I remember when I used to lovingly scold my friends about using so much printer paper. Whether it’s at home or in the office, if you print out one document with an error, it had to be fixed and printed again. The discarded document would end up in the trash.
Commitment to Change
I’m happy to report that many of my friends are now using .pdf software as the final version of their documents and if they, on occasion, print out something with an error, they cut the paper into quarters or thirds or whatever the size of choice and use the back as scrap paper (a small accomplishment, but one small step for the home office, one giant leap for the environment).
To further prevent paper waste, we networked the house to use one printer. The printer is an old printer and is not equipped with the infra red ability to print from a device, but hooking it into a Belkin wireless printer hub (which cost about $75 ), I was able to network all of the household printers and laptop to use the one printer.
Using one central printer helps to reign the kids in from printing 20 copies of the lyrics to their favorite song or 8 full color copies of the cutest puppy in the world. The kids also understand what it means to print on both sides of the page.
The more mature folks in the house understand the need to conserve paper and print on an ‘as needed’ basis. Therefore I installed PDF Create (a software program that makes pdf’s out of just about anything) on each computer. If anyone wants to share documents its pdf’d and sent electronically. After a little training its amazing how infrequently it becomes necessary to print.
This post may sound very old school and very ‘yesterday,’ but not everyone is equally ecologically evolved. There are still a few folks out there who have several household printers and could stand to help the environment by consolidating and printing less.