Most offices have some type of multifunction copier-printer in their office and many companies have multiple printing devices. Small business copiers and printers can be considered environmentally unfriendly by using paper, using disposable cartridges that can inhabit landfills and sucking large amounts of energy in order to maintain the heat necessary in the printing process. There are however ways that you can lessen the carbon footprint left by your small business copiers and printers.
1) Use copiers and printers with recyclable cartridges and supplies – Consider small business copiers such as Konica Minolta Bizhub models that use curbside recyclable toner cartridges and 100% curbside recyclable packaging. Konica Minolta packages their toner in nothing but a cardboard box and the cartridge itself is curbside recyclables.
2) Change the default font in your Microsoft Word settings – Most computer manufacturers are also the largest suppliers of laser printers and it is in their best interest that their customers use as much toner and ink as possible when printing. Because of this they make the default font on their computers the font that requires the most toner and ink when printing. Usually it’s Times Roman or Arial which both use a heavy, bold font. By changing your default setting to Century Gothic you will use approximately 30% less toner or ink which will save you money and lessen the number of disposable cartridges that you use.
3) Eliminate the need to print your incoming fax messages – A large number of incoming fax messages are of the unwanted spam variety and your traditional fax machine prints each of these incoming faxes using paper, toner and or ink for each of these messages. Many small business copiers have the option to convert incoming fax messages to email so they can be reviewed and only printed out when necessary. Not only is it convenient to have incoming fax messages routed to email but it will also save paper, toner and ink thus further lessening the carbon footprint left by your office equipment.
4) Change the default settings on your copiers and printers to print on both sides of the paper -Many small business copiers and printers have the ability to set defaults so that everything copied and printed comes out on both sides of the paper unless instructed otherwise. Much of what is copied and printed is necessary for basic interoffice correspondence and to maintain a backup paper record in traditional file cabinets. Much of this information can be printed on both sides of the paper cutting your paper output by 50%. Not only will this diminish your carbon footprint it will also save money and reduce the amount of space needed in your file cabinets.
5) Utilize energy save settings to lessen electrical consumption – Set your machines to energy save mode directing the machines to go to sleep if not used during a 15 minute period. When copiers and printers are left in “ready” mode they maintain a constant source of heat to the fusing unit making copiers and printers the largest draw of electricity in most offices. By setting your machines to default to “energy saver mode” during periods of inactivity you will dramatically lower your electrical consumption.
Here are some additional ideas that will help your office to be more environmentally friendly.