Most companies today are realizing the benefits of including more green practices in their offices and business practices. Whether they make these decisions to help the environment, save money on energy bills or to be more attractive to clientele, these companies are utilizing out with the old, in with the new practices.
One of the biggest changes that companies are making revolves around their printing practices. Some companies print too much, use the wrong type of paper and use very harsh inks, which not only uses too much energy, but it also destroys plants and places harmful chemicals into the air.
If your company is interested in being more eco-friendly in your printing processes, the following are some tips to help you.
1. Don’t print so much.
Cutting back on overusing the printer unnecessisarily is the first thing you can do to invoke green printing policies. If you don’t have to print it, don’t. Save certain documents, notes and emails to an external hard drive if you want a back up.
Rather than waste tons of ink and paper on billing or sharing information with clients, start sending files and invoices electronically. These items can easily be emailed to your clients instead of sent via USPS. Not only does the sharing of files electronically save you from using the printer, but it also provides your clients with this information instantaneously.
2. Recycle paper.
If you must print, make sure that you print front and back to save paper. If you have pieces of paper that are only printed on one side, place them in a bin next to the printer and allow employees to use the other side of the paper if they need to print internal documents. This way, you are getting the maximum use out of your paper.
3. Print in black and white.
Sticking to black and white ink is safer for the environment. Most color inks contain harmful chemicals that can have negative side effects on one’s health. Plus, choosing to print in black and white save energy. Save the color prints for those items that truly require color.
4. Use recycled paper.
There are many new paper options available today, allowing you to purchase recycled paper at a comparable price to non-recycled paper. Make sure to purchase paper that is 100% post-consumer recycled. You can also choose paper that is chlorinefree (PCF), certified by ForestStewardshipCouncil (FSC), uncoated and/or made by renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power.
You can also purchase paper that isn’t made from trees, and instead made from hemp or other organic and biodegradable product.
5. Use soy or vegetable inks.
Soy or vegetable based inks are much safer for the environment. They are low in VOCs, and choosing paper under 2 is the best option for green printing. If you must use pantone colors, choose those that don’t contain copper, zinc or barium, which have nasty health benefits.
6. Choose eco-friendly printers.
If you outsource your printing, make sure you choose an eco-friendly printer. Choose companies that use alternative energy to power their plants and produce low emissions. You should also make sure that these companies use soy or vegetable inks and print on recycled or treeless paper. Even the use of waterless or digital printing are much safer than traditional methods.
If you want to start making a difference in the future of the environment, opting to implement green printing practices is a great way to start. Not only will you be taking a step in the right direction for the planet, but you may even be able to save some money while doing so.
Jaimie Lee writes for Appi Miami Printing Services.