It’s not easy being green.
We all know Kermit the Frog’s lament, “It’s not easy being green.” While I can’t relate to the struggles of a small amphibian (and there aren’t any Martians around to ask), we’ll have to take Kermit at his word.
However, when it comes to being green environmentally, especially when it comes to your office equipment, it’s a lot easier to “be green.” I’d like to share some tips and strategies for environmentally friendly printing– and how you can recycle your office equipment.
Green: Not Just Good for Mother Nature
Many roll their eyes at being environmentally conscious, maybe even thinking “This is business, there’s no need to worry about hugging trees in business.” When you combine the fact that going green from an environmental point of view will also add some “green” to your bottom line, I think everyone becomes a little more interested.
If green is important to your decision-making, here are a few ways that we go green and a few tips for “greening” your use of office equipment.
Even if you're not interested in the positive environmental impacts; most of these tips will help you save money and/or become more productive too. Whether you're interested in the environment, dollars and cents, or both – keep reading.
Let’s start off with printing and going green. When you do print, consider the following:
- Print double-sided.
- Print only the pages you need – for instance, if you print an email (though you probably don’t REALLY need to print an email), be sure not to print an entire page that only has half of a signature on it.
- Don’t click the “print” button multiple times because the “job submitted” message doesn’t pop up as quickly as you’d like.
- Finally, do you absolutely need to print? If you can as easily read it on your PC monitor/laptop screen/tablet/smartphone; don’t press “print.”
Printer and Copier Recycling
Of course, you should recycle your paper. You should also recycle your equipment itself as well as your toner cartridges.
Regarding your copiers and multifunctional printers, with a lease or rental agreement, we will pick up the equipment (and hopefully we'll be replacing that equipment with new as we continue our relationship!). If you own the equipment itself, we encourage you to have it removed to a recycling center that can break down complicated digital equipment, like computers and your copier, into component parts rather than dumping the entire device into a landfill.
On a related note, you will ALWAYS want to be sure that the copier's hard drive is wiped or digitally shredded as a matter of course for security and privacy issues before sending away for recycling (the hard drive on your copier is identical to the hard drive on a laptop or PC).
Also, recycling toner cartridges rather than throwing them away can add up to less waste in the landfill.
Odds and Ends
A few other thoughts on stretching out your green touch:
- Turn off the lights – be sure that you turn off the lights when you leave a room and be sure to turn on automatic timers if you have them
- Save energy on the weekend with your office equipment. Companies are expending 66% of energy on nights and weekends because IT equipment is not getting turned down to the lowest possible level
- Use the unprinted side of documents as scratch paper or to make your to-do list for the day – or just to doodle. Some of the great leaders and thinkers of the world were avid doodlers.
I hope you’ll take these tips and help both the environment and your wallet. And while I still can’t speak for Kermit, it’s at least a little easy to be green.