Information storage consumes electric power and natural resources in three ways:
- Electric power to run computers, servers, and hard drives.
- Air conditioning to cool servers running in data centers.
- More hard drives over time as more and more information is created and stored.
One of the most common types of information created and stored are documents created in Microsoft Word and Excel, plus their OpenOffice and StarOffice counterparts. Few users know that there is an option available that will cause their computers to use far less storage when saving Word and Excel documents: saving them double-sided.
Double-sided storage has been around for years, but few have bothered to check this setting, especially since hard drives are so large and cheap these days. But if everyone changes this setting, it can make a real difference for the environment by reducing electric power and natural resources.
To make the change:
- Open Word or Excel
- Select Tools > Options
- Click the “Save” tab
- Check the box, “Save documents as double-sided by default”
- Click Ok to close the window
Unfortunately the only way to save disk space with existing documents is to open each one and re-save after setting this option.
Agreeably, Microsoft should make this option a default on all new installations of Word and Excel – we don’t know why they won’t do this. Write to Microsoft and ask them to make this change at Microsoft Corporation, Chief Environmental Officer, 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052.
Note: not needed on Mac – all documents are saved double-sided by default. How do you think they run so much faster?!