Whole Lotta Printin’ Goin’ On

In President Bounds’ latest email, he noted that we can save a lot of money by not printing; a change all of us can make—no formal program needed.  He’s right.

First, let me get my disclaimer out of the way.  There are times that you need to print.  Maybe a patient needs a form, it’s more efficient for you to print on a certain task, or there is a specific circumstance where it’s required.  That’s OK, we have printers because sometimes we need them.  This is not a plea to create a department “paper czar” who counts every sheet (and drives everyone crazy).

I am asking you to take 1 second and ask yourself if you actually need to hit print.

More often than not, you will find that you don’t actually need to print.  You can store the file or email electronically, or refer to it on your screen while working on something else.  Ever been to your copier to find documents that people printed and never retrieved?  They didn’t need to print them.  Not printing saves money, and resources, and keeps your desk cleaner.

If you do print, use black/white and print double-sided whenever possible.  Make sure the document settings are just how you want them, so it prints right the first time.  Only print the number of copies you actually need–don’t print extra just in case.  Have a big job? Check out the Print Shop, they can quickly print large batches less expensively than you can.

How does this save?  Your department pays for every sheet you print, not only in the cost of the paper, but also the use of the copy machine.  B/W sheets are pretty cheap, but color copies cost 20 times as much!  If it has ANY color, even a small emblem in the corner, it’s still a color copy.  Printing one double-sided sheet is cheaper than printing 2 singles, and it cuts paper usage in half.

This adds up fast.  Did you know that last month UNMC printed 510,000 B/W & 296,000 color copies on connected devices?  In just one month, and that doesn’t count Nebraska Medicine!  It also doesn’t count the deskside printers that are still using $10,000 worth of toner each month on an unknown number of sheets of paper.

Looking for more ways to save?

  • Don’t print personal items; we aren’t allowed to use state funds for personal use
  • Check out the ITS tutorials to learn how to compress files and save documents.
  • Send via secure email, not fax
  • Send agendas, notes, and handouts electronically and provide them on screen during the meeting to encourage attendees not to print
  • Ask IT Support and Purchasing to set up codes or mailboxes on your copier/printer
  • Buy the highest recycled content paper available; you’ll use fewer resources when you do print

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