Carry On Printing and Go Green

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By Mike Palman, Managing Director of Green Plane Solutions

So the paperless office hasn’t exactly arrived. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be as Green as possible, now does it?

Today, printing tends to be in abundance, after all. So doesn’t it make sense to cut down what you print and only ever print the documents that are going to be read?

For 20 years or more, users have been asked to reduce what they print and in many situations they resonate with that request – but they still need to be given the opportunity to view documents online of course. If this happened they would not need to print anywhere near as many documents.

There will always be requirements where printing is entirely necessary. That being said, many users have still never really thought about their personal usage of printed documents. In certain situations, and I’m sure you’ve seen this, a front page and last page is only needed to be read – so why print all the in-between pages if they are surplus to requirement? Organisations can also save a lot of money by eliminating this unnecessary printing and allowing users to view their documents on-line.

But, is any printing at all green? Is it all ‘bad’? Actually, the answer is not ‘no,’ but actually more ‘probably’ or ‘maybe’! Whichever way you look at it, printing fewer documents will reduce CO2 emissions, regardless of how Green your ink toner and paper is. We support the approach recommended here, along with many other companies.

At the same time, maybe it’s also time to look at doing a lot more printing on both sides of the paper, if your printer supports duplex; and also n-up (being able to put two or more pages on a single page).

The real trick however is to ask yourself, Do I really need to print this and in some cases the answer will be yes, sure. The point is that printing a subset of what you might have ordinarily printed will still reduce your personal carbon footprint. So forget the paperless office – but don’t ignore the benefits of going ‘paper light!’

But remember, paper light will mean different things to different people. And so will the thought of Going Green. Still, what we do know is that the less you print, the greener you become.

So I totally support the idea of carry on printing and go green — as it’s probably the most sensible and balanced approach to both generating the hard copy many businesses still want but cutting down on the excess at the same time.

And of course, with a great document management system plus some willing end users who want to make a difference — then the rest is easy!

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