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Tips for Green Printing

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.

 

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Conquer your paper : The Paperless Office is not a Myth

Computers were meant to cut down on paper but it seems we feel some sense of security
by having piles of paper around or can it just be hard to break those old habits of printing
everything. Can a paperless office be in your future? Yes it can and here are a few steps that
can help get you on your way:

Step 1.

Switch to online bill pay and receiving paperless billing statements. Using your bank’s
online bill pay, you can process your vendor bills online – which will also save on postage
costs as well as check stock. What is great about online bill pay, you can schedule your bills
in advance, which is a huge time saver, and by scheduling your payments it will save you
those late fee penalties. You can also take it one step further and set up automatic payment
directly from your checking account through your vendors.

Step 2.

Download your monthly bank and credit card statements. At the end of the year, burn the
statements onto a CD and file with your tax returns. While you are downloading those
statements each month, you can email your virtual bookkeeper the statements for
reconciling your accounts.

Step 3.

Client invoices. Instead of printing and mailing invoices – pdf and email them. Also in
QuickBooks did you know you could email your invoices directly to the client? When
creating the invoice in QuickBooks, check mark at the bottom email invoice. Once you are
completed with the invoice, go to File – Send Forms, you can edit your message and then
click Send. For organizing these invoices, set up monthly folders on your computer and
save your client invoices in the respective monthly folder. At the end of the year, burn to a
CD and file with your tax returns.

Step 4.

Purchase a good shredder or a local shredding company, ONLY $7/box just drop it off, who
has time to shred. For sensitive files containing credit card information, bank account
numbers, old vendor invoices with account information or old client project files – safely
toss in the shredder. If you have a scanner, you can scan these files and toss and/or shred
the paper copies. Remember though if you are saving these files to your computer to be
sure to back up your computer.

Step 5.

Stop unwanted junk mail. Register with Contact DirectMail.com to be removed from
receiving junk mail. Put in the recycle bin the second you walk in the door.

Step 6. 

Business receipts. Travel receipts, credit card receipts or vendor invoices received in the
mail can be scanned and stored in your monthly financial folder set up on your computer.
If you do not have a scanner, NeatReceipts or Neat scanner is a mobile scanner and digital
filing system. You can scan receipts, business cards, and also documents. The software
included with the scanner identifies and extracts the important information from the
receipts and automatically organizes it for you.
If you implement just a few of these steps, you’ll soon gain control of your paper overload
plus gain some valuable desk and drawer space, yeah!

Spring Organizing Tips!

Now that spring has arrived it’s time to shed our winter “stuff” and lighten‐up for the
season ahead!  Follow these expert tips for a smooth transition:

1. Start with your closets. Dry clean or launder coats, sweaters, and any
items you plan to store over the summer. Toss or donate any items that
are worn, don’t fit you, or you just don’t like. Take your spring and
summer clothes out now so you can see what you have and make a list of
new items you need to purchase. Don’t forget storage containers, clothes
bags, and cedar blocks for storing winter clothes.

2. Clear your kitchen. Take a look in your kitchen cabinets, pantry,
refrigerator and freezer. Look for food items that are reaching their
expiration date and use them up. Toss old food items and start making a
grocery list of fresh, healthy foods that coincide with the new season.
Consider moving “winter cookware” (crock pot and pasta machine) to the
back of the cabinet or into storage and bringing forward your salad
spinner and ice tea maker.

3. Bathroom Makeover. Yes, the bath needs seasonal organizing too! In what
condition are your towels, rugs, shower curtain, and counter top
accessories? Perhaps they just need to be cleaned, but if you’re planning
to replace them start a list. Clear out your medicine cabinet and vanity
cabinets by tossing out anything that’s expired or items you don’t use
anymore. Don’t forget to add replacements to your shopping list.
Consider organizing products such as containers, racks, shelves, or
drawers for extra storage.

4. Bedroom Switch. Now is the time to dry clean or launder the heavy
comforter on your bed and replace it with a lighter blanket. Swap your
flannel bed sheets for lighter fabrics, store the rest.

About the Author:  Michelle Paxton,  The Organizer Gal

P.O. Box 320504
Los Gatos, CA   95032
P: (408) 354-3581
W: www.TheOrganizerGal.com

 

What is a Professional Organizer?

A Professional Organizer is someone that helps you to overcome clutter and disorganization to make your life, less stressful and your time more efficient!

 

Why hire a Professional Organizer?

A Professional Organizer not only helps you organize your clutter, but they also create an easy-to-follow system to help keep it that way. They are there to help you through the entire process, and to get down and dirty and do everything themselves. They are there to sit, sort, clean, file, de-clutter, and de-stress to help make your home a better place to live.

 

What are the benefits of getting organized?

EVERYTHING! You will find yourself having more time, less stress, you will know where everything is located (which saves time and huge headaches), and it will make your life easier and, more importantly, happier. Your environment plays a huge part on your attitude, outlook, and even blood pressure levels. When it’s in disarray, that will reflect and play an immediate part on your life. It makes life so much simpler when your environment is organized, clean, and it’s easy to find things!

 

Which areas do you service?

I will tackle anything from your children’s playroom to your kitchen pantry. Almost all areas of your home, office, garage, storage units and vehicles are covered.

 

Will you work with me or just coach me?

It’s entirely up to you. If you don’t want to touch a thing, you don’t have to. But, if you or anyone else wants to help, it’ll get the job done faster, and in the end, save you money.

 

How do I get started?

Simply contact me here and tell me what needs to be addressed, what areas you’d like organized, and any other details you’d like to include. I will then get back with you, and we can set up a time for our initial meeting/free consultation.

 

What takes place at the initial meeting?

I come and evaluate the space(s) as-is and formulate a plan of action. Then, we will discuss what problems you have with the space(s), what you would like to see change, and what is currently working for you.

 

Will you be flexible and able to work around my schedule?

I’m here to work with you and your schedule.

 

Will my sessions be confidential?

Absolutely! All meetings, conversations, and questions are between you and me, and no one else! Your dirty secret is kept private and confidential.

 

What are your rates and what kind of payment types is accepted?

She accepts all major credit card, cash and checks and is due at the end of each work session (each block day).

 

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What Ever Happened to the Paperless Office?

Back in 1975 an article in Business Week entitled “The Office of the Future.” proclaimed that we would have the paperless office by now – what happened? I see people’s desks and there seems to be as much paper as there always was – post it note, reports, phone messages, notepads. With a PC sitting on every desktop, it would seem that we wouldn’t need as much paper.

One theory

One theory is that we’ve just made it so much easier to generate paper. For certain there are a lot more things to print, documents, spread sheets and no end to the things you can find online. When it comes to printing, it’s true that you can generate a whole lot of paper with just a click of your mouse. Not like the old days where someone had to type it out first or you had to make copies, which at least people were mindful of the expense.

Do you trust your computer?

Social scientists theorize that at least for now, people still don’t complete trust their computers. Having an important report on paper gives people that sense of security that they won’t lose it when their PC crashes. Another reason is convenience. It’s just so easy to scribble a note on a sticky, plus you can put it somewhere that you won’t forget it. With a PC, you usually have all your monitor real estate dedicated to the task at hand, so it’s easy to lose track of a note or reminder.

Is this high tech?

Even in the movies they still show high tech offices with a computer on every desk that are more than likely networked together, and yet people will converge on the front desk to get their phone messages. This is definitely one paper use that should have been eliminated from all offices over a decade ago.

Then there’s the ubiquitous post it notes. I get that they’re convenient, but is this really an efficient way to store important information? Using software to handle this is easily just as fast (assuming you can type) and light years easier to search.

Good news

The good news is, we are using less paper. Paper use has dropped since 2000 so at least on the whole, we’re using less. Based on what I see in offices however, desks are holding as much paper as they ever have.

Mark Lawson is CEO of Telexis, maker of PHONEslips an easy to use office management software solution.

 

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The Story of Paper: From the Tree to Your Desk

Do you ever find yourself staring at objects, or turning an item in your hand, squinting at it and feeling some kind of bafflement as to how an object came to be what it is? If so, then this story might be one for you.

For years, the human race has relied on physical paper copies to transmit their stories, memories, facts, histories, messages and more across time and space. But what about the story of paper itself? Who’s telling that? Everybody knows paper is trees, but how does this happen?

Here is my account of the life of a piece of paper:

A tree’s body:

The story of paper must begin with the tree trunk. Each trunk has its own outer layer of bark to protect it from nasty little threats in the world: It is the tree’s armour, naturally formed to shield it from harmful forces like wind, rain, climbing children and grazing insects.

Hiding just inside the bark is thin Cambium, which holds the key to the cells which become the bark and inner wood:

Attribution due to Peter Linehan under Creative Commons License 2.0

Sapwood is a tree’s lifeblood; it flows through the parts of the tree’s body just as our own blood does. It ensures the tree’s nourishment and healthy existence.

And finally, the aptly named Heartwood is the innermost part of a tree’s trunk. It isn’t living but it’s the tree’s strength, stability and core.

Attribution due to Aleksi Steinberg under Creative Commons License 2.0

All this material is formed of fibres, tiny little friendly cellulose strands stuck together by way of a natural adhesive called lignin.

And this is where our part in the story of paper begins, as it is through our separating and rearranging these very same fibres that brings paper into existence

Early steps:

First of all, chop chop, the tree’s body gets cut down.

Attribution due to Beatrice Murch under Creative Commons License 2.0

The logs are then taken to a paper manufacturing company, where they’re bathed, soaked and cleaned before being transformed into good little chips of wood.

The little chips are arranged according to size and moved on for pulping.

And what is pulping I hear you ask?

During this stage, individual wood fibres within the chips are broken apart and separated: It is essentially a making soft of the previously tough and hard substance to produce a malleable, mushy and watery product.

Some other ingredients are also usually thrown in around this point, things like starch, China clay, talc and calcium carbonate which contribute to the strength and brightness of the young paper.

 

Moving on the mush

The created mush that we now have is pretty much 99% water at this point, somehow, this all needs to be squeezed out. First, the papermakers spray the stock onto a wire, which is actually a wide, long screen, not a wire.

The water drips out the bottom and meanwhile, the little fibres are caught on the top side of this wire where they start becoming friends and bond to form a very thin mat.  This bed of fibres at the top of the wire is then squeezed for all it’s got between press rollers that take out yet more of its water.

The Final Steps:

Even after of all this squeezing and wrenching, the mushy stuff is still 60% water.

Let commence the dry end of the paper story: Huge metal cylinders are filled with steam and the stubbornly wet mat passes through these gigantic hot rollers.

This process of heating and drying the wet sheet gradually forces the fibres closer and closer together to transform the mush into the glossy magazines and A4 sheets of paper we see all around us. Voila!

Ok, wait this isn’t quite the end of the story.

The fledgling paper is made ready for the world:

The paper makers use a machine called the Calendar which is not a calendar. It refers to big, massive and heavy iron rollers that press the drying paper smooth, all uniform in thickness.

Sometimes, depending on our piece of paper’s function in the world, it is coated with a substance such as clay which makes it glossy and easy to print on.

And this is how a matted bed of tree fibres comes to serve us as paper in a countless number of ways in the human world.

Paper Problems

I love paper and would never want to ban it from existence, I love writing on it, drawing, folding, making paper aeroplanes, you name it… But we should also be aware of some downsides that are a result of this story.

Pulp and paper mills are actually among the worst polluters to air, water and land and I don’t want to state the obvious, but it also uses up a vast quantity of trees.

Still, trees are renewable so that’s not the end of the world as some might have you believe: Most of the time tree farms operate by a cut one down, plant one new policy which is…good. What this policy doesn’t resolve is the natural diversity and population of an unharmed forest habitat where animals can live how they are used to and want to.

So, the point is, to be aware of other solutions and rally around ways to keep the stories of paper going but in the most ethical way possible. Recycling efforts help massively and so far count for recovering about 43% of all paper used. We should definitely support the paper mills that use only recycled waste as their primary source of raw material.

There are also alternative natural products that can actually stand in for wood, especially when combined with recycled paper: Wheat, oat, barley and left over crop stalks.

Maybe it’s time got more of the paper glory?

Sometimes it’s good just to know these things and get the word out. This is why companies like Whitepages are to be commended: With the growing number of people that would prefer to just find the correct online directory site and hit ‘search’ for the contact information they need rather than trail through a book too heavy for them to lift with one hand, Whitepages has recognized the declining need for default print copies of every phone directory.

Their solution is to operate an Opt-in delivery program, so if you REALLY want one, don’t worry, you can get one.

But Whitepage’s philosophy seems to be pretty much just right: It’s not about halting the paper story; it’s about managing it, and not creating thousands more unnecessary individual paper stories.

Amalia Dempsey is a dedicated fan of paper, interested in writing and the world. She supports White Pages, an online telephone directory and address finder, and their quest to ban unnecessary print copies of long directories.

 

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Signs of Cyber-Plagiarism

For as long as schools have educated young minds, the practice of plagiarism has been a problem and a dirty little secret of otherwise sanctimonious institutions. Adding to the frequency and breadth of plagiarized work submitted by students, however, is the internet. As web access and amount of tech savvy students has increased, so too has the ease with which pupils gain access to and submit work that is not their own. Often referred to as “cyber-plagiarism” this practice is like the plagiarism of yesteryear on steroids. Students copy content and concepts found online without providing any attribution to a source. Cyber-plagiarism also involves attaining already completed papers (research, theses, whole DISSERTATIONS—whatever a student needs there is probably a way to download or buy it online) and handing them over to an unsuspecting teacher or professor as original work. This widespread cyber problem is especially affecting colleges and Universities and without the proper attention could lead to dire implications.

When initially reading a student’s work keep your eye out for the following “tells” of cyber-plagiarism:

1.         False sources-Students may make up sources to give the appearance that the information they are regurgitating verbatim is actually paraphrased content from a legitimate source. If a source looks suspect or you have never heard of it, a simple Google search will reveal if it is an actual book/scholarly article/etc.

2.         Changes in writing-If the writing style of a paper changes drastically during the course of reading it, it is possible that it came from multiple sources OR the student wrote parts of it and copied other parts. In this same vein, changes in the quality of the writing throughout the paper could be a red flag.

3.         Knowledge base-As the instructor, you know what information the student had access to as a result of your class and reading assignments. If the paper far exceeds this knowledge base it could be cause for concern.

4.         Not quite on point-The paper is quite good, well-supported and well-written, but not EXACTLY on the topic or question you assigned. It is possible in this case that the student found something online that was a “best fit” to their assignment and went with it.

5.         Strange sources-Their sources may be actual books and journals but if those books are extremely outdated or the journals are not accessible through your library or library’s online database, then it is highly unlikely that the student referenced them.

6.         Anachronisms-References to past politicians as “current”, outdated electronics as “brand new” or celebrity has-beens as “popular” could be cause for a more thorough examination.

7.         Format discrepancies-Just LOOKING at a student’s work can sometimes reveal questions. Varied fonts, different styles between pages, multiple bibliographic styles (Chicago, MLA, APA), American AND British spelling, could all raise suspicion before ever reading the actual text.

If one or more of these telling signs is present in a student’s work, NEVER FEAR—cyber-plagiarism can be combated through the very technology that ushered it in. Hop on the internet; go to a search engine and type in a key phrase from the assignment. When using this approach make sure to find a distinctive phrase, perhaps with multiple uncommon words in one sentence. Another option is to resort to a grammar checker, while the main objective of these tools is to check for grammatical correctness you will find that most feature a plagiarism filter.

This means of combating the issue, however, can be time consuming and many students take content from multiple sources to piece together a final product—so pin pointing ALL the plagiarized source material can be difficult. As such, plagiarism detection electronic programs and software have become a valuable resource for colleges and Universities. These programs allow the instructor to identify borrowed text from websites, online content and paper-mill databases.

If you or your organization is in charge of large amounts of content where originality and quality are imperative consider using Grammarly the best resource to remain in compliance with all grammar rules.

 

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