Conversations around sustainability are happening on campuses across the globe as colleges and universities evaluate how to minimize their carbon footprint, create efficiencies and maximize resources. But, there are two things working against higher ed’s desire to embrace sustainability. While we are in a digital age, 92% of students prefer printed material to digital. Apart from this, most printers today are not environmentally friendly.
In order to become more sustainable, campuses need to look to more modern approaches to printing – solutions that address the issues surrounding the printing process and it's manufacturing. Two major threats include paper use and ink cartridge or toner waste.
Consider the paper source
Printing typically uses large amounts of paper, which can mean many trees being cut down; often the deforestation of whole areas. To combat this, environmentally conscious solutions, like Ink, narrow the options to recycled paper or paper sourced from tree farms. There is an extra benefit to tree farms: they actually aid the environment because they are planted in areas that didn’t previously have trees, adding much needed oxygen to the atmosphere.
Get creative with used paper
Campuses can also address paper use by implementing a recycling campaign on campus. Activities can include encouraging students, faculty and staff to use the backside of old printed material for note taking, making sure there is a recycling bin next to every printer, increasing the number of recycling bins available across campus and encouraging students by adding incentives or a rewards program.
Use refillable cartridges
The EPA identifies cartridge waste as one of the most toxic industrial externalities. Each year over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown away, with most of them ending up in landfills. Colleges and universities can reduce their environmental impact by selecting printing solutions that use refillable cartridges. Ink Smart Stations’ tanks, are exclusively refill-based, meaning that when a Smart Station tank runs out of ink, Ink will refill it and send it back out to a Smart Station in need.
Interested in learning Ink’s commitment to sustainability? Download the free position paper, Creating a More Sustainable Campus: A Modern Approach to Printing.