HP's kinder, gentler stance toward printer paper

I know I'm dating myself, but when I was a girl hooked on Nancy Drew mysteries, disappearing ink was all the rage as a tactic for covert operations. Now, as I sit staring at my printer every day, reluctantly printing out notes and other items that I just can't deal with on screen, I think more about how to make office paper demand disappear and about how to make paper responsibly without making all the trees disappear.

I know I'm dating myself, but when I was a girl hooked on Nancy Drew mysteries, disappearing ink was all the rage as a tactic for covert operations. Now, as I sit staring at my printer every day, reluctantly printing out notes and other items that I just can't deal with on screen, I think more about how to make office paper demand disappear and about how to make paper responsibly without making all the trees disappear.

Yes, I know that there are companies that cultivate and harvest trees solely for that purpose. But it isn't just trees we are talking about that make the overuse of printing so troublesome. It's all the chemicals involved in the process, as well as all the inks that soak into paper when we use it that have to be sucked out before we recycle. You've got to wonder what impact the digital photo revolution has had, as well. Are the chemicals that we use to print photos at home worse, better, the same as the ones used in professional processing. A subject for another blog.

The point in all this being that paper usage is one of those things we have to address both at the source and in terms of usage habits.

Hewlett-Packard is adopting a more aggressive environmental stand, as it should, considering that it sells more than 280,000 tons of paper annually (including all formats AND including photo media). This commitment is demonstrated by its decision to join the Global Forest and Trade Network in North America. This is a program run by the World Wildlife Fund that commits HP to increasing "progressively" the amount of "responsibly harvested" fiber in its paper products. The company is actually targeting a goal of sourcing 40 percent of its paper sales from the Forest Stewardship Council.

Now, HP and others need to spend more time teaching idiots like me how to get the duplex feature on their printers working a default (mine chooses only to work with my word processor right now, but not when I'm printing from the Internet).

P.S. I am now shoving the paper that I just used to print a press release about the HP program back into my printer so that at least both sides are used.

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