Illustrated by Pop Sutthiya Lertyongphati
Accompanying podcast episode:
Studies have shown that the average office worker prints around 10,000 sheets of paper every year – which is even more staggering when you consider that about half of those sheets end up in the trash.
Printing on all that paper isn’t just harmful to the environment; it’s costly too.
Every organization on the planet would like to reduce their printing costs – and, as a bonus, reduce their impact on the environment.
Read on to discover three highly actionable tips to save money on your printing costs – whether you’re an individual working from home, a teacher working at school or even an individual who’s running an organization.
Tip #1: Consider a Subscription
How it works is simple: you pay a monthly fee for printer ink and can print a certain number of pages per month or per year. The subscription includes a printer for you to use, which is connected to the service to monitor your ink levels.
When your ink levels are running low, the printer sends an alert to the company so they can replace your ink and deliver it to you (at a discounted rate) before your old cartridges run out.
If you’re a teacher on a tight printing budget, a college student who can’t afford to pay a lump sum for a printer and the ink, or if you’re just trying to cut down on your printing costs in general, paying per page can save you a lot of money in the long run.
The service has various plans to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.
Tip #2: Print on Both Sides of the Paper
According to a Citigroup internal study, if every employee conserved just one sheet of paper per week by printing on both sides of the paper, the company would save around $700,000 per year.
To reduce what you spend on paper, always print everything on both sides. This simple adjustment to your printer’s settings will effectively cut your paper use in half.
Tip #3: Print Only What’s Necessary
While simply reducing the number of pages you print seems like an obvious solution, it’s easier said than done. But, it pays to remember that not all printing is absolutely necessary.
Before printing, remind household members or employees to ask themselves, “how many copies do I really need?”
In businesses, unnecessary copies are made all too often for things like presentations and meetings – and another thing to consider is that most participants would actually prefer to be able to view documents online or have multiple PowerPoint slides arranged on one page.
Digitized documents, like Google Docs or Google Sheets, can be viewed and edited by participants in real-time on laptops or tablets, too. This means that students or employees can read documents during and after meetings or lessons and add notes. It’s also a good idea to review your distribution lists often to ensure that only the people who need printed handouts receive them.