Paper Usage in the Library

The library is a fantastic place to go if you have things to print or copy. However, it is important to remember the environmental impact of the things we print. The two main library printers alone go through about five boxes of paper a week (that’s 50 reams, or 25,000 pgs!).

paper2The next time you need to use the library’s printers, keep these five tips in mind:

1. If possible, don’t print

Some professors will send PDF files of articles or other reading for class. If you need to bring the article to class, the library’s printers are defaulted to print double-sided to reduce waste. If you just need to read the file, however, consider saving it to your computer instead of printing.

2. Remember to pick up what you printed

If you print something, pick it up from the printer right away. That way, if you have other things to do on the computer you won’t accidentally leave the library without your documents.

3. Make sure you only print what you need

Do you really need to print that last sheet of paper that only gives you the URL of a website? Considering e-mailing yourself the URL if you think you’ll forget it, and be sure to check the number of pages in the print preview before actually printing your document.

4. Don’t click print more than necessary

Printers, like any other technology, break down from time to time. Sending your printing job to an out-of-order printer multiple times won’t make your document print faster: it will only print multiple copies. If you accidentally send your printing job to the printer before realizing it’s not working, come back later and check the “Other People’s Printing” tray.

5. Recycle what you’re done with

The end of the semester is a while off, but when it rolls around, recycle the papers, articles, and handouts you’ve collected over the past 16 weeks instead of throwing them away. Recycling bins are all over campus. If you have trouble locating one, the blue bins by the printers on the first and second floor of the library are for paper recycling.

paper1For more statistics on American paper use, check out this article from the database OneFile PowerSearch.

— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger

The Wasteful Paper Robot, courtesy of the TechLab

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment