The PrintLess Program

Save Paper: PrintLess

Additional Information

How other Institutions and Organizations Reduce Paper Usage

Steps to Reduce Your Paper Usage

For the PrintLess Program to be a success, it's important that you understand our goal: The amount of paper used in computing sites continues to increase dramatically, and the PrintLess Program is designed to help reduce paper usage and the subsequent waste it generates.You can make a contribution to help the environment by reducing your paper use.

By providing information on how to print in our sites more efficiently, we hope to make your overall printing experience less frustrating and more productive. We want to make it an easy choice for you to print conservatively, thus decreasing the impact of excessive paper use on the environment. Here are some interesting facts about how much paper is actually used:

  • 2.3 million sheets of paper makes a stack 766 feet tall and weighs 23,000 pounds.
  • 0.3 million sheets of paper is equal to the amount of heat equivalent to what is produced by 23 tons coal or 4,600 gallons of fuel oil.

Although printing is necessary, unfortunately a lot of waste is generated—on an average week in the Smith Hall computing site, 120 pounds of paper ends up in the recycling bins. That's 12,000 sheets of paper per week—an equivalent of 600,000 sheets of paper per year, which equals approximately one quarter of the total (2.3 million sheets) printed per semester!

We'd like the entire campus community to get involved! Here are some questions to ask yourself before you print:

Is it something you really need to print or do you only need a URL or some other small piece of information that you could write down?
Did you proofread what you are about to print, so you won't need to reprint it because of typos?
Did you preview your printout using the application's print preview feature to ensure its format is correct?
If you only need one page of a 10 page document or the first page of a 15 page web site, print only that one page.

You get the idea: Think conservatively about printing. Here's a list of new tools we've added to computing sites as well as suggestions for techniques to help you decrease the amount of paper you use.

Print Release Stations

Print release stations are installed in all IT-managed computing sites. The monitors attached to these stations list the print jobs currently waiting to be printed. When you go to the station to claim your print job (have it printed), you can confirm the print job you want and delete duplicate print requests (if applicable). If you have questions about how to use a Print Release Station, consult a site assistant.

Duplex Printers

Printers capable of printing on two sides of a sheet of paper are now available in all IT-managed computing sites. These printers make it possible to print documents on both sides of a sheet of paper—which translates to a 50% reduction in the amount of paper used. However, we realize that you may have to print some document on one side only. For that reason, you have the choice to select single-sided printing. But if single-sided printing isn't necessary, why not save paper and print on both sides!

Print Preview

Use the Print Preview feature to ensure that what you are about to print is only what you need to print.

Print Only What You Need

Print only one copy in its final form.

Reformat Your Documents to Save Paper

Use the Reformat feature in your application to reformat your document to use the least amount of paper possible.

Electronic Submission

Encourage professors to accept assignments electronically. Many professors are now accepting homework, papers, etc. electronically. One method is to hand in floppy disks, but e-mail works just as well.

Instead of printing pages of a spreadsheet, encourage your professors to accept your work electronically through e-mail. That way, they can see how your spreadsheet works or make corrections or comments directly in the document and then return it to you via e-mail.

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Last updated: April 25, 2006
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