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Environmentally friendly ways of managing ICT within education - printing
Published Date : 19 Mar 2007   Last Updated : 23 Jun 2014   Content Ref: TEC891137  





More Information

We all have an interest in environmental issues. After all, climate change is a threat to every one of us. We can't reverse the damage already done, but we can stop it from becoming worse. Perhaps you use recycling boxes at home for glass, plastic or papers. Maybe you've fitted energy saving light bulbs. However, have you ever wondered how you could translate these actions into your school or college environment?


Printing

Saving paper is one of the most obvious forms of looking after the environment. However, it can be quite difficult to manage in an educational environment where there is a need for pupils/students to print course work.

You may not realise how much paper is being used to print just one version of course work. If a pupil/student does not use Print Preview to review the content of their work before printing then many pages can be wasted. In this scenario, a pupil/student prints a seven page document, proof-reads the printouts (not the on-screen version) and finds an error on page one. They correct this page and reprint all seven pages before moving on to proof-read page two and so on. They then realise they wanted the picture on page four in colour, so re-print all seven pages in colour. You'll see that the teacher's paper-based marking costs seven pages, while the student's inefficient printing has cost many more pages.

What then happens to this wasted paper? Is it recycled or used for scrap, or does it end up in the bin?


Tips on how to save paper when printing

Print two pages to a sheet, print double-sided or do both!

Most printers can print two pages to a sheet of paper. Some can even do two pages to a sheet and double-sided. To find out what features your printer has:

  1. Select Start, Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click on your default printer and select Printing Preferences.

Think before you print

Badly formatted documents or spreadsheets can mean you end up printing more pages than you intended.

  • Use Print Preview to check how many pages your document will print on.
  • Adjust the page margins, to ensure your document fits onto fewer pages.
  • Print out fewer handouts and ask people to share. 
  • Make electronic copies available for people to refer back to.

Other ideas for saving\re-using paper:

  1. Re-use paper that has only been printed on one side to print documents that are for your use only.
  2. Use paper that's only been printed on one side for taking notes.
  3. Re-cycle paper instead of putting it in the bin.

Community Connect® 3 and Community Connect® 4 networks - printer credits

If you have a Community Connect 3 or Community Connect 4 network, you might wish to consider implementing printer credits. Printer credits are a feature of both RM Networks which enable you to charge users for printing. You can set the amount of credits each printer charges per page and the amount of credits that each user has, thus discouraging wasteful printing.

Community Connect 3 and Community Connect 4 networks - Pcounter

Another option with your Community Connect 3 or Community Connect 4  network is to implement Pcounter. This is a software package that provides a print management system and increases control of network printing - helping to eliminate waste and abuse. Pcounter can also monitor, report on and control Who prints What, Where, When and How much - all of which discourage wasteful printing. Pcounter will help eliminate waste and misuse resulting in dramatic cost savings for schools.


Recycling

Paper

Paper is the main form of waste created by schools. Do you have special bins for recycling paper? Many councils are working with local schools to encourage recycling and litter management. Some provide different coloured bins for collecting paper, cans, canteen waste, etc and they also arrange collection. Contact your local council and ask them to provide your school with a paper-recycling bin.


CDs and mobile phones

There are a number of companies that are set up to recycle mobile phones and CDs. Visit the Internet to find out further information on companies that particularly support recycling in education.


Printer cartridges

There are many companies that recycle printer cartridges. One example is Brother who have established a state of the art recycling plant in Ruabon, Wales, to re-cycle old Brother consumables. For more information visit: www.brothergreen.co.uk


Other useful Web sites

Become an Eco-School
Visit http://www.eco-schools.org.uk/ and see how you can become an Eco-School.


Other useful recyling Web sites

http://www.recyclezone.org.uk/

http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/schools.html


We welcome your suggestions

If you have other suggestions on how to save paper when printing then please email: greenideas@rm.com


Thank you

RM would like to thank Nick Jones from St Joseph's Convent School in Reading for his contribution to this article. We would also like to thank Brendan Desport at St Athanasius' Primary School in Lanarkshire for letting us know about the Brother recycling plant.



Other Useful Articles

Environmentally friendly ways of managing ICT within education - energy saving, re-packaging and disposal of kit (TEC852955)

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