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The paperless office never materialized, and it won’t be coming any time soon. The average office worker uses 1.5 pounds of paper every day, which translates to 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. While businesses must continue to print – at least for the foreseeable future – there are ways to do so in an environmentally friendly way.

Green printing is both easy to do and cost effective, so there is no excuse to not do your part. Besides benefiting the environment, you’ll reduce operating costs as well, not to mention improve your reputation as a greener office. Here are some environmentally friendly printing practices your company can embrace.

Push Recycling – While this may be stating the obvious, many businesses aren’t actively recycling their printed materials. Make recycling as easy as possible by placing bins next to your printers, and throughout your office. Then, be sure to encourage you staff to recycle any and all paper, rather than tossing it in the trash. In addition, recycle ink and toner cartridges and electronics.

Print Only What You Need – Urge your employees to think before they print. Share statistics you can easily find online to help get your point across. Simply reducing the amount of paper printed is perhaps the simplest way to green your printing. Implore people to only print what they truly need to print.

Utilize Double-Sided Printing – By printing all of your documents on both sides of the paper, you’ll effortlessly reduce your paper use by 50%. Not only will this positively impact the environment, but you’ll cut your print budget as well. Make double-sided printing company policy, and set all printers and copiers to duplex printing mode.

Green Your Print Processes – Scan documents and work with them electronically rather than printing them. Use electronic faxing instead of the old fashioned paper method. Send memos, announcements, employee handbooks, manuals, etc. digitally, rather than providing hard copy versions.

Green Your Technology – Always utilize green business products. Purchase efficient machines that are ENERGY-STAR qualified and include duplexing capabilities. Choose non-toxic inks which are soy or vegetable-based. And be sure the paper you use is recycled and PCF (processed chlorine-free).

Environmentally friendly printing practices will reduce your company’s environmental impact as well as your bottom line!