Maximize the Paper-Saving Power of Your PC

On April 1, 2008,  the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) issued a press release entitled “Paper Recycling Hits Record High” announced that an all time high of 56 percent of the paper consumed in America was recovered for recycling, achieving a significant industry goal five years ahead of schedule.

While this is certainly good news, paper use is probably at an all-time high, too. Fortunately, computers are designed to be paper-conservation machines, but far too many users fail to make full use of their computer’s paper-saving power. Here are some tips on how you can maximize the paper saving power of your PC (or Mac):

  • Print as little as possible. Do most of your editing on the computer, read Web pages online instead of printing them out, don’t print email messages. Just before printing something, ask yourself, “Do I really need a hardcopy?”
  • Use smaller fonts and wider margins on long documents.
  • Print or copy on both sides of a page if your printer supports this.
  • Sign up to receive as many of your bills as possible online instead of via mail delivery.
  • Pay your bills online. Many banks no offer free online bill pay, so you don’t need to buy a special personal finance program and pay a service for this feature. Online bill pay can save you a lot on postage, too!
  • Download and read eBooks instead of ordering paper copies. has a Kindle device specifically designed for eBooks.
  • Rather than fax documents, scan them in and send them as email attachments. You can also use a special service, such as eFax ( to send faxes to standard fax machines over the Internet or receive faxes from a standard fax machine electronically rather than having to print them.

Most of these suggestions will save ink, too, along with the energy required for your computer and printer to produce printouts!

If you have more tips to share on how to use your computer to cut down on paper use, please share by posting them here.

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak

Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

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