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Earth Day, Every Day at UB

By Marissa Malone

Published April 14, 2014

What if you had to wait two hours to print something? Well, not too long ago at UB, that was the case.

“At the start of each semester, students go on a printing frenzy. Spreading out print jobs helps reduce wait times, which in turn lessens the amount of printouts wasted when jobs are abandoned.”
Scott Harrigan, Customer Support Analyst
Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS)

Marissa Malone (UB Student, Class of 2015) has a dream of traveling to all seven continents, and she’s already visited four. When not globetrotting, Marissa studies Communication, Spanish, and Management at UB while working for both UBIT and Career Services.

In 2005, UBIT implemented a print management system, iprint@ub. Since then, UBIT has witnessed a drastic decrease in wait times and wasted paper. Thanks to iprint, printing at the UB public sites is now less than half the old volume, down to about 22 million pages per year.

Before iprint, on average, students were expected to wait up to two hours in order to receive their print jobs, with roughly 50-53 million pages printed every year.

“Our print usage was quickly rising to unsustainable levels,” said Don Stein, Customer Support Analyst with Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS). “Costs were high, resources were wasted and there were exorbitant wait times. We've worked closely with Erin Moscati and the UB Green office to be more efficient.”

Environmental stewardship is a goal of UB 2020, UB’s strategic plan. Energy efficient technologies are now the norm at UB, with the campus tapping into solar strands, creating LEED certified buildings and replacing old equipment. In 2013, UB was ranked 14 among all U.S. colleges and universities as the largest green users by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

iprint volume of pages in millions from 2001-2013

What’s Old is New Again

To reduce UB’s footprint further, public computing sites use 100% recycled paper, 100% post-consumer recycled paper and 30% recycled paper for cover sheets. “We've used recycled paper since 1996," said Scott Harrigan, Customer Support Analyst with EIS. "All of our paper has been used at least once before, and isn’t made from scraps created in the process of virgin paper production. We also use recycled toner cartridges, so no virgin plastic is used."

It’s Easy Being Green

So, can UB be any “greener?” All of us can help by printing less overall. Whenever possible, instead of printing excess pages, take advantage of looking at e-books and online documents.

“Students should avoid using their entire print quota up in the first week of school,” Scott added. “At the start of each semester, students go on a printing frenzy. You can print just as easily anytime, so space things out. Spreading out print jobs helps reduce wait times, which in turn lessens the amount of printouts wasted when jobs are abandoned.”

According to The Discovery Channel, approximately 80,500 sheets of paper are produced from one 60-foot pine tree. By current print ratios, UB students are cutting down 273 trees annually. While we can do better, before iprint, students used the equivalent of 658 trees each year.