Cutting Down on Printing
How to save a tree one page (0.012%) at a time
Let's talk numbers. According to Conservatree.org, one tree produces 8,333.3 pages of printer paper. The EPA says the average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 pages of printer paper, so that's 1.2 trees each year.
Based on the standard LS&A printing allowance of 400 pages per semester, in 4 years a University of Michigan student uses over 26% of a tree in printer paper. That’s 4,608.93 trees worth of printer paper alone for University of Michigan students in 2012, and let’s not forget about books, notebooks, coursepacks, class handouts, and students who exceed the printing allowance.
It can be hard to think about trees when you’re sitting in the Fishbowl or in your dorm’s basement computer lab, but making conscious printing decisions can make a big difference. Here are some helpful printing tips:
- Print double-sided whenever you can
- With large font documents, print two pages per sheet
- Two lines left on the last page? Reduce font size or enlarge the margins
- When printing readings, Set the page range to skip the title page and bibliography
- Submit electronically whenever possible
- Skip printing and read off your computer screen
- When printing Powerpoint slides, print multiple slides per page… or just don’t print them at all!
There are plenty of ways to reduce paper use aside from printing, too. Save paper and money by buying used books and using friends’ old coursepacks. Buy notebooks made with recycled paper or, better yet, take notes on your computer.
Finally, remember to always recycle!
For a guide to recycling in the office:
For more facts and figures on calculating trees to paper: