The latest Dr Seuss book to hit the big screen is The Lorax. Never heard of it? Take a look at this fantastic trailer right here. The Lorax has a strong message of conservation attached to it and one thing that has the potential to destroy the planet and our lovely trees is printing. Yes, your printer is not really a friend of the planet.
However, there are ways you can really make a difference with your printer and printing just by being smart and careful. HP has teamed up with The Lorax in the UK and Ireland as part of their commitment to sustainability and delivering environmentally friendly products. They want to promote the clever use of materials to keep costs and damage to a minimum and have given us some great tips to do so…
This may sound tedious and yet another Thing To Do, but it can make such a difference. Used HP printer cartridges can be recycled into new Original HP Ink and Toner cartridges through their Planet Partners Programme. It is completely free for you to take part and it’s very easy. Over the past seven years, HP has made over one billion Original HP Inkjet cartridges with recycled content. That’s pretty cool really.
So, how do you get involved? Click on this link and then, under the heading saying Consumers & Home Office Users, click on I want to participate. Here you can either print out a label for the LaserJet supplies or order posting materials for the InkJet supplies, just follow the onscreen instructions.
2. Go black and white
Colour printing is not just expensive, it’s really not necessary unless you are printing out something that demands colour be added in. Many printouts include splashes of colour here and there and these can eat into your supplies – and you don’t even need them! Switch your settings to the black and white default settings unless you really need that lick of colour. Not only are black inks cheaper, but you’re saving on unnecessary ink usage too.
Where did you buy your printing paper from? Is it a bulk buy from an unknown company that pillages the land? Or is it made from sustainable resources that are monitored, controlled and managed by people like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and World Wildlife Fund. HP supports responsible forestry so their paper is a good place to start, but take a look at the link to the FSC above and find a paper you like that isn’t hurting the planet.
4. Print on both sides
Try and use double-sided printing for things like assignments or homework. This way you are, literally, cutting your paper usage in half and saving both money and trees. I tend to print out things on one side and, when I have finished using the paper, I either give it to the kids to draw on, or print on the other side for the next feature or assignment.
Have tons of double-sided paper lying around, every corner covered in printing or crayon? Don’t dump it in the bin, make sure you recycle it properly so that it can carry on working really hard for you. If you have a lot of paper printed on one side, you can also create funky notepaper by dyeing the side with writing on and then making a notepad from it. Or paper mache! See some great ideas from The Guardian here.
6. Save energy
This is such a bug bear of mine. If you are not using something, turn it off! Your printer, TV, DVD player, Xbox, whatever – don’t use standby because (unless it is a very new model with new standby energy saving features) it uses a constant supply of electricity for absolutely no reason at all. Just turn it off. Boom. You will lower your carbon footprint impressively and you will see a dip in your home energy bills. It really is a win-win.
Do the same with your lights around the house. Keep all the lights off except for the room you happen to be in at the time, every little bit helps to make a difference.