Tips for conserving paper when printing at home or in the office

Easy ways to reduce our individual environmental impact when it comes to paper use for printing.

By Lauren Grayson — December 21, 2022

‘Tis the season for using lots of paper — it adds a personal touch to holiday greetings and party invitations and ensures that gift recipients are surprised and delighted on Christmas morning. Whether you’ve sent heaps of holiday cards, created festive crafts with one of HP’s printables, or wrapped a zillion gifts, the overall impact of our usage is something to be mindful of — during the holidays and year ‘round. 

With the average American using more than 700 pounds of paper each year, the environment, specifically our precious forest resources, face a number of threats: from agriculture, population growth, mining, and climate change. 

One place to start conserving is by adopting more sustainable printing habits. 


RELATED: Teaming up with Dr. Jane Goodall for Arbor Day and beyond


Leading the charge are organizations committed to responsible forest management and conservation, like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Founded in 1993, the international non-profit program is recognized today as being “the world’s most trusted forest certification system.” 

Office worker using the HP Smart app to print creative projects.

Courtesy of HP

Office worker using the HP Smart app to print creative projects.

HP was recognized recently at the FSC Leadership Awards for achieving 95% FSC or recycled fiber for HP brand paper and packaging since 2020, and expanding FSC-certified forests in China, alongside others like who contribute to the movement toward responsible sourcing and forest management.

“These award winners give us hope in the face of big challenges like climate change and show that it’s possible to promote resilient forests even as we all use forest products every day,” says Derik Frederiksen, president of FSC’s US operations.

Unified in these eco-friendly efforts, HP promotes its commitment to conservation by outlining business impact strategies, climate action goals, and global progress updates in the latest 2021 Sustainable Impact Report. Since 2020, HP has used paper and packaging materials for home and office supplies, printers, displays, and PCs that are made from recycled materials or certified sources.  

What does responsible printing look like, exactly? Here are a few tips to a guide you: 

Buy certified paper 

When purchasing paper, take an extra second to make sure it’s certified by organizations like the FSC. Certified paper products meet a strict level of transparency and other standards, such as traceability to the forest where the trees were harvested.

Go digital where it makes sense

Free mobile apps, like HP Smart, make it easy for consumers to turn their paper documents and records into pixels, minimizing clutter and maximizing organization with scanning features on an HP printer or smartphone. 

Print on both sides

Save money and paper with the push of a button. Decrease your paper consumption by 50% when you change a printer’s settings from single-sided to double-sided as a default. 

The Atlantic forest in Brazil.

Getty Images

Brazil's Atlantic Forest, where HP and WWF's partnership is aiding conservation efforts.

Use the ‘pull-printing’ feature

Reduce forgotten printouts in the office with the ‘pull printing’ feature. By buying printers equipped with this system, a print job will only be released when the recipient is present, drastically reducing the amount of waste production at work.  

Select certified print services

Shrink your company’s carbon footprint with goal-driven sustainability strategies like those offered by HP’s Managed Print Services. Geared towards organizations looking to manage costs and reduce their environmental impact, its the planet’s first comprehensive CarbonNeutral® certified offering, which covers the lifecycle emissions of HP printers, HP supplies, paper, manufacturing, transportation, use, and even end-of-service.  

Reduce waste with a subscription

HP last year launched a paper add-on service to its Instant Ink subscription offering in some regions. Just like ink usage, your printer will track your pages printed and HP automatically sends you new reams of FSC-certified paper when you run low, so that you use only what you need and don’t over-buy.

Buy from brands committed to forest conservation

HP’s goal is to be Forest Positive by 2030 — helping to give back more than what you print — through its commitment to forest conservation. HP will support partner World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help address the potential impacts on forest from paper used in printing with HP printers. WWF and HP recently announced the expansion of conservation efforts in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and in two new landscapes: Madre de Dios in Perú, near the headwaters of the Amazon River basin, and the forests of eastern Australia, home to koalas and other species that have been severely impacted by recent wildfires. Work in these three crucial landscapes totals nearly 450,000 acres.

WWF and HP have collaborated on forest conservation efforts since 2019, and in 2021, HP committed an additional $80 million towards its goals of supporting the protection, responsible management, and restoration of almost 1 million acres of forest by 2030. As of November, HP achieved FSC certification for almost 280,000 acres. 

HP also has expanded its forest restoration efforts by planting 1.97 million trees in 2022 in support of


READ MORE: When forests thrive, people and business prosper, too