Use paper more efficiently | WWF

Use paper more efficiently

Copying images on both sides of a sheet of paper can save up to 50% of paper costs.
Copying images on both sides, or duplexing, saves money on paper purchasing, as well as on storage and mailing. Duplex copies are also easier to fold and staple. While some prints and copies need to be single-sided, most do not.

Set defaults on computers
  • Set defaults to double sided. Select one-sided printing only when really needed.
  • Print double-sided for bills, applications, licenses and other paper-intensive activities.
  • For help how to set default settings click here
  • If your printer cannot double-side then find out whether your printer can be fitted with a duplexing unit to enable it to print double-sided.
  • Make “rethink” messages appear on screen when a print command is given 
Change your computer’s default settings so that you can put more text on each page.
  • In MS Word, go to "File", then to "Page Setup". Then choose "Reduce the Margins" and set your margins to smaller numbers. Compared to the normal settings, you could use up to 14% less paper!
  • When you are printing, reduce font size to 10 point to decrease the amount of paper required.
Post in-house reminders about efficient paper use near the copy machine and/or each workstation
  • Use both sides of the sheet of paper, whether for copying or printing.
  • Print only the pages you need by using the "Print Selection" function.
  • Print documents 2-UP or 4-UP per page for archival purposes and where possible. Customized software can increase the document-per-page capabilities of your printer.
  • Reduce margins.
  • Use the print preview function before printing any word or excel document to avoid copy-mistakes.
  • Use a small font size to reduce the number of pages printed
  • Use efficient fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. These fonts use significantly less space. Find out more
Use your fax effectively
  • Send a fax or Word document without printing first! Simply use the menus in Word:  choose "File", then "Send to", then "Fax Recipient", and then follow the instructions. This allows faxes to be sent from computers without the need to print first. It also allows faxes to be received in an e-mail rather than printed copy format. Help on this should be available from your  IT department or by clicking here           
  • When sending a paper fax, eliminate cover sheets and use fax stick-on labels instead.
  • Program your fax to eliminate confirmation sheets
Practice image reduction
The ability to reduce or enlarge images is common on copiers. Image reduction is also possible with printing.
  • For example, when copying a book, one can often get two original pages on to one side of the copied sheet. Because reduction works in two dimensions, you only need to reduce by 30% (to 70%) to cut in half the area of an image.
  • While reproducing entire standard pages requires a 35% reduction (to 65%), books often have smaller than standard pages and most documents have larger than necessary margins, so the reduction can usually be less than this.
Practice preventive copier maintenance
  • Keep copiers and printers in good repair and make it your company’s policy to only buy copiers and printers that make reliable double-sided copies.
  • Let your copier maintenance person know when a copier is performing poorly (toner is low, jams frequently, etc.). Regular copier maintenance is important, especially if the toner is low. Many times copiers are used until all the toner is gone and that wears down machines. A copier that works well is less likely to jam and this helps save paper!

Save paper and money

A company of 5,000 employees that uses double-sided printing for only 10% of its printing could save up to US$260,000.

Citigroup, one of the world's large financial services company, determined that if each employee used double-sided copying to conserve just one sheet of paper each week, the firm would save US$700,000 each year.

Save Paper!

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The Save Paper! section of the WWF website is a detailed guide that allows businesses and individuals to save paper and reduce its environmental impacts.