Tips for Printing Lightly

Audit Your Paper Use and Take Control!

For one week, keep track of how much paper is forced on you (packaging, junk mail, etc.) and how much paper you use unnecessarily. Ask yourself, "What did they do before printers and photocopiers?" Keep a pen or pencil with you at all times.

Print Sparingly

If you are in a hurry, consider e-mailing the item to yourself (it delays the decision but much of what we print unnecessarily is "just in case" instead of "just can't do without", and goes unread. Ask library staff about how to print more than one reference at a time when searching a subject database or Oasis. If unsure about the citation format to use when printing from a database or which information is most importance ask a library staff for assistance. If you only need one reference, consider writing out the information rather than printing it. Note how many pages your print job will be before you select the print option (if unsure how to do this from the World Wide Web, ask a Library staff member.

Practice Being Resource-Wise and Earth-Friendly


Ask your instructors if they will accept at least some assignments printed on both sides or even on reused paper. Share resources; if everyone from your class is looking at the same item in the library, buddy up to share photocopying/printer cost/time. If you are unsure that this is acceptable to your instructors, ask them at your next class. Reuse paper before you recycle it: Cut up unused one sided print jobs you no longer need and use them for:


Tell your students if you will accept at least some assignments printed on both sides or on reused paper. When creating your course web sites, preview how they appear in print. Here are some simple considerations for web page design.


The costs of unnecessary printing are not limited to paper and its recycling, but also include ink/toner, plastic cartridges maintenance of the machines, the degradation of our environment and your time.