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Paper Reduction Tips

The following are suggestions for ways you can reduce your paper usage.

Common Paper Waste Solution
Single Sided Photocopies Double-side copies.  Remind people to copy double-sided by posting reminders near the copiers, using interesting posters or entertaining slogans ("2 sides are better than one," "make a 2 (copies) for 1 (page) offer," "get a second impression," etc.) and change them often to maintain interest.
Extra copies because the copier was set wrong Clear the photo copier both before you start copying and after you are finished. This fixes the problem both for you and the next person.
Making extra copies of something "just in case" Promote a "Think Before You Copy" Attitude. Employees should be encouraged to make sure they really need the copies they are making and not to make excess copies.
Making individual copies of a memo for everyone Scan and send electronically, Route or post memos. If all readers don't have email access, route one copy around the office or post on a common bulleting board. If reading is required, add a signature section to the routed or posted version.
Printing out power point slides, one slide per page Print multiple slides per page. This can be done by selecting the "handout" option in the print menu and selecting "#" slides per page.
Printing whole documents when only a few pages were needed Print Only the Pages You Need. Under the print function look for the box called "Print Range." Click the "Pages" button. Then fill in the specific page number or range you want to print.
Individualized handouts at meetings Project agendas and handouts onto a board for everyone to see, Make an electronic copy available after the meeting either a shared folder. Because data storage is expensive, the best way to share documents via email is to include a link where the document is stored on a shared drive rather than emailing the document.
Sending out materials before a meeting and printing out copies for attendees If print outs are needed, clearly state who is responsible for printing out the materials in the text of the email the documents are attached to. This will eliminate both people printing because neither side is sure who the responsible party was.
Lengthy single-sided forms Reduce and double-side standard forms. If the last few lines run onto an additional page, format margins and font to eliminate that last page.
Paper forms are created to get work done Automate standard forms as templates. Electronic forms are easier to use and eliminate the need for blank hard copy forms. Even if you choose to automate, format for the fewest number of pages in case someone prints the form.
Creating paper copies for a file Replace paper files with electronic files. Scan items and PDF them. Anything that is PDFed is as permanent and unalterable as a printed sheet of paper. As a result it serves as an electronic substitute for a paper file. Copy machines are now set up to scan and email your PDF to your inbox.  "Print" Purchase Orders to a PDF that is sent to your email. Choose Print PO. Hit "run." On the next screen choose "email" in the Type menu and "PDF" in the Format menu.
Printing information sent electronically Create an organized electronic filing system. Think carefully before printing electronic information. Organize and save it so it is easy to look up. This way you won't need to make hard copy files of important information. Make sure electronic versions are saved on backed up drives. (S or H)
Printing drafts on new paper Print drafts on "recycled paper. Keep a supply of used paper that is still blank on one side for printing drafts. If the draft is just for you, and is only going to get recycled after you write on it, it doesn't need to be presentation quality. You can choose the "manual" print option and then feed the printer paper that already has something on one side. Provide collection trays to collect the paper from printer, copiers and fax machines.
Reprinting a new draft every time you find a small error Preview Documents Before Printing. Proofread documents on screen before printing. Don't forget to use the speller/grammar function to detect errors .
Unwanted Faxes     Call the number on the fax to request the faxes stop.

Contact Information

Amy Lipman
Environmental Sustainability Program Manager
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Phone: 617-632-8246
E-mail: ablipman@bidmc.harvard.edu