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Conserving the environment

#ThinkBeforeYouPrint: Environmental impact of printing

The University is committed to improving its own environmental performance in a wide variety of ways including the effective utilisation of printing and copying facilities.

Paper is a versatile and renewable resource with many uses which the modern world couldn't do without.  However, the production of paper involves more than just felling trees.  It requires a large resource input in terms of energy, water and chemicals and produces large volumes of solid, liquid and gaseous waste, some of which is hazardous.

Middlesex University is a digital environment and therefore we encourage our students and staff to think before they print.  Ask yourself the questions below and help us to reduce our carbon footprint.

  • Do I really need to print/copy or will a digital version suffice?

  • Have I securely backed-up my work - and, if so, is it still necessary to print out a copy?

  • Can I remove the need to photocopy by scanning instead, with the scanned document being sent to my email box?

  • Can I reduce the number of pages I need to print by changing the font size or reducing the margins?

  • Have I checked my work to ensure that I have the final copy incorporating all the amendments and following an automatic spell-check before printing it out?

  • Have I used the print preview option to ensure that my document fits onto the smallest number of pages that will be appropriate?

  • Could I reduce the number of pages I need by printing or copying two pages per sheet?

  • If I am only making small changes to a document, then am I sure that I am only reprinting the pages that have changed – not the whole document?

  • Can I use cloud services such as Dropbox to share documents with a group, rather than photocopy or print?

  • Am I saying "no" to printing PowerPoint presentations? PowerPoint files can be full of graphics, coloured backgrounds and very little text. Instead of printing, use it as a study opportunity to take notes—typing or writing—from the PowerPoint. By recording the information yourself, you become more familiar with the material.

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