Top 5 Ways to Cut Printer Waste

Think Before You Print
To really cut back on your printer waste, try not printing at all.
To really cut back on your printer waste, try not printing at all.

The best way to conserve paper and ink is to not print in the first place. If you don't absolutely have to print something, don't do it. Convert documents to PDF form and e-mail them. Save your documents on your hard drive or portable drive instead of printing them. And have your computer set reminders for you or send them to your personal electronic device instead of printing hard copies of your calendar or events.

Web pages are among the biggest paper wasters. Sometimes a single Web page can produce 30 or more pages when printed. Get in the habit of reading pages online instead of printing them.

Also don't print drafts of documents to proofread them. Do your editing right on the computer. Word has a handy "track changes" feature that makes it far easier to edit documents on the computer than on paper. If you find pages hard to read on your monitor, increase the display size to more than 100 percent.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • California Integrated Waste Management Board. "Waste Prevention and Recycling at the Office."
  • Federal Energy Management Program. "How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Printer."
  • Greenprint.
  • Ink Guides. "Print Smart -- Learn how to save money and reduce waste."
  • Reuters. "Cartridge World Says, 'Please Don't Feed the Landfill." April 3, 2008.
  • The Good Human. "Do One Thing: Save Ink and Reduce Waste by Making Small Adjustments to Your Printing."
  • UC Davis. "Reduce Printer and Paper Use."


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