Linux-Ecology-HOWTO

Other Techniques

Another means of saving paper is through the use of comments and redline/strikeout markings when exchanging a document with a co-worker/colaborator. For example, a draft could be written using WordPerfect, then E-MAILed to a co-worker. They could update the draft and send it back to you. You can use WordPerfect's redline/strikeout features to see the changes. The document need not be printed until it is "final" or in "final draft" status.

Question: Can you use the back side of paper in a laser printer? I have not had much luck. You can use the paper that has been in a laser printer in an inkjet printer by using the other side.

You should purchase smaller computers and monitors when possible. This will save packaging material translating into less solid waste. For example the box for a 15" CRT monitor is 2-3 times the size of the box for a 15" LCD monitor. Linux works well with 15" LCD monitors on smaller computers like the Netwinder or E3000 .

Tough smaller monitors may have another ecological caveat: because it's inconvenient to browse to longer documents, people may tend to print the documents instead of reading them from the screen.

Some have expressed the concern that LCD displays may use more toxic materials and manufacturing processes than CRT displays, hence their usage actually may be worse on the environment. The original information above concerned the solid waste issue, which is fairly tangible and hence more controllable.

Does anyone know of studies or additional research to help clarify and resolve this issue?

Recycle your used paper, ink, and packing materials.

You may use refillable printer cartridges. In Germany the are marked with the Blauer Engel label.

Laser printer cartridges can often be used much more longer if you shake them when the message toner low appears at the message panel.

  • LaTeX documents: Using \usepackage{ccfonts} replaces the usual fonts by ones with wider lines and bolder serifes, improving readability at low resolutions. They are darker (i.e. use more ink) than the CM fonts and not as beautiful, so I would not recommend them for normal-size printings.

  • Size-Reduction: Instead of psnup or other parts of the pstools check for enhanced Perl rewritings of psnup.

    It has a lot of options, which allow to set all 4 margins and the inner gutter separately. Since reduced documents are not very pretty anyway, this can be used to reduce the margin, leaving more place for the text. This probably requires some experimenting (trying new values over and over, checking the result with ghostview).

    The normally used options are:

    • -p2 (or -p4 etc., like -2 in the old psnup)

    • -NIH (don't decorate)

    • -l10 -r20 -b30 -t40 (add to margins)

    • -g50 (add to gutter)

    (these values vary depending on the papersize and the margins of the original, negative values are allowed).

  • PDFjam is a small collection of shell scripts that provide a simple interface to some of the functionality of the pdfpages package for pdfLaTeX. At present, the utilities available are pdfnup, pdfjoin, and pdf90. PDFjam depends on a working installation of (pdf)LaTeX. pdfnup puts multiple document pages together on one physical page at a reduced size. pdfjoin concatenates multiple PDF documents. pdf90 rotates the pages of PDF documents. For Mac OS X, some example applications (droplets) are provided for drag-and-drop access to the scripts.

  • Different ink printers are more or less capable to print on the backside of already used paper sheets. That's particularly useful to reuse all single sided paper sheets you receive for free every week! Try different manufacturers. Older Canon ink printers offer 360 dpi, older HP ink printers 300 dpi. The readability of 4 pages/sheet using LaTex 10pt lies in between this features.

  • Non-Linux: If you have to work with MS-Windows you should get the original Adobe-PostScript-Driver, instead of using the ones from MS-Windows. These drivers offer more than one page per paper sheet. AFAIK both psnup programs don't work with Adobe-PS, MS-Windows-PS and the PostScript extracted from MS-Windows-PDF files. The Computer-Modern-Fonts (without German diacritical characters) are available as TTF fonts on the CTAN servers. With these fonts you may enhance the aesthetical value of documents and save some paper space, too.

  • Ghostscript has a new output format pswrite, which creates output in correct PostScript. This feature can be used to repair broken PostScript e.g. from Microsoft drivers, allowing their postprocessing with psnup etc.

  • impose+ is a set of PostScript utilities. The main program is impose, which is used for two-up printing of DSC-compliant PostScript (including that from Netscape, dvips, and FrameMaker). It makes an effort to remove white space from the printout by probing the original PostScript for the bounding box of the printed area. This makes the output much more esthetic than does a simplistic layout of non-cropped original pages.

  • hpgs is a printer driver that lets you to print on a HP 6xx Series printer using economic mode. It relies on the printer driver included in GhostScript to do everything but put the printer into economic mode.

  • Besides command line tools for sophisticated printing there are also usefull GUI applications available. KPrinter opens automatically when you click on the "Print" icon of any KDE application. Choose your print job settings by going through the dialog and the click on the "Print" button. kprinter is a very versatile tool. Depending on the actual features and power of the print subsystem of your com- puter, kprinter translates the former's abilities into a nice and easy-to-understand GUI e.g. if your print subsystem does not support duplexing, kprinter will not show the option.

  • gnome-manual-duplex is a utility that adds manual duplex to the "Print" menu.

  • ecofont is an open source sans serif font with holes added to save printer ink.

  • If you need to print a lot of Web pages from inside your FireFox webbrowser, the Nuke Anything Enhanced extension will help you to save some ink and paper. Once installed, it adds a "Remove this object" option to the right-click context menu. Place your mouse over information you don't need printed (menu bars, big graphical logos and so on) and use "Remove this object" to zap them temporarily. Clean up the page, then print just what you need.

Wade Hampton provided the biggest part of this chapter. Some suggestions are from Ralf Muschall.