With the digital age, are we printing less at home? Perhaps not!

Today we email invoices, share photos on laptops and smartphones, and send emails instead of traditional snail-mail. You would expect we’re printing less at home and in the office!

However, with the new faster communications, technology has also improved around home/office printers which makes it easier to print in-house rather than out-source print jobs to printer companies.

People printing

Where businesses were once out-sourcing the printing of flyers, brochures and cards, they’re now printing conveniently from the comfort of their office, and getting some great results.

The use of good quality compatible cartridges also means that in-house printing is not only convenient, it’s very economical.

Let’s not forget when you’re cooking dinner or watching the news, the kids go to town printing off multiple versions of their full-colour assignments, which you find discarded in the bin the next day, while the low-ink light flashes brightly!

There are also those of us who, albeit love the digital age, equally love to see our document in hard-copy.

The printed page has an appeal that a fleeting image on-screen can never match, especially for proof-reading copy, or reconciling invoices or checking over facts and figures.


I have found over the past eight years in the printer consumable business, there is a strong trend to use of (quality) compatibles over OEM cartridges. (I stress ‘quality’ as not all compatibles are the same!)

My view is that, as it becomes cheaper and easier to print at home and in the office we might actually be printing more!

Tips to reduce carbon footprint of printing

Printer Toner Carbon Footprint

As Carbon Tax and rising energy costs put extra pressure on businesses, we’re all looking at ways to work more efficiently.

Office printing, including paper, power and consumables, is a high office expense. Printer manufacturer, Lexmark, has indicated that printers global warming impact is generated 80% by Paper, 8% through Energy Consumption and 6% through cartridges. By using a multifunction printer and combining duplex and multi-up you can reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 45%.

Here are some extra tips, from Lexmark and www.retailblue.com.au, to reduce your carbon footprint.

A) Think before you print

  • Only print documents you need and avoid printing emails and drafts.
  • Use print preview to avoid mistakes before printing
  • Use duplex printing (double sided printing) to halve your paper use
  • Archive your documents using scan instead of printing.
  • Print drafts, greyscale or low dpi versions

B) Reduce Consumption

  • “Super size me” – Use high yield cartridges to reduce plastic usage and shipping
  • Use the draft mode to save ink and toner and reduce cartridge waste
  • Print in black and white rather than in colour when colour is not needed
  • Use workgroup printers to streamline equipment and save power
  • In your home use wireless printing or network to a single to reduce the number of printers
  • Turn your printer off in your workplace or home overnight or when not in use to reduce power consumption
  • Use the right printer for the job. Local printer centres in your city may be a better way to print high volume jobs.
  • Upgrade your printer technology – old printers may be less efficient in power and cartridge use.

C) Recycle

  • Reuse paper for draft work whenever possible
  • Provide separate recycling bins for paper and cartridges
  • Use free manufacturer collection programs to reuse or recycle your cartridges
  • Recycle end of life printers

Happy (sensible) printing!