| My Grandmother would send us hand-written letters from time to time. She’d start on the front of the page. When that was filled, she’d continue on the back of the page. When that was filled she’d return to the front of the page and fill the top margin, then the right-hand margin (turning the paper side-ways), then the bottom margin, then the left margin. Then she’d turn the paper over again and fill the margins on the back side. When she had completely run out of room, that was the end of her letter.
We thought it was humorous for her to do that rather than use another sheet of paper. Now, we do the same thing in order to save paper, in order to save trees, in order to save the environment.
In 2014 I took this one step further and made a resolution to only print on 100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW) or Tree-Free paper.
In 2014 I started Yellow Bear Journeys Printing and Publishing to offer low-volume, tree-free printing using non-toxic ink, services to others. Please contact me for more information.
|Other changes you can make on your computer include changing your printer to always print in duplex (double-sided) mode when possible – provided your printer prints in duplex reliably. Or you can print one page at a time and manually duplex the printout. You can print two pages per page and duplex at the same time, thus getting four pages per printed page. Of course you might need to buy new glasses if you do that. Choose a low ink use font. For plain sans serif fonts choose Evergreen or Arial Narrow first, then Arial, then Verdana, then Tahoma. Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, often use shorter letters then sans serif letters, so you get a few more lines on a page. However the serifs take more ink to print them, so I’m not sure that serif saves any ink. And of course every bigger font, bold and underscore takes more ink, and italic might also if it skews the letters enough to make them take more room than normal. And all the fancy script fonts take more ink. But you don’t want to make your print too dull and boring.|
| The best finds for tree-free and recycled paper are:
• Green Earth Office Supply – 100% PCW, Lokta, Hemp, Blue Jean/Denim, Coffee, Banana
• Rawganique – Hemp
• Green Field Paper – Hemp, Seed
• Green Line Paper – 100% PCW
• Tree Cycle – 100% PCW, Cotton, Linen
• Conservatree – Paper Master List. This list lists all the tree free and 100% PCW paper makers and what their products consist of. This includes not only writing paper, but newsprint, paper towels, and facial tissue.
• Paper High – Kadda, Lokta, Elephant Dung.
• Eco Paper – Cigar, Coffee, Banana, Lemon, Mango.
Other ideas for saving paper and ink can be found at:
• APFill Software to estimate ink/page.
• Ink Saver software that changes ink settings on your printer in the background while printing documents.
Note that many printers often combine colors to print black, meaning that even if you are only printing black on white, you may still be using your color ink cartridge.
• Digital Inspiration – Best Ways to reduce printing cost.
• Mercer Color’s Guidelines for a Green Pressroom
• EcoLibris – Green Printing Tips
• Environmental Defense Fund – Paper Calculator – Environmental Costs
• Neenah Paper – Paper Calculator – Environmental Costs
Vegetable based inks is another option to reducing ink. Vegetable based inks do not use petroleum products. They do, however, use vegetable based ethanol, which is still ethanol and needs to be adequately vented to say the least. Vegetable based ink cartridges are not yet available, so you have to go with a printing company. For hand-written items, you can switch to pencils (other eco problems there). On the other hand, you could sharpen a stick (or use an old fashioned pen or quill) and dip it into a natural dye – blackberry juice for example. Of course, that could get messy.
Our solution was to buy an expensive printer which uses specially made vegetable ink sticks. The ink dries very quickly so no need for venting the ethanol, although venting any electronics is always a good idea.
|1 page||=||1.1079||Homes Powered for a Minute|
|1 page||=||0.0285||lb GHG|
|1 page||=||0.0114||lb Solid Waste|
|1 page||=||0.0936||Gal Wastewater|
|100 pages||=||1.8465||Homes Powered for an Hour|
|100 pages||=||2.8451||lb GHG|
|100 pages||=||1.1392||lb Solid Waste|
|100 pages||=||9.3567||Gal Wastewater|
|1 ream||=||9.2327||Homes Powered for an Hour|
|1 ream||=||14.2255||lb GHG|
|1 ream||=||5.6959||lb Solid Waste|
|1 ream||=||46.7836||Gal Wastewater|
|1 case||=||4.6000||Homes Powered for a Day|
|1 case||=||0.0853||tons GHG|
|1 case||=||0.0342||tons Solid Waste|
|1 case||=||561.4035||Gal Wastewater|