Environmentally Friendly Trends in the Office Printer Industry

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					?The pressure on forests in the production of paper is being eased somewhat by
companies implementing a green strategy using recycled paper. Computerization
didn't eliminate the need for paper as much as expected since hard copy backup is still
needed for many areas of administration within a company. Using public relations,
both government and the private sector have been promoting the recycling of paper
and packaging. This article discusses ways for the printer industry to save by going
green.

Businesses still rely on their printing equipment to produce reports, invoices, payroll
stubs, and other physical information documents that back up digital information.
Reducing the waste from this daily output of paper and ink is good for both the planet
and the bottom line of the company. Voluntary compliance was easy to attain since
there was money to save so business interests led the way, realizing that every method
of belt-tightening was in their best interests to compete in a stagnant economy.

With the advent of Energy Star qualified machines like large format printers that can
reduce energy, there has been a reduction in the chemicals and particle emissions that
are health hazards with older printers. There has been an entire industry sector created
for recycling toner cartridges. For years they were a constant source of toxic waste.
Each year, almost one billion empty printer cartridges collect in landfills and release
toxic fumes that pollute the environment and compromise the health of populations
exposed to them.

Paper accounts for ten percent of emissions for the entire manufacturing sector and
one-third of the waste in municipal landfills. This waste produces methane, which is
even more damaging to the ozone layer than is carbon dioxide. Due to the recession
many people are involuntarily helping the environment since their paychecks are no
longer being issued so there are fewer envelops and pay stubs to add to the garbage. A
sick joke to be sure, but in these days of oil disasters even the most optimistic
environmentalist could easily despair and drag his carbon footprint over to the liquor
cabinet when he sees all the progress made saving the Earth take such a giant step
backward.

Even now with this awareness less than half of North America's paper is recovered for
recycling. Recycled paper is one aspect of materials; the printers themselves should
be updated. If a company is planning to purchase big printing machines like hp large
format printers they should determine how much electricity it will use and how much
it will conserve in downtime. New printers will cover their purchase cost in energy
savings in time.

Raw materials and energy are two major recurring costs companies must bear to
operate. Recyclable materials reduce waste and trim the budget. Better energy
efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can reduce the cost of electricity by
up to half when modern products such as high-tech printers are used. Companies who
lag behind in setting these areas as a priority simply won't be able to compete; there is
an incentive to develop innovations that can make optimal use of resources.

It was expected years ago that computerization would eliminate the need for paper.
Instead, it has allowed for business expansion on such a scale that service and retail
sectors have grown, along with their need for flyers and correspondence on a large
scale. Paper still thrives in the office environment and it will only be through a
monumental effort that everyone will be computerized to a level that paper use can be
drastically reduced, as was forecast by the futurists so long ago.

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