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Summer 2014 Edition

eCommunicator is a quarterly newsletter about technology tools, services, and support at Northwestern University.

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Summer 2014 Edition

Think Before You Print

Laptop on bamboo with green leaf

We all know it by now: saving paper saves trees, saving trees helps the environment, and helping the environment is just a good and conscientious thing to do. But we rarely think about exactly what steps we can take to get started. The next time you think about hitting “Print,” stop and ask yourself these two questions:

NUIT offers plenty of tools and resources, including a new Printing Best Practices page, to make it incredibly easy to share, review, and edit files electronically and collaboratively, and to reduce the amount of resources needed to print.

Share Files

Since many people now bring laptops or tablets to meetings, consider sharing documents via SharePoint or Box. Let meeting attendees know that you’re being green and saving paper so they have the option to print the information themselves if they need to. With several of these file-sharing options, you can even work together to edit a document electronically without sending drafts back and forth.

Be Print Savvy

If you do need to print a file, consider how you can decrease the amount of paper and ink being used. Most documents can be printed double-sided (check your printer settings for this option). If a file goes slightly over a page, you can adjust margins or reduce the text size slightly to get all of the content onto one page. Many printers also offer an option to adjust the print quality, which can save a significant amount of ink but does not drastically affect the quality of the final printed product.

Be cautious of Word’s “Quick Print” button. While this is a handy feature to have in your Quick Access Toolbar, it can sometimes lead to printing more than you need. Quick Print copies the settings from your last print job, so clicking Quick Print after printing 50 agendas means you’ll end up with 50 copies of the next item you send to print.

“Northwestern University uses over 200 tons of office paper a year, if that were all virgin paper, that would amount to almost 5000 mature trees”, said Rob Whittier, Director of Sustainability at Northwestern. “Fortunately our offices have a number of options to reduce the amount they print and to purchase 50% or even 100% recycled content paper at very little additional cost!”

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