Going Green: Tips to Reduce Paper Waste
According to the Pennsylvania Office of Environmental Assistance, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that paper and paperboard account for almost 40 percent of our garbage.
Like most other types of industries, hospitals use a lot of paper. Becker’s Hospital Review states that in most hospitals, ¾ of the waste generated is considered non-hazardous material, and paper products account for the largest majority of this waste.
Office paper is recyclable, and Crozer-Keystone hospitals are working to recycle more and more of its paper waste. But employees can also reduce paper waste in a number of ways.
Below is a list of tips to help reduce the waste of paper products in a hospital setting. If applied, these tips will not only help the environment, but they will also help to reduce costs in supplies and disposal for the hospital.
- Whenever possible, print front and back.
- Set print ranges so you don’t print pages with no text or with no important text.
- Recycle blank pages that come out of the printer accidentally.
- Combine small print tasks onto a single page instead of over several pages with lots of excess white space.
- When giving a presentation, do not print outlines of your presentation. Instead, encourage audience members to take notes or make the presentation available online or via email.
- When possible, send electronic files instead of printed documents and let your recipient decide whether to print them.
- Save your to-do lists in the computer and set reminders in it or on your phone to remind you.
- Use two-way or send-and-return envelopes.
- Reuse sturdy cardboard boxes rather than discarding them.
- If your computer station is set up to do so, print as much as you can to a networked Ricoh copier. Use the “Document Server” capability to save money and paper. Reduce your use of desktop printers whenever possible.