Double-sided or nothing (Day 163)…

print job

I don’t have a printer. Whenever I order or book anything online, there’s always that email telling me to print the page for my records. Well, I don’t really have records, either, and I’m not about to waste paper on back-up copies of receipts.

But there is the occasional document I need to have in tangible form — like my flight information or boarding pass, for example — and so in this case I’ll use the printer at my parents’ house or at the office. So often, though, when you print something out, there are a couple pages at the end with nothing on them other than the URL of a webpage or a paragraph of legal disclaimers in fine print, and it’s silly to toss these out, even if they are destined to be recycled.

So from now on, whenever I’m printing anything — unless maybe if it’s my résumé — I’m going to check first to see if there’s any scrap paper I can use in place of a new sheet. And if it’s a bigger job, I’ll make sure to change the settings on my computer so that it knows to print double-sided.

Now if only those HP printer cartridges came with soy-based ink…

8 Responses to Double-sided or nothing (Day 163)…

  1. Aimee says:

    I’ve started doing this at home and at work – we dont’ have a duplex printing function, so printing double-sided is a pain, but I’ve amassed quite a stack of paper with printing on one side, so whenever I have to print something I just turn over a few sheets from my stash and reuse that paper instead. This works great for most print jobs- I don’t do this if I have to turn the printed item over to anyone of course. 🙂

  2. For the stuff you do need to keep a record of but don’t need to print… PDFs are always good. File them on the computer or email them to yourself so you have the record saved and can access it from any computer.

  3. E to the M says:

    Also you can preview the print job before actually priting. If the last page or so is junk then only print in the page range you want.

  4. TMS_NY says:

    In the course of my work, I produce LOTS of single sided printed paper for drafts of reports and such. Rather than recycle a page that is printed on only one side…I stack it up and bring it home. There I will print itineraries, receipts, recipes, etc on the other side, or use them as scratch paper for handwritten lists, or allow my children to color or do homework calculations on them.

    The idea is that even though these pages may be inappropriate for continued business use, there are lots of uses for that leftover unprinted side. No recycling until BOTH sides are used!

  5. Paula says:

    Something I do, especially when printing things from the internet, is to check the print preview before actually printing. I check which pages I actually need and then only print those out. Also, if there’s only a little bit of what I need on an additional page, I’ll shrink to fit just enough (but still big enough to read).

    I also keep printed on pages to use the other side or for kids’ coloring or to cut up for scrap note paper.

  6. You can also try and get your company to buy Green Print ( It’s software that automatically deletes the blank pages so you don’t print out blank pages at the printer. It works in conjunction with Word, Adobe etc.

  7. Stella DeGree says:

    Like E to the M and Paula say, double checking in print preview and choosing to print only those pages you need can really save a lot of pages! You can also copy and paste some things. But it is a total bonus that you are asking your parents to save those leftover pages that they might simply recycle. Maybe you can encourage them to double-side print, too?

  8. Laura says:

    I know this is so late (over a year since you posted it!) but there are places where you can refill your ink cartridges for nearly half the price of buying a new one!

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