The federal government wastes over $440 million dollars on unnecessary printing a year! In the short time I've been with my office, I've noticed that my co-workers not only waste paper and toner by printing, but other office supplies. I don't think it's just them--it's the general office culture.
The way to change it? Simple--we all have government issued ids. Let's use these ids every time we print, or get a box of pens from the supply closet. We need to set up a system that tracks how quickly supplies are being used. Over time, the system will come to regulate itself. Employees will naturally be more conscious of what they're using, and what they should be using.
After a few years of base-line data, printing quotas can be set for each division, in accordance to need. That will cut down on systemic abuse--personal printing, unnecessary waste, etc.
People will also come up with creative ways to bypass the quota--duplex printing, for example, or document sharing, or refraining from unnecessary copies.
While the idea of a quota rubs many of us the wrong way, in the long (and short!) run, tracking printer and office supply usage will result in lower costs, less waste, and a smaller carbon footprint. It could save the government millions each year.
Now that's something that we can all agree, rubs us the right way.