Save ink, money and the planet

I’ve noticed more and more email signatures carrying a ‘Think before you print’ reminder. And that’s a good thing, because the less we print, the less damage we do to our fragile planet. Or course, if you do want to add a reminder to people to discourage them from printing your email, I suggest you keep the type size and colours to a minimum otherwise your words could actually prove detrimental to the environment when printed! To learn more about email signature editing in Outlook, see some of my most popular previous tips here, here, and here.

And there’s another simple step that many of us can take to reduce our printers’ ink consumption: tell your printer to print everything in draft mode, black and white, thrifty mode or whatever your printer manufacturer calls their economy printing mode.

To do this open the Printers folder (in Windows Vista simply type ‘printers’ in the Start Search bar, in Windows XP locate the printer settings in Control Panel), right-click on your default printer, click Properties, then Printing Preferences. Now set your printer to run in economy/draft/thrifty mode and press OK. Next time you print, the default settings will be saving you ink and money, and shaving a few micrograms off your carbon footprint.

And on the rare occasion that you need to print something higher resolution simply change the printing preferences in the Print dialog box just before you print. As a general rule this should be the exception rather than the norm. From what I can see, the low quality setting on most modern printers is plenty good enough for general use.