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Introduction to Top 5 Ways to Cut Printer Waste

You don't have to drastically change your habits to become a more resourceful printer user.

©iStockphoto.com/Gewitterkind

When you're rushing to get this week's report to your ornery boss, or making last-minute changes to a presentation you were supposed to deliver 10 minutes ago, the last thing you want to worry about is how much ink or paper you're using in the process. But before you hit the "print" button on your computer, pause just a moment to think about this:

  • If you're like the average worker in the United States, you print about 10,000 pages a year. Of that, an estimated 1,410 pages are wasted.
  • You, together with every other employee in the United States, use up 8 million tons (7 million metric tons) of office paper each year, or the equivalent of 178 million trees. Less than half of that is recycled.
  • To produce just 1 ton (0.9 metric tons) of office paper requires the same amount of energy it takes to power the average home for 10 months.
  • More than 350 million ink cartridges are discarded in landfills each year. Each cartridge can take up to 450 years to decompose.
  • [Sources: EPA, Reuters, UC Davis]

Conserving paper and ink by printing more efficiently not only protects the environment, it also saves money. Going green makes good business sense.

You don't have to drastically change your work habits to become a more resourceful printer user. Little steps can go a long way toward reducing your office ecological footprint.

Here are five simple tips to reducing printer waste. Read them, commit them to memory, but please -- don't print them.

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