Top 10 ‘Save Paper’ Tips

The Save Paper campaign is not about totally cutting out paper use in your business. It’s about establishing a starting point from which to get your office thinking differently about the way it uses paper and how to use it more efficiently.

Many Save Paper actions cost nothing to implement. As an example, double-sided printing can immediately cut your paper use in half. Here are some other ‘no-cost’ or ’low-cost’ solutions:

1. Share Documents Electronically

  • Avoid sending faxes and letters – mail documents electronically instead.
  • Instead of printing multiple sets of paper documents, keep central electronic files.
  • Share files online through services such as Dropbox, Evernote, SugarSync or Mozyhome.
  • Review, edit and share on screen rather than on paper.
  • Organise a ‘set and forget’ daily backup system for all your company files and emails. You need to back up to a physical on-site storage device as well as a secure online backup service.

2. Don’t Print Emails

  • Challenge yourself to minimise printing of emails.
  • Organise and save emails in an electronic folder system for efficient retrieval.
  • If you have to print, cut and paste the essential content of emails into a word processing document to save paper.
  • If you’re going to ditch paper for electronic retention of emails, remember to backup daily.

3. Think Before You Print or Copy

  • Firstly think whether you really need to print it at all.
  • Use the print preview feature before printing.
  • Avoid printing pages within a document that you don’t need.
  • Edit documents using tools such as ‘track changes’ in Word and ‘Comment’ in Adobe Acrobat. The latter enables comments from multiple parties to be consolidated into one PDF file – this is an ideal tool for team collaboration on corporate documents.
  • If you’re a company or academic institution, you can monitor your printing by installing PaperCut NG and our Save Paper widget software, downloadable here.

4. Use Duplex Capable Copiers and Printers

  • Find out if your office equipment can do double sided prints and copies (duplex).
  • Double-sided printing/copying can cut your paper use up to 50%.

5. Default to Double-Sided Copying and Printing

  • Set your computer default to 2-sided copying and printing.
  • Copy documents on both sides to conserve paper.
  • Double-sided copying doesn’t increase paper jams.
  • Use the blank sides of already used paper for drafts.

6. Reduce Business Junk Mail

  • Update your mailing list and remove ‘not at this address’ returns or companies that you no longer do business with.
  • When companies send you unwanted mail, send them a formal letter asking them to remove you from their lists.
  • Audit and, where possible, unsubscribe from postal mailing lists.
  • Encourage suppliers and clients to send you mail and bills electronically.

7. Test Before Copying Big Jobs

  • Prevent costly mistakes on a multiple copy job – run a sample copy first.

8. Don’t Print Websites Unnecessarily

  • If you want to have a high-quality copy of a web page, download the free Evernote software. This software has a web clipper that enables you to create PDFs of pages. You can also copy and clip text from a web site into the software. Better still, the software also backs up your data online and allows you to access it on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
  • If you must print webpages, look for a ‘printer-friendly’ version that reformats the documents to remove advertisements – this will save paper.

9. Print More Words on Each Page

  • Reduce page numbers by using smaller fonts in larger documents.
  • Make page margins smaller to increase writing pace.
  • Choose a space-efficient font such as Times New Roman.

10. Save and re-use paper around the office

  • Place labels over old addresses and envelopes.
  • Flatten and store large boxes until needed again.
  • Collect and reuse paper for scrap.

Read our tips for creating your own ‘Save Paper’ campaign.

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