Whether motivated by a duty to lessen our harmful impacts on the earth’s ecosystem, or to improve the financially sustainability of your office, it’s good to be environmentally conscious. Here are some of the best ways to ensure that your office’s printing machines are eco-friendly.
1. Use Ink-Saving Typefaces
Whatever type of equipment you’re considering, you can immediately reduce the amount of ink and toner you use by downloading and using two fonts designed for that purpose. Ryman Eco is elegantly designed and free to download. The more utilitarian Ecofont comes with software to adapt other existing fonts in the same way, but at a price. Respectively, they feature blank lines or holes in each character whereby ink usage is reduced by as much as half. Since the ink bleeds into the paper once printed, the effect is nearly unnoticeable with standard and smaller font sizes.
2. Inkjet or Laserjet? It’s a Toss-up!
Inkjet printers tend to produce a lot of plastic waste, and laserjets generally consume higher amounts of electrical power. You’ll therefore need to carefully evaluate the specific needs of your office operations. If you don’t need color printouts, then consider an efficient laser printer. A good option for a monochrome printer is the Brother HL-L5200DW. If your requirements call for color, is an excellent all-in-one printer, though best suited for smaller offices. A middle-of-the-road strategy might include using an efficient inkjet, but only for monochrome documents.
As a side note, Brother is one of the top-rated ethical companies in environmental terms, so whichever type of printer you need, you can be fairly confident in their level of ecological responsibility.
3. Switch to Solid-Ink Printers
An alternative option is to select a printer that produces dramatically less solid waste than even a laserjet, and results in significantly lower printing costs overall. Wax-based solid-ink printers like the Xerox ColorQube 8880 can be pricey to buy and operate, but they will produce as much as 90% less material headed for a landfill, and the colors are fantastic.
4. Print Less, Talk More!
In all seriousness, the most environmentally friendly printing practice is simply to do less of it. Using the internet to share and edit documents is easier than ever before. Although computers do require electricity, the online documents themselves produce no environmentally degrading plastic waste in the form of spent cartridges or worn-out printers, and they require no ink and no dead trees. Of course, few strategies will ever beat the ecological and human health benefits of old-fashioned, in-person collaboration!