Do you Make these Common Green Printing Mistakes?

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In our everyday lives we practice environmentally friendly behavior. We recycle our newspapers, we turn out the lights when we leave the room and we are increasingly buying hybrid cars. However, these behaviors shouldn’t end in our personal lives, but carry on to the workplace. Therefore, it’s a good time to ponder the impact your office has on the environment. Efforts to reduce the negative environmental footprint of the office can be renewed and past pledges to create a greener office environment are ripe for reevaluation. Find out how far your office has progressed toward green printing, and how much progress remains, by taking our Green Office Print Quiz.

  • In an average year, how many printed pages does the typical office worker in North America produce?

           (a) 5,000 pages   (b) 7,500 pages  (c) 10,000

If you answered (a), you’re off by 50 percent. According to, an office employee generates 10,000 pages of printed material every year.  Does that number sound a little scary?

  • How long does an average printed page in a typical office survive before being disposed?

            (a) less than two weeks  (b) less than one day (c) less than 5 minutes.

We’ve got a hunch you chose (b). Once again, however, (c) would have been closer to the sad truth. MPS Insights reports the life span of a printed sheet is a mere five minutes before it winds up in the blue recycling bin. Makes you wonder: Was it really vital to print out a page for a five minute existence?

  • How much electricity is needed to run one laser printer for a year cost?

           (a) $100 (b)  $225 (c) $300

If you guessed (b) you must be the one who pays the office utility bills because you’re right. Run the numbers and you’ll discover that you can save $18.75 a month if you increase the efficiency of your print fleet by permanently unplugging a single laser printer.

  • Print. Discard. Print. Discard. It’s starting to sound monotonous. To break the tedium, guess how many pounds of waste are produced by that single laser printer that’s (still) plugged in?  Throw everything into the mix and take into account paper, packaging and printer consumables.

           (a) 50 pounds (b) 100 pounds  (c) 200 pounds

A staggering 100 pounds of waste result from the operation of an average laser printer. Think of all the offices with all those laser printers all around the world and visualize the result.

  • Print Audit, a provider of print monitoring software, has conducted research that shows print quantity decreases when workers think their printing norms are being monitored. How much do you think the print volume is reduced?

             (a) 5 percent  (b) 10 percent  (c) 15 percent.

And the last answer to this year’s Green Office Quiz is (b).  Workers restrain printing by about 10 percent if they’re made aware that individual printing habits are being monitored.

The statistics included in the green printing quiz demonstrate how simple steps like taking just one printer off-line or getting a handle on print output can result in a better bottom line as well as keep the office greener.

Many roads lead to more efficient green printing, lower costs and reduced environmental impact. Optimizing your print fleet and putting a Managed Print strategy into action are just two.

Are you aware of the effect green printing habits in your office have on the planet? Is Earth Day celebrated at your workplace?  We’d love to hear your ideas and comments. Take a moment to share some of your own “green office” guidelines with us.

To find out how much your business is currently spending on print, click here for your free print assessment:



Hughes Xerographic

All stories by: Hughes Xerographic

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