Be Green When You Hit the Print Key

Every time a home computer printer rolls out another document or picture, it has an impact on the environment. In some situations, printing is an absolute necessity as a requirement of a job or in personal life. No matter the reason, most computer users want to convert their words or pictures to paper in the most ecological responsible manner. Fortunately, there are many steps the user can take to minimize the impact on the environment.

Think Before You Print

The most effective tool for green printing is the human brain. Think about every document or picture before hitting the print key. Can the same affect be accomplished without printing the document? Will a PDF, for example, accomplish the same thing without utilizing paper and ink? Think about the options before printing anything and reduce the number of pages you print and reduce the impact you have on the environment. Many heavy email users include a disclaimer with their signature block suggesting the recipient only print the document if absolutely necessary.

Use Recycled Paper

Recycled paper is another simple way to go green when printing documents. Recycled paper is available in a variety of qualities with many approaching the quality of new paper products. For printed items that are distributed, adding a notation that the item is printed on recycled paper may improve the public perception of the message.

Use the Double-Sided Option

Print on both sides of a sheet. If it is absolutely necessary to print out a document, print it in the most efficient manner possible. If you have two pages going to the same file or mailing, print on both sides of the sheet. This can also help you save money by cutting the amount of paper you use in half.

Recycle Ink and Toner Cartridges

By recycling ink and toner cartridges, you accomplish several things all positive for the environment. The recycled cartridge requires less new plastic than a newly manufactured item. This reduces the amount of oil required to produce plastic. The recycled cartridge also is in your printer rather than some garbage landfill. This reduces waste disposal costs and keeps a little more of the land green and growing rather than serving to cover solid waste.

When your toner or ink cartridge runs out, take it to be recycled rather than throwing it away. The entire printer consumables market relies on people dropping the empty cartridges off for recycling. It is not enough to buy recycled, you have to send your empties off for recycling.

Conserve Energy

Limit the time that the printer is powered on. This reduces the amount of electricity drawn by the printer reducing energy costs and helping keep the planet green. Use a power strip to eliminate any potential power use even when the printer is powered off.

Get the most use out of your printer. Purchasing a new printer involves a considerable ecological impact. The manufacturing, packaging, shipping and distribution of any new item can come at a considerable cost for both on your wallet and the environment. Keep your devices as long as possible and consider purchasing used equipment. This eliminates the impact of manufacturing, shipping and packaging.

[tp lang=”en” only=”y”]

Guest article written by: Roy McClure of the team at; be sure to visit them in the future to check out their excellent printers, including their inkjet label printer as well as many others.


[tp not_in=”en”]

Guest article written by: Roy McClure of the team at; be sure to visit them in the future to check out their excellent printers, including their inkjet label printer as well as many others.


1 thought on “Be Green When You Hit the Print Key”

  1. Use your iphone, or kindle to read documents. I just hope one day we just stop using paper and rely only in electronic documents. I am not sure when that will happen.


Leave a Comment