So you’ve probably read lists of ways to go green at work. The typical lists have good ideas that should definitely be implemented if possible. However, this is an idea that I haven’t seen on any other lists, and you don’t need to be the president of the company to make it happen. I call it The Eco Tray:
The Eco Tray is a way to reduce paper usage when printing. Of course the best option is to avoid printing things, however depending on your job, that might not be possible. For my job, I have to print sheets that are posted on boards and therefore my print-outs can only be one-sided. We also have a large printer at work that has 3 different trays for paper. I started to collect used papers that were only printed on one-side. Then I would load those one-sided papers into a specific tray of the printer. And thus, the Eco Tray was born.
With the Eco Tray, if you have to print a one-sided document, you can select the Eco Tray. Then your document will be printed with something else recycled on the other side of the document. This works well at a high traffic printer where you can usually find papers that no one picks up. These are un-wrinkled and staple free so they make prime candidates to be loaded for re-use in the Eco Tray.
In order to spread my idea, I posted a notice near the printer so that others were aware of the Eco Tray. Also, I set the default of the printer to show the Eco Tray as “green” colored paper. This prevents people from accidentally printing to the Eco Tray. The printer never defaults to use the Eco Tray. Users instead must manually select the Eco Tray prior to printing their document. At first I was the only person using the Eco Tray, but now I am happy to hear others talking about it and using it.
I hope that others can apply this idea at their jobs to reduce their paper usage. Message me if you would like the actual signs that I used to mark the Eco Tray. It is satisfying to know that when I can’t avoid printing something, at least I’m re-using the piece of paper.