New UF initiatives strive to help budgets and environment

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce budgets and embrace sustainability, UF has launched “Think Before You Ink"

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce our budgets and embrace sustainability, the University of Florida has launched a new program, “Think Before You Ink.” The program affects printed materials from all areas of UF, and has three separate initiatives: Save the Paper, Print to Web, and Printer Certification.

All the initiatives focus on “reducing not only our printing costs, but also our environmental impact,” said Kyle Cavanaugh on May 1 in an email to deans and department chairs.

The need for the programs was identified by the Cost Reduction and Efficiency Task Force, and implementation details were developed by cooperative efforts of University Relations, the Office of Sustainability, Purchasing, the UF Communicators Network and other individuals and groups.

Highlights of the three initiatives include:

  • Save the Paper, which is designed to reduce the waste and inefficiency associated with campus photocopies and printouts.A recent examination by an outside consulting company found that in some colleges and units, as much as 60 percent of total printing expenditures went to photocopies.
  • Print to Web, which encourages use of the Internet and e-mail for distribution of items including newsletters and class materials. This initiative also calls for careful review of magazines, brochures and other written materials, to determine which publications may be candidates for conversion to Web or electronic format.
  • Printer Certification, scheduled to launch in coming weeks, will certify printers based on pricing, service, quality and sustainability practices. Online forms and other services will allow graphic designers to fully utilize the benefits of the program.

An important component of all three initiatives is the addition of a new group of individuals, the UF Green Team. This team will be comprised of volunteers from the various campus colleges and units, and they will be trained in various sustainability practices. The Green Team will be a useful first-point-of-contact for any questions regarding sustainability. More details about the new Green Team can be obtained from the Office of Sustainability Web site,

“We are excited about the expansion of the Green Team,” said Dedee DeLongpré-Johnston, director of UF’s Office of Sustainability. “Employees at UF contact us all the time with great ideas about reducing waste. This will empower them to think creatively about solutions and to implement them.

“When it comes to printing, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Do I really need to print or photocopy this, or is there a low waste alternative?’” she added.

According to Joe Hice, associate vice president of University Relations, active participation in the three initiatives will provide financial savings throughout the university. “These programs will improve our overall efficiency and generate savings that can help offset any reductions that are necessary due to the current state budget situation,” he said.