Sustainable printing tips: How to be more eco-friendly

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3D printing means fast, rabid prototyping with less waste. There are all kinds of eco printing, 3D and on paper. Like this printer that builds homes.

Being sustainable has never been more important. There has been a push to be more eco-friendly with business taking big leaps to make a positive impact on the environment. Etsy, for example, offsets carbon from deliveries made, meaning every time an item is purchased on the site, the company balances out the carbon emissions by investing in projects which reduce them.

One industry which can make more of a positive impact is printing. If you’re a business that regularly prints, there are some small changes you can make to be more eco-friendly.

Use recycled paper

If you need to print something off, using recycled paper is the greenest solution. Compared to using plain paper made from scratch, it uses far less water, energy produces fewer carbon emissions – did you know that every ton of new paper requires 19,000 gallons of water? Not only does recycled paper help reduce this, but it reduces the amount of paper heading to a landfill. According to research, today 91% of all printed paper is made from non-recycled materials. 

Print double-sided

Another way to make sustainable choices is to promote printing double-sided. Not only will it save paper, but it will also save you money. It is estimated that a standard pine tree – which most paper is made from – will produce around 10,000 sheets of paper. In fact, an average-sized office will use the equivalent of one tree every year. But if you default to printing double-sided your office could use less of a tree (if you choose to use recycled paper, that will be even less).

Recycle your cartridges

Where do you dispose of your printer cartridges? Ink cartridges are toxic if they go to landfill. They’re plastic and take years to decompose – but up to 97% of materials used to create ink cartridges can be recycled and reused. explains that over 350 million empty cartridges are thrown away each year and they can help direct you to getting your empty cartridges where they need to be and out of the landfill.

Some facts on why it’s important to dispose of your cartridges from

  • The UK is responsible for disposing of 55 million cartridges.
  • Cartridges which are disposed of in the bin can cover Old Trafford 119 times.
  • On average, the components of a cartridge can take 1,000 years to naturally decompose.
  • Eight cartridges are thrown away every minute. If only four of these were recycled it could produce 20 more cartridges for 80% less energy.

Switch to eco-mode

Another way to be more sustainable when it comes to printing is to invest in a printer with eco mode. It can reduce power consumption, save on ink or toner, and reduce paper usage. You can set this a default setting so you know your printer is being sustainable for every print. 

Being more eco-friendly with your printing can have positive impacts all around. Not only does it have a huge benefit on the environment, over time, making greener choices can save you money too.


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