5 Tips for Paper Use and Recycling

Memos, reports, invoices, forms, presentations, and instructions are the trademark of a busy office -- and signal the vital role paper plays in it every day. Yet Xerox Corporation studies show that office workers throw away 45 percent of documents within 24 hours of printing them.

How can you stay productive while using resources wisely?

Paper is a renewable resource. If you think before you print and choose the paper that's right for the job, you can reduce the environmental footprint of your office. As one of the world's largest suppliers of papers for office printers and copiers, Xerox is sharing five simple tips for smart paper use.

• Use both sides of the paper. It's called "duplex printing" and it is the single best way to reduce paper use. So choose copiers, digital printers, and multifunction devices that can print on both sides of the paper. Add duplex as your "default" mode.

• Go digital. Save on postage by sending electronic files and let your recipient decide whether to print them. Replace paper files with electronic ones using the scan-to-file option on multifunction devices.

• Be selective: Print what you need when you need it. For example, print only the portion of the report you need, not every page. Preview your print to avoid printing pages with boilerplate. Print on demand. Don’t stockpile forms, letterhead, or instructions that will go out of date.

• Reach for the right paper. A number of options promote sound environmental practices. Print on papers certified through global organizations, such as the Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, both of which have strict international standards for sustainable forestry. Or use paper with recycled content.

• Recycle. Collect used paper so the fiber can be used again. Recycling the fiber saves trees, reduces energy and water use, requires fewer chemicals, and keeps paper out of landfills.