Cultural awareness of the environmental impact humans have has become extremely prevalent in our society with new programs and innovative undertakings constantly changing our lives to help the world become greener. Ironically, in the ‘digital age’ we still consume enormous amounts of mashed up, bleached tree pulp, most of which gets used once or twice and then tossed or recycled. Environment Canada has stated that “paper and paper products accounts for more than one third of all Canada’s waste” which is a staggering amount. Printing paper instead of digitizing documents is harmful for the environment; however one recent innovation that was created in the Netherlands is Ecofont.
What is Ecofont?
Ecofont is a new way to minimize both cost and waste of paper and ink used while printing by removing small circles of ink from the characters of a font. As a result, the output is pleasant to read as the holes are very difficult to see with the naked eye, especially in a small point font. Ecofont software however is not just a font; it works with almost any existing font available. It is easy to implement without the need to change the preferred style of your existing documents and forms.
A study by the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, revealed that the font Century Gothic was able to greatly reduce paper used when printing documents by having more words per page while maintaining the size of the characters. For Ecofont Vera Sans (the Ecofont version of Vera Sans) this holds true as well, though the university attempted to state that the ink saved by Century Gothic was higher as well when compared to Ecofont Vera Sans. The university had unfortunately not realised that the Ecofont software can also print in Ecofont Century Gothic (Ecofont’s version of Century Gothic). Because of the holes of ink that Ecofont has inserted, their version of Century Gothic saves considerably more ink/toner than the regular Century Gothic.
It has become easier than ever to help sustain the environment, especially in terms of using less paper and ink when printing. There are some facts that should be kept in mind that show just how much of an effect paper production has on the environment. In 2000, North Americans used 323kg of paper products per capita, while recycling 54kg of paper would save an entire tree. That is almost six trees per person! When producing one ton of recycled paper instead of newly made paper, it would save 682.5 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and would save around 17 trees worth of paper.
Here are some tips you can do at work that can help reduce negative impacts on the environment and save you from wasting time, energy and money:
If you’re not using it, turn it off.
- Enable energy saving settings on all equipment.
- Use power bars for equipment and keep it off until needed.
- Recycle old furniture and equipment as they are replaced/broken.
- Set ‘double sided’ as the default setting on your printer.
- In kitchens and bathrooms incorporate re-useable cloths instead of disposable napkins.
- Use E-mail when you can to conserve paper and ink and only print when you have to.
- Back up data digitally in external drives instead of as a hard copy.
- Put your computer to sleep when you walk away during the day or completely off during a long meeting.