The internet is helping to revolutionize our lives. We’re reading more online, sending more emails and saving fuel by not having to go and speak to people in person to get things done. We’re all slowly going green either deliberately or by accident thanks to the world wide web.
But there is an Achilles heel in this eco friendly world and that is that there are a number of things – from bank statements to website articles, from letters to gig tickets – we all need or want to print out from time to time.
Of course printer toner isn’t cheap and even more importantly if we’re serious about going green then we need to try an minimize the amount of paper we use – even if it is 100% recycled.
Fortunately there are some free solutions around which will help you to be as green as possible while printing from your computer. Below we have outlined three fantastic computer applications that we’ve been testing over the last few days that really will help you to minimize your effect on the planet.
GreenPrintoffers a free version of their software for home use though businesses will likely need to pay for a more substantial license. The way the GreenPrint software works is that is creates an interactive “print preview” screen that appears between you actually hitting the “print” button on your computer and anything coming out of your printer.
This interactive screen brings up a preview of the document you are about to print so that you can decide exactly which bits you want to print and which parts are unnecessary. For example you can omit whole pages if they are blank or of no real relevance. You can even remove any images you like to save on ink and paper.
Note that this application only affects what will actually come out of your printer and won’t edit the original document itself so there is no risk to using it on even the most important files on your computer.
Another useful application for eco friendly printing is the iPrint application which will scale down the pages you are printing, enabling you to fit up to four pages of text onto a single piece of paper. Suddenly a 20 page document becomes a 5 page document – so you have money and save the planet at the same time.
The last free application for going green when printing from your PC does a similar job to GreenPrint but works specifically for web pages. With all their images, adverts, menus and so on you can often find printing from the web is the most wasteful of all with only a tiny fraction of what comes out of your printer having any real relevance to you.
Now you can hop along to the free Print What You Likewebsite, enter the address of the page you’d like to print, and in moments remove any unecessary elements so you only print the exact information you need.