Attention, students! This back-to-school season, think about the planet the next time you write an essay and print it off to hand in to your teacher. While it seems innocent enough, the act of printing alone adds up to a lot of environmental damage. When you head back to school this fall, make it one of your green goals to cut back on your paper consumption as much as you can.
The situation is dire. For example, did you know that 102.7 million tons of paper is used in the U.S. every year (source)? That equals over 500 million trees, to say nothing about the fuel and energy used to manufacture and transport all this paper. Most of this paper is not recycled after being used, filling up our nation’s landfills (source).
Thankfully, students can help! As a student, you can take active measures to decrease your personal paper consumption. This is especially important because students are often very large consumers of paper and printer ink.
Students: Back-to-School Tips for Environmentally-Friendly Printing
Environmentally-Friendly Student Printing Tip #1: Cut back on the amount of paper you use when you print by having your printer print on both sides of the page. If your printer isn’t setup to do this, you can manually flip the pages. Just set the printer to print every other page starting with page one, then re-insert the pages and have it print the alternating pages that it missed.
Environmentally-Friendly Student Printing Tip #2: Reduce the margins on your printed papers. If your teacher allows it, also reduce your font size as much as possible to cut back on the amount of paper needed for your school essays.
Environmentally-Friendly Student Printing Tip #3: If your school teacher allows it, submit as much of your schoolwork and homework as possible through email. These days, many teachers will gladly take electronic submissions.
Environmentally-Friendly Student Printing Tip #4: To conserve ink and energy, print your essays and homework using your printer’s lowest setting.
Environmentally-Friendly Student Printing Tip #5: When buying paper, buy recycled paper and be sure to recycle it when you’re done!
Green Seal, an environmental watchdog group, recently published its latest Choose Green Printing Report. This report focused on printers and the use of printing paper in America-a timely report as school starts up again. In the report, you can the most eco-friendly, green printers and the most environmentally-friendly paper products. Use this guide the next time you’re shopping for a new printer or buying printer paper. Every choice counts!