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Save a tree, read your email online

Paper is often the major contributor to waste in the office, and it’s the easiest to recycle. The university typically consumes between 54 and 60 million sheets of paper per annum. That’s a lot of paper. Last year IT implemented a new printing management system and already the results are visible.


A few simple measures can make a huge difference in paper usage in your office.

1. Don’t print all your emails. There’s no need to print and file stacks of paper to read later. Rather organise your emails in folders and delete them when read. Consider including a “think before you print” message to your email signature to remind people.

2.  E-signing software allows you to email proposals, invoices and contracts to clients so that they can virtually and securely sign them, which vastly reduces the need for printed contracts.

3. If your printer isn’t set up to print 2 pages per sheet or print on both sides of the paper, follow these simple instructions to halve your office printing. Go to Print, click on Properties, and choose Page layout: 2 pages per sheet OR go to Print, click on Properties, click on Finishing and choose Print Style: 2-sided printing.

4. To use even less paper, change the margins on your word documents for more words on a page. Click on File, and choose Page set up and change the margins to 2 cm.

5. Buy recycled paper or paper from FSC certified sources. The FSC label ensure that the paper comes from responsible sources.

6. Put bins or boxes which are clearly signed in areas where people can deposit their paper, especially next to printers and copiers. Mondi offers a paper pick up in many areas. Visit to learn how to recycle your office’s e-waste.


4 Responses to “Save a tree, read your email online”

  1. Ralph Pina says:

    1. Our paper comes from plantations, but every business’ goal is to grow revenue and turnover, and that includes paper manufacturers. Which means more paper production and probably means larger and more plantations. Often this cannot happen without replacing biodiversity.
    2. More paper production means more (intensive) consumption of water and (carbon intensive) energy i.e. more material and energy throughput. It’s not about “saving trees” but about living sustainably within the limits of our resources.

    So it’s always good to use less paper and recycle it from an environmental point of view. It also saves money.

  2. Anton says:

    Die groen drukinisiatief is uitstekende kostebesparende inisiatief. Net soos met enige hulpbron is dit noodsaaklik om besparend te werk met papier en drukwerk. Die feit is egter dat jy bydra tot die bekamping in klimaatsverandering deur papier te gebruik, aangesien dit ‘n koolstof stoor is net soos hout. Jy kan baie meer groen wees deur jou wegneemete in karton of papier te neem, eerder as polistireen en nie gebottelde water te drink nie, as om op te hou e-posse druk. As ESKOM ons faal kan jy ten minste jou gedrukte e-posse brand om jou warm te hou en kos te kook, om jou rekenaar te brand is skadelik vir die omgewing!

  3. Si says:

    I agree with the previous post – well worth the look and all true! Paper we use in South Africa is not destroying the rain forests!

  4. Samuel says:

    The article found at this URL will certainly dispel certain myths about paper and the environment….it is worth a read…


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