Reducing Paper Waste

Printer-friendly version
Green   You can take a giant step toward environmentally responsible or “green” computing by conserving energy with your computer. But green computing involves other important steps as well—like reducing paper use.
Rather than creating a paperless office, computer use has vastly increased paper consumption and paper waste. Here are some suggestions for reducing waste:
  • Print as little as possible. Review and modify documents on the screen and use print preview.  Minimize the number of hard copies and paper drafts you make.  Instead of printing, save information to disks.
  • Recycle waste paper.
  • Save e-mail whenever possible and avoid needless printing of e-mail messages.
  • Use e-mail instead of faxes or send faxes directly from your computer to eliminate the need for a hard copy. When you must fax using hard copies, save paper using a “sticky” sheet fax address note and not a cover sheet.
  • On larger documents, use smaller font sizes (consistent with readability) to save paper.
  • If your printer prints a test page whenever it is turned on, disable this unnecessary feature.
  • Before recycling paper, which has print on only one side, set it aside for use as scrap paper or in printing drafts.
  • When documents are printed or copied, use the double-sided printing and copying function (if available).  If possible, use the multiple pages per sheet option on printer properties.
  • When general information-type documents must be shared within an office, try circulating them instead of making an individual copy for each person.  This can also be done easily by e-mail or by utilizing listserv discussion groups. 

This page has been adapted from the "green" pages at the University of Colorado at Boulder.