wanted to the curb for a free give-away. Mike has asked citizens not to put out trash, recyclables, illegal or dangerous items, food, drugs, chemicals, or weapons; which seems fairly obvious. Hopefully, at the same time, millions of other Americans will be driving, riding, or walking around picking up free give away items.
Not sure of its success or if people will really do it but might be a great opportunity to purge your garage, office and create re-use for items no longer wanted.