Guest Writer: Grace Tillinghast
While working at my last corporate job and when our department’s budget was reduced, my team and I had to find creative ways to reduce expenses around the office. Printing was one of the big money drainers, so we compiled these saving tips that helped us reduce significantly our printing at the office.
- Adopt a ‘double-sided’ policy. All documents had to be printed on both sides of the paper.
- Set computer defaults to print double-sided (word processing documents, electronic mail, spreadsheets, etc.)
- Preview documents before printing. Make sure to proofread documents on the screen before printing. Don’t forget to use the speller/grammar function to detect errors.
- Print only the pages you need.
- Print envelopes without labels. Save the cost of buying mailing labels. Most printers can easily print on a variety on envelopes.
- Practice preventive copier maintenance. Keep copiers/printers in good repair. A copier that works well is less likely to jam and helps save paper.
- Fill copier tray correctly. yes, there is a right way to place paper in a copier!
- Route memos and newsletters. Instead of making copies for everyone, route one copy around the office.
- Shorten documents. Shorter documents save monies. Make writing clear and concise; have someone edit it.
- Use revision features in word processing software. Take advantages of on screen editing features to make changes.
- Provide trays to collect and reuses one sided paper. Encourage people to save and reuse paper printed on one side to make scratch pads.
- Encourage reuse of file folders.
- Send information electronically. Think carefully before printing electronic information. Organize it and save it so it is easy to look up.
- Do not make hard copy files but DO make backups of floppy disks regularly.
- Eliminate excess mailing; trim mailing lists. Give customer the opportunity to indicate if and how they want to receive mail. Many prefer electronic mail.
- Let everyone know that paper reduction not only saves paper but also postage cost and storage space.
- Promote “Think before you copy” attitude.
- Promote “Think twice before you make a color copy” attitude. Color copies are expensive and not always needed.
- Post paper reduction reminders by printer and copier.
- Consider a paper reduction campaign and develop measurable goals and timelines.
During the first year, we saved 30% as compared to the prior year. In the second year of implementing the paper reduction campaign, we saved an additional 34%. We not only saved on paper but on toner and other consumables, plus copier repairs and postage. As a group, we proved that one bring the cost of doing business down. All we had to do was to take the challenge seriously.