What does means an invitation to think about the environment before printing this email or this document in reality?
Literaly, in the strict sense of the phrase, it’s only a request not to print that document (or email attachment that is) if it is not really necessary. So far so simple, perhaps even trivial.
But if we do not stop at this simple sentence, we may discover that behind this request there is a lot more.
There is the consciousness of those who signed his email and his documents with which invites us to reflect on the real need to print something, save the environment from both pollution and economic saving.
But how much can cost a few sheets of paper? And imagine the pollution: I do recycle!
Well! If you recycle the paper after it is printed and you used both sides of that paper, you’re already at a good point. But you can do much more!
Actually savings the environment and your pocket goes far beyond the paper, because when you print something, many elements are involved into your action.
A sheet of paper costs about 0.6 euro cents (= 0.006EUR), but we need ink (or toner) to print and the printer. Generally, cartridges are sold in a cardboard box, sealed with cellophane or plastic, and the ink itself is sealed with a plastic to prolong the effect. The printer is made of plastic, metal and various electrical components, mounted on circuit, so has a silicon and glass or plexiglas for the display. To print we need electricity, which is produced with coal, fossil fuels, steam (ie water) or nuclear (ie uranium). In an ideal society the electricity comes from renewable clean sources (sun, wind, water), but our isn’t that ideal. And producing electricity produces CO2 as well. As the cartridges runs out and you need to change them, even the printer needs to be changed when weard.
How can we get a printer, paper or ink (or toner)? We have two options: we can order online from our preferred shop/supplier, or we can go buying from the local stores. But thinking about that, the local store is either so close to our house but but also a little pricey, so maybe it would be better to go to the mall, so we can save some money. Right. But if we buy it online, we have to add the shipping costs. If we go to the mall with our cars/bikes we save on postage but we add the cost of fuel and wear and tear of our private transportation. In both cases, we’re polluting the environment with CO2 produced by the combustion of fuel (ours or the shipper).
But we’ve not finished: Whereas we bring our printer to a recycling center for proper recycling, what about the cartridges? Probably you put them in plastic, right?
Wrong: Printer cartridges are recycled separately because actually they are special wastes.
In 2004 more than 280 million printer cartridges were thrown into the shredder: almost a mountain. A mountain of waste that have not been treated properly!
And we started from a simple sheet of A4 paper …
PS: a suggestion. Often printers indicate that the cartridge is empty before it actually is. According to some research and consideration, this would happen because the printer manufacturers earn more money from selling the cartridges than from the printers. Thus, before you change the cartridge or toner, wait until it’s completely exhausted. Often (and especially at the beginning) a low quality printing allows you to use less ink without actually losing quality. As the print becomes ligher we can increase the printing quality.Using toner, often, shaking it a bit give you more printing still with good quality. This way I was able to print 4 times the amount declared by the manufacturer.
PS2: If you like this article … do not printit, but share it!
Please consider the environment before printing this document. Por favor, piense en el medio ambiente antes de imprimir este mensaje. Pensa all'ambiente prima di stampare questa email.
Save printing, save the environment by Davide Fiorentino is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione – Non commerciale – Non opere derivate 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.ipercosmo.net.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.ipercosmo.net/copyright.