4 Tips to Reduce School-Related Printer Waste

Wednesday August 29, 2018

Students and educators print everything from study guides to notes, and these printing costs – about 10 cents per page – can quickly add up. This is especially true if irresponsible printing is causing significant paper waste.

According to one study, the paper discarded by a single school in a year added up to 28 pounds of paper for each student, teacher and staff member. That accounted for $200,000 wasted annually on paper alone – and that’s not even taking into account the amount of money spent on printers, toner and other supplies.

Still, with just a few simple changes, you can reduce your school’s printing waste – saving on unnecessary expenses, while also saving the environment. Here are some tips to reduce your school-related printer waste:

  1. Choose an Efficient Printer

First and foremost, make it a point to equip your classroom – or entire school ideally – with cost-effective and efficient printers. Begin by researching different types of printers, and determine which will be the most economical for you to use on a regular basis. Since printers’ initial price tags are only part of their total cost of ownership, you can’t just price-check different printers and buy the cheapest one available.

Make sure you’re taking all factors into account, including costs for regular ink or toner replacement and energy consumption. For instance, laser printers are initially pricier than inkjet models, but their operating costs are significantly lower. So, for a school, where you’ll likely do a lot of text-heavy printing, you’ll probably opt for mostly laser printers.

  1. Find a Print Solutions Provider

Try to find different discounts and deals that will help you keep your printers up and running efficiently. Cartridge World offers high-quality ink and toner – delivered straight to your school – at up to 30 percent off brand name cartridge prices. And with our ‘Why Buy a Printer?’ program, you don’t even have to purchase your own printer – we’ll provide you with this equipment and printer service at no additional cost, as long as you buy your ink or toner from us. All of these little deals can add up to big savings for you and your school, so be sure to do your research and take advantage of different promotional printing offers.

  1. Control Printing Access

Setting up individual user profiles on school computers is a great way to prevent students and staff from printing too much. Since each teacher and student will be required to log in, administrators can easily identify who is printing the most. That way, administrators can more easily identify alternative digital solutions, or they can begin to place limits on the amount individuals or groups can print.

Some schools have even done away with free printing altogether. But, there’s definitely a middle ground to keep printing costs low, while allowing students and staff to print without paying out of their own pocket. By monitoring print access and teaching students and staff best practices to reduce waste, schools can easily minimize their printing expenses.

  1. Do What You Do Best – Educate!

Educating students and staff on how to prevent printing waste and encouraging them to go digital whenever possible can go a long way in cutting your school’s printing expenditures. Here are a few different ways you can teach students and staff about best printing practices to avoid waste:

  • Print double-sided, or for PowerPoints, print at least four slides per page.
  • Use print preview before printing, and make sure you aren’t printing unnecessary pages with ads or other extraneous material.
  • Reduce your font size – even switching from 12-pt. to 10-pt. font can save a significant amount of ink and paper.
  • Use an economical font like Times New Roman. Studies show this font produces, on average, 44 percent more prints from an ink cartridge than other fonts.
  • Print in black-and-white or monochrome whenever possible, to avoid costly color ink cartridge replacement.
  • Encourage students to e-mail their work rather than handing it in on paper.
  • Utilize new technology like cloud storage for group projects, so students can easily collaborate and share information online instead of printing out copies for each person.

With most schools spending more money on printing than IT services, printing tops the list of many educators’ highest expenses. Since so many of these expenses are the result of wasteful printing habits, these costs can easily be minimized – or avoided altogether – by encouraging smart printing tactics.