Utne Blogs > Environment

Before Hitting the Print Button

by Staff

Tags: paper, paper usage, reduce margins, Microsoft Word, default margin, Change the Margins, deforestation,

At half an inch, it’s a small idea, but if everyone did it, we could save acres of forests. And it’s as simple as clicking a few buttons on a Word document before sending it to the printer. Specifically, Change the Margins is campaigning for individuals, companies, and universities to reduce standard paper margins to 0.75 inch. (The default margin on a Microsoft Word document is 1.25 inches.) The idea began when the campaign’s founder reduced her own margins to save money on paper. Implemented on a much larger scale, this simple step could make a big impact on paper usage over time, especially if large corporations and universities sign on.

Here’s how to change your margins in Microsoft Word: Go to File and click on Page Setup. Using the arrows, decrease top, bottom, and side margins to .75”. Click “Default.” Click “yes” to make these your standard margin settings.  

For more information and an interview with the founder of Change the Margins, check out this story from National Public Radio.

(Thanks, Good.)

Sarah Pumroy