Think it’s a good idea to print everything out for your records? Think again. Printing is costly and storage requires plenty of office space-which you may or may not have available. In addition, use of consumables can also consume electricity and paper-and reducing your printing can have a positive effect on the environment. Here are a few reasons why you should be sparing when it comes to printing your documents.
Because ink is expensive. Sure, your printer was a bargain. But the first time it ran out of ink, you probably had to look twice at the price of your new cartridge to make sure it wasn’t a misprint. The high price of printer ink is enough to make anyone try third-party printer cartridge companies, which can slash cartridge costs by as much as 50%. In the meantime, save your wallet and don’t print those documents. Save them on disc instead.
Because it wastes paper. Because printing uses energy. Even if your printer is on standby most of the time, it still uses more energy when it’s printing than when it’s not. If you want to reduce your energy bill and you do a lot of printing, consider cutting down on the documents you print to hardcopy. This will reduce your energy bill-and reduce the amount of energy you consume, cutting down on your overall carbon footprint.
Because email is faster and easier. Sending an email is much easier than sending mail. You don’t have to buy postage, make a trip to your post office or wait several days for your message to be received. All you do is click a button, and it’s sent instantaneously. And you can do it from your own home, in front of your computer. Especially for larger documents, sending an email is the way to go.
Because it’s less cost-effective. Printing documents uses energy, ink, and paper. Sending documents requires postage. All of that requires money. On the other hand, if you store your documents electronically on a CD or portable disc drive, you’ll spend much less money on ink and paper over the long term-and if you save your emails in your email account instead of printing them out, you can save considerable amounts of money on ink and paper as well.
Because email leaves a trail. Want to keep a record of all the messages you’ve sent and received? If you send snail mail, you’ll have to keep a folder for received messages and remember to make a copy of each sent message. That requires costly ink and use of paper, as well as lots of storage space-and if you forget or misplace records, they could be incomplete. However, most email programs keep automatic records of everything you send and receive-no remembering to print and copy and no physical storage space required.
Because digital storage is more private. Digital storage can be encrypted and password-protected to keep the data safe. Compare that to physical storage of hardcopy documents-yes, you can lock that file cabinet, but you’d better hope the wrong person doesn’t find the key. Digital storage can be more secure than hardcopy storage.
There are plenty of reasons why you should print sparingly-and save important documents digitally rather in hardcopy form. Digital storage takes up less space and fewer resources, and it can be more secure than hardcopy storage. In addition, digital document storage costs much less-in ink and paper, energy, and other consumables. Print as few documents as you can, and send emails rather than snail mail. If you do, you’ll have a more efficient information storage and sending method, and your cost for operating a printer on a regular basis will drop. By being judicious about what you print, you can save money, space and resources.
Each year, over 11 million tonnes of paper are disposed of in landfills in the UK. Most of this paper comes from Scandinavia’s forests; only 5% of Scandinavia’s original boreal forest remains, and it’s still being logged-partially to feed the UK’s paper habit. You can help protect wildlife and old-growth trees by conserving paper. Only print when you have to, and use both sides of a sheet of paper.