There are many reasons why schools still print a lot of documents, from worksheets to homework assignments to newsletters. As it so happens, this is one area that’s costing them more than they think because there are different expenses related to running a commercial printer, which include paying for paper, cartridges, electricity usage, and even maintenance. The best way schools can slash their paper usage and their printing bill is to get smart with their printing habits as well as considering alternative resources. Here are some basic tips they can try in order to go about conserving.
Not only are digital documents cheaper, they’re also simpler, and easy to store and distribute. Whilst it may not be possible to go completely paperless in schools, teachers and administrators should consider those instances where technology could make a big difference. There are many ways they can swap printouts for digital versions including online quizzes and consent forms, and email newsletters. Pencil-and-paper activities can also be substituted with interactive whiteboards, whether in the classroom or meeting room. Teachers can also encourage learners to save resources from the internet on a removable disk rather than print them out.
Introduce a double-sided printing policy
Whether it’s photocopies or printing from the internet, schools can encourage students and staff to print on both sides of the paper. Some multifunction printers like the HP Laserjet Enterprise MHP M712xh, automatically support duplex printing. If the school’s printers don’t support the automatic function, users can still program the printer to print on both sides of the paper by choosing it manually in the printer driver, or activating Microsoft Word’s option for manual duplex printing and turning the paper themselves.
Always use print preview
Before printing out documents, users should always use the print preview. When choosing this option, they will be presented with a window that shows what a hard copy would look like when printed. By using the print preview, users can make sure that the document is in the desired layout, and that it contains all the necessary information. By finding and fixing errors before printing, users won’t have to print more than once.
Set a quota for each student
Schools can create individual profiles for students and then require each user to log in to be able to print. Not only can administrators control who can access the printers, they can also set a daily limit on the number of pages a student can print. Authorising printing jobs will help put a stop to accidental or deliberate misuse of printing facilities.
Invest in a managed print solution
Managed print solutions like Nashua’s Equitrac Office and Softlog Enterprise, allow organisations to measure how many print copies they are responsible for each month and the costs associated with their printing behaviour. These services can automatically implement cost-savings measures such as Equitrac’s ability to convert colour documents to black and white, or single-sided documents to double-sided. With such a system in place, staff will be more motivated to reduce their paper footprint.
Reducing a school’s printer usage can seem like a challenge. After all, teachers need to copy or print worksheets for hundreds of students every month. But often making small changes to the way they print can make a huge difference to the amount of resources used and the accompanying printing costs.