Environmental Tips for Reducing Ink Usage

Does it seem like you are using a huge amount of ink in your printing each month? Does it feel like you only ordered a replacement toner yesterday but already you’re running low? You’re not alone. One of the most common questions we get is how to reduce the amount of ink a printer uses.

And reducing the amount of ink you use will help your business to be kinder on the environment. Ink toners need to be manufactured and shipped, often from across the world. Along with the carbon emissions from transport, unfortunately many used toner cartridges end up in landfill, even though they are largely recyclable.

Here are 5 tips to save ink, reduce your carbon footprint and even save you money.

Use Print Preview

The Print Preview function gives you the chance to review the job before you send it to the printer. Perhaps there are graphics or title pages that aren’t necessary. You may find that you only need to print a couple of pages out of a 10 page document. Review your print job in ‘Print Preview’ to select specific pages to print and to get an overall understanding of what you are sending to the printer.

Change your font

It’s not always practical, but reducing your font size or even your font type can result in an ink reduction. Smaller, thinner letters use less ink. Fonts that use terms such as ‘thin’, ‘narrow’ or ‘condensed’ are generally lighter on ink. From the standard font selection, either Courier or Century Gothic are both reader-friendly and use minimal ink. There are also fonts specifically designed to save ink with tiny gaps in the letters such as Ryman Eco. Whichever font you use, make sure that it is still legible because to print something out that is unreadable is ultimately worse than using that little bit extra ink.

Go easy on the bold

In your document there might be words or sentences that you want to draw attention to. Try using italics instead of bold in the body text or using a larger thin font as a heading. Bold fonts require more ink and so if you’re looking to save ink usage, reduce your bolding.

Look into your printer’s functionality

Many printers have a draft or eco mode which allows you to use less ink. It may mean some images are slightly pixilated or some colours are less bold, but this should be suitable in many circumstances. Multi-function printers can use multiple coatings of ink which gives a wonderful professional finish, but is not always necessary.

‘Low’ doesn’t mean ‘Done’

Make sure you use up all of the ink in your cartridge. When your printer tells you it is low on toner, it usually means it’s down to 20%. This gives you enough time to order a new one. But for some people, 20% is plenty! It might be enough to print for another 2-3weeks. Your machine will tell you when it is completely out and only then do you need to swap in a new toner.

Don’t lose your spares

This is a simple one, but we see it happen all the time. Make sure you have a designated spot for storing your replacement toners. That way when it’s time for a new one, you know exactly where to find it. It is common for people to open a random supply cupboard and find a bunch of forgotten toners, possibly for an old printer model. Make sure you don’t let any ink go to waste by keeping your spares stored safely together.

Saving ink on your office printer is as much about changing habits as changing settings. Some small changes can have a big effect on your office’s environmental impact.

If you would like to know how to reduce your ink usage, get in touch.

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