Sustainable printing practices: How to make your business green

Printing is an essential part of any business; whether you need to print vital documents, sketches or general notes for your next big meeting, a printer is an incredibly important device to have. However, it’s equally as vital to ensure you’re printing in a way that is sustainable and doesn’t harm the environment. That doesn’t mean you have to stop printing altogether, but rather change the way you do so. Regardless of whether you use toner or ink cartridges in your model, there are a multitude of ways you can help your business go green without sacrificing the abundance of benefits a printer offers.

Recycle your cartridges


Many people simply throw away their cartridges when they’re finished, not realising that it actually takes over 450 years to decompose. In fact, some major components can take over 1,000 years in landfill to fully break down, including the plastic casing that surrounds it. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as chucking them in your regular recycling bin, but the process is still quick and easy.

A number of specialist companies, such as the Recycling Factory and Evolve Recycling, will send you a free shipping label or box so you can send your empty cartridges to them. Make sure you recycle your leftover paper documents too, shredding them beforehand if they contain private information.

Opt for a multifunctional model

Having a separate copier, scanner, fax machine and printer not only takes up a significant amount of office space, but it also wastes energy. Invest in a multifunctional printer so you have everything you need in one space. Consider what technology you need and ensure you choose a model that covers as many bases as possible. Energy-efficient, space-saving and convenient, there’s a multitude of benefits to doing so.

Be mindful of paper

The smallest of changes can make a significant difference when it comes to sustainability, and there’s plenty you can do to do your part without sacrificing printing your documents. For example, make sure you’re printing on both sides of the page rather than just one as this saves a significant amount of paper. As well as this, invest in unbleached recycled paper as this reduces the demand for freshly cut trees, conserves essential resources and generates less pollution.

Energy-efficient models

Many printers are now designed to be more eco-friendly. If you’re looking for a new model, ensure it has an energy-saving mode or something similar, as these are specifically designed to be more sustainable. There’s no effect on the quality of the prints when it comes to these models, so long as you use the correct ink or toner with it. If you can’t get your hands on an energy-efficient model or already have a printer, ensure you turn your model off when not in use rather than just putting it into standby mode. Why? Some printers actually use more electricity when on standby mode than they do when they’re on, especially when left running overnight. Save money while benefiting the environment by turning it off whenever you aren’t using it.

By being smarter about the way you print and you can achieve a greener business without having to stop printing altogether.