Cut Waste, Save Money.

by Ryan Green

Think of that the next time you print out a chain of emails.

There are millions of things you can do to protect the environment: stop polluting, cut back on waste, etc... But there's only so much one can enforce when you're running an office of 40+ people.

Well, thankfully, there are some smart people out there developing tools to help reduce waste office-wide.

Save Paper and Ink

GreenPrint offers software that analyzes what a computer sends to a printer. It looks for pages that have no type or just a few lines of type (users can set the parameters). Then, the software automatically eliminates these pages from the print job. Users can also choose not to print images - such as maps on a print-out of driving directions.

is offering a free version of the software for non-business use, supported by advertising. Business licenses start at $70 per user with volume discounts. Considering how quickly paper, ink, overage charges can add up the $70 fee will quickly pay for itself in most offices - plus it's just good for the environment. Available for both PC & Mac.

Ecofont is the brainchild of Colin Willems, a font with tiny circles placed within the characters to reduce the total ink/toner laid upon the paper. Much like you can purchase pocket knives with skeletonized handles to reduce weight, Ecofont reduces the volume of printing supplies consumed.

"Appealing ideas are often simple: how much of a letter can be removed while maintaining readability? After extensive testing with all kinds of shapes, the best results were achieved using small circles. After lots of late hours (and coffee) this resulted in a font that uses up to 20% less ink. Free to download, free to use."

LCG3 Smart Strip Power Strip not only offers surge protection and line noise filtering, but is actually able to 'sense' the flow of electrical current through the strip's control outlet. Because of this unique ability, the Smart Strip can turn off selected equipment when its not in use.

Attach one of these to each of your employees' work stations and you will not longer have to worry about individuals shutting down their computers, monitors, task lamps, phone chargers, speakers, etc... if they are plugged into the strip. With a price tag of $39.95, the LCG3 will pay for itself in saved electricity. SCG3, a smaller version, is available for $30.95.

And remember, it's not always about saving money and time. It is our responsibility to put in the extra effort to do the right thing.