By 2ndactt/ Photo by Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com
Even the greenest, eco-friendly-minded aspiring entrepreneurs will need two machines as they start businesses. A computer, naturally, and an all-in-one printer, also known as a multifunction device or an MFD, that scans, copies, prints, faxes, sends emails, etc.
It is best that we live a life where trees are no longer cut down to make paper and that we print, photocopy, and send faxes no more. But until then, having an all-in-one printer in your home office or for your burgeoning business is a good investment. Paper-consuming as it seems, there are greener and smarter ways to use an all-in-one printer.
1. Use an all-in-one printer mainly to scan
All-in-one printers are mostly scanning printers, meaning they are also doubled as scanners that convert your paper documents into electronic forms. Once they are scanned into digital formats, you can edit, share, and even encrypt them as if you are locking paper files in a safety box. Moreover, software like DocuSign allows people to sign contracts and agreements electronically. You don’t have to print out those sheets of paper just to have your signature on them.
Digitalizing every paper file can seem daunting, especially if you have piles and piles of it. But you save yourself lots of money and space for plastic folders, shelves, and even a storeroom, once it is done. The efforts made are definitely worthwhile.
2. Choose a wireless all-in-one printer so you send emails, not faxes
Scan-to-email printers with wifi connection allow users to send images and documents right from the printers to recipients’ email boxes. And thanks to the increasingly friendly user interface like the LCD screen and intuitive designs, scan-to-email printers can be easy to navigate. HP Color LaserJet Pro M479fdw, Brother MFC-J5330DW, and Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 are some wireless all-in-one printers to consider.
By avoiding using fax, we reduce the consumption of thermal paper rolls. The thermal paper contains chemical compounds like Bisphenol A (BPA), which leads to health concerns. Research published in Current Molecular Pharmacology wrote that Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic plasticizer and is known as an endocrine disruptor. The study linked exposure to BPA with “an increased risk of hormone-related cancers such as those of the ovary, breast, prostate, and even colon cancer.”
BPA is also an environmental hazard. The fact that BPA causes health concerns makes it a toxic waste that is not suitable to be recycled and reproduced to become other paper products.
3. Recycle multifunction printer cartridges
To tap into the sustainability and circular economy trend, major all-in-one printer manufacturers provide plans to recycle used ink and toner cartridges. Based on the number of cartridges to be recycled, they offer services from sending pre-labeled envelopes to providing pickup trucks. Some printer companies recycle cartridges, making them into plastic bottles and hangers; others turn them into new cartridges or base materials usable in other industries.
4. Print double-sided and photocopy sparingly
Printing and photocopying should be the last thing people do as far as an all-in-one printer is concerned. So print sparingly and choose double-sided printing whenever we have to. Preparing a pack of recycled printer paper for occasional printing and photocopying can be a greener thing to do.
When purchasing an all-in-one printer, we are using it as a tool to cut out paper and create a digitalized, paperless work environment. The device can contribute to a sustainable environment if we all know how to use it wisely.
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