The amount of paper used through printing, whether it’s at work, school, or university, is phenomenal and how does this much paper affect the environment? How much of that paper is actually necessary?

The pulp and paper industry is among the world’s largest users of energy and emitters of greenhouse gases, and a significant source of water pollution, and landfill waste. In some places, such as in Indonesia, deforestation caused by unsustainable pulpwood harvesting contributes to climate change.

Here are a couple of Simple Things you can do that can have a big impact on the world.

Print fewer documents

Electronic software makes it possible to avoid wasting trees. All word processors such as Microsoft Word have built-in commenting, change tracking, and collaboration features, and PDF documents can be highlighted and marked-up using Adobe Acrobat or free PDF software.

Many universities allow students to submit essays and work electronically via e-mail or Blackboard, saving more paper. Electronic notebooks such as OneNote and Evernote help provide easy ways to organise your thoughts, without over-using paper.

Companies send out digital copies of marketing brochures and invoices, you don’t need to print these out. Create a good filing system on your work’s server and you can store everything there.

Print less of the document

You can use print preview to help identify which exact part of the document you need and always choose to print double-sided.

When printing from a website, some websites offer a Printer-Friendly version which will omit the unnecessary graphics and ads.

When printing from presentation slides, programmes such as PowerPoint allow you to print the slides in a variety of paper-saving configurations, such as 4 or 9 slides per page.


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