Make environmentally friendly printing habits part of your day

On this page: Greener alternatives to printing | If you do NEED to print

Reducing the amount of printing at NYU and making the printing that does happen more environmentally friendly is a key component of the University's sustainability effort. Below are some alternatives to printing, as well as some tips on making greener choices with the printing you have to do.


Greener alternatives to printing

The most sustainable printing habit is not printing. Here are some tips on what you can do instead of hitting that print button.

Share Files via Google Drive or NYU Stream

NYU Drive (Google)—including Docs, Sheets, and Slides—is an easy way to create, collaborate, and share files without printing. Use the Share button to set access permissions and create a link you can copy or email directly to classmates or colleagues. With NYU Drive, you can also upload and share files such as images, Microsoft Office docs, PDFs, and more. You can also create, caption, and streaming audio and video files with NYU Stream.

No longer need a file or document you shared? Delete it!

Have a meeting or study session? Digitally display agendas and take notes

Many meeting rooms and study spaces are equipped with tech to share your screen using NYU Zoom, which means you can avoid printing handouts. Need to take notes? Use a laptop or tablet instead of pen and paper.

Need to make a copy? Use the scanning option

If you need to make a copy of printed material, many printer/copiers at NYU also have a scan function that enables you to send documents directly to your email as PDF or JPG files. Or, with the Notes app on iPhone and the Google Drive app on Android, you can use your device’s camera to scan high-quality versions of printed documents for sharing or storage.

Want to save a portion of a page? Cut and paste

Need to save something from a doc or web page for later reference? You can cut and paste the pertinent info into a doc. If you need to save an entire web page or capture its layout, most browsers offer print and screenshot options that enable you to save entire pages as PDFs or images.

Bookmark web pages

Want to refer back to a web page or website later? Bookmark it rather than printing it.

Electronic Document Signing

If you need to sign a document, there is no need to print pages—you can securely sign documents electronically using NYU’s DocuSign service.

If you do need to print…

Students and Faculty: Use

The NYU Print Service enables you to customize print jobs with environmentally friendly options and send them to a public printer at a number of campus locations.

Staff and Admins: Use an office or networked printer

Having personal printers in an office consumes more ink and electricity. If available, use a shared printer with sustainable options (see below) to consume fewer resources.

Print black & white and double-sided

The simplest ways to make printing more sustainable is to print in black and white rather than color and to make sure you're printing on both sides of the paper (duplex). You can set these options in or in the print dialog box for office and personal printers.

In 2022, nearly 6 million sheets of paper were used by the NYU Print Service;
201,895 pages were full color.

Use recycled and environmentally friendly paper

NYU Print Service and office printers are stocked with paper that meets the University's sustainability guidelines. If you are buying paper, select 30-100% recycled or tree-free paper.

Sustainable page set-up: Margins, text size, and line spacing

The default document settings in Word and Docs can be adjusted to reduce the number of pages. Change the text size from 12pt to 10pt; reduce the default margins to .5 inches; and set line spacing at single or 1.15.

Print only the pages you require

When you print, select just the pages you need rather than printing the entire document. You can use Print Preview to ensure your documents print how you expect and that you're not wasting paper on extraneous things (such as a page that only contains an unneeded page footer).

Connecting to your local printer

To configure employees' connection to an office device, reach out to your local technical leads or IT staff for assistance with configuring their laptop/desktop.

IT Support

NYU IT Service Desk is available 24x7. Please email if not urgent.

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