Although we are heading to an era of paperless offices, the printer would still be an indispensable machine at home and office. There are documents that we need to print including invoices, important emails, useful web pages, personalized greeting cards, and other documents. I cannot imagine a world that is purely digital because there are documents which I think worthy to be printed. A paperless world will reduce the number of trees cut for paper production, the amount of money spent in buying ink and toner cartridges, and the volume of printer and cartridges dumped in landfills. It would be an amazing world but it may take more years for us to reach the paperless stage. In the mean time, there are amazing ways we can do to save money and the environment when printing documents at home and office. Using economical fonts that use less ink and toner is one of these ways.

Many people and organizations are unaware that changing their font to a less ink-intesive font can save them hundreds to thousands of dollars a year. For example, the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay estimates that they will save up to $10,000 a year worth of ink or toner by switching from their old font to Century Gothic. The school has already changed the default font in their e-mails to Century Gothic and asked the faculty and staff to use Century Gothic in printing documents. Compared to Arial, Century Gothic uses 30% less ink. This geometric sans-serif typeface was designed for monotype imaging in 1991 and popularly used today.

Century Gothic
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Another less ink-intesive font that is becoming popular is Ecofont, a TrueType font developed by Netherland-based SPRANQ. This font uses tiny circles placed in the characters to cut down ink usage by approximately 15 percent. The tiny circles or holes don't have ink but the whole character (letter, number or symbol) is still readable. Ecofont is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Using Ecofont for client communication and official contracts may not be a good idea but consider using it for personal or internal use.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to Century Gothic and Ecofont, there are other fonts that use less ink than others including Times New Roman followed by Calibri, Verdana, Sans Serif, and Arial.

Other Ways To Save Ink

Consider using small but readable font size when printing documents. This is another great way to save ink and paper. Also avoid using double spacing in your word documents to save on paper. Only use double spacing when you need to (e.g. teacher instruction).

Before you print a particular document, answer the question: do I need to print this? Only print necessary documents to save ink and paper. Consider converting some of your documents to PDF format to make them more presentable and easier to read and navigate. This way, you don't need to print the documents.

If you are printing web pages, consider removing unnecessary graphics or advertisements to save on ink. There are softwares that will remove unnecessary graphics and ads for you. You can use to create a printer friendly version of the webpage you want to print.

To save on printing cost, consider using remanufactured printer cartridges. They are cheaper than original cartridges but still provide excellent printout and decent page yield. They are made from empty cartridges refilled with ink that is why they are cheaper and environment friendly.