Minor Adjustments Add Up to Major Savings

Published, April 22, 2013

Fast FactWhen you start a new document on your computer, do you check the margins? If not, you’re missing a simple way to save paper, ink and money for the Department of the Navy. One printing best practice is to use .75 inches as the default margin size for printing instead of the usual 1-inch. The exception should be for official letterhead correspondence, which requires 1-inch margins.

Changing the margins is a small thing, but it adds up. The average employee uses about an estimated 10,000 sheets of paper per year. In addition to the environmental impact of producing this much paper, it is also costly to the Department. According to a Citigroup-Environmental Defense study, the actual cost of printing (equipment, ink and paper) is between six and 13 cents per page, or $600 to $1,300 a year per employee. This means that the annual cost of printing by the Department’s Sailors, Marines and DON civilians is more than $500,000,000.

An even better way to save paper is view documents on-screen whenever possible to reduce handouts. In cases where you have to print handouts (for example, Power Point slides) print several slides per page using the “handout” mode to reduce your paper consumption.

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