The holidays, ultimately, are often a season of waste. So while we might want to still wrap girls, overuse bags, and buy items in excess packaging, we can conserve paper in other ways.

Green or eco printing is bringing the three Rs into the realm of the printing industry. Recycling, reducing, and reusing are at the forefront, using minimal resources for advertising and print media.

Eco printing also brings in the use of inks that are make of low Volatile Organic Chemicals (also known as VCOs). The paper is recycled, and printed using energy-efficient equipment and laser cartridges.

There are many benefits to printing with the earth in mind. From an environmental sense, it assists in both conservation and preservation. By just using recycled paper, there is a huge reduction in costs and waste in the paper manufacturing industry. Often when producing paper, there is plenty of solid waste; instead, manufacturers are re-creating ways to reduce and eliminate that waste. In turn, more trees also live longer lives.

Eco printing also relies on using refurbished printer cartridges, which are recycled and resold. This creates less waste, and because they are made to be recycled, they no longer are simply thrown into landfills.

Many manufacturers and companies are now selling paper made from post-consumer waste, which is also free of any chemicals such as chlorine. Even better, since the advent of these new products, they are no longer low quality or of lesser value. At first, paper was yellowed, thinner, or ink was duller. Now, manufacturers have produced high quality supplies that are better for the environment and, often, your wallet.

However, it is not just manufacturers and supplies that are improving. Companies that offer any sort of Custom Printing Service strive to meet your needs, as well. They use these materials and low-cost solutions to create output and products that suit your earth friendly product.

Offices can take advantage of implementing eco-friendly printing practices in their business. ENERGY STARĀ® printers “sleep” or automatically shut off when they aren’t in use. These printers often cut energy by about 60 percent and require less maintenance.

Because of this, these printers can save on resources, and designed with minimalism in mind, save on paper when they do automatic double-sided printing, and often have color toner modules that can be replaced separately.

They also benefit the air quality with higher standards for emissions and less general noise pollution, as well.

For details on office machines and eco-printing, see Office Machines – Laser Printers from the Green California website.

Northwestern University also offers tips on keeping technology green:

  • When you step away from the computer, turn off the monitor.
  • Eliminate the screen saver – it often doesn’t save energy – so instead, have the computer “sleep” after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Unplug items when they aren’t in use, such as your phone after it is charged. This also increases the lifespan of your electronics.
  • Before printing, carefully proofread so you only print once.
  • Save and store documents on your computer, backing up often, instead of printing unnecessary items.
  • Automatically print double-sided.
  • Use recycled paper, ink, and toner.
  • Decrease the font size to reduce the number of pages that are printed in total, and change margins to one inch.
  • Schedule videoconferences with e-handouts instead of printing out copies.
  • Choose ENERGY STARĀ® items, which use 70 percent less electricity than units without power management features while in sleep mode.

For more information on eco-printing and ENERGY STAR items, see the information provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy


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