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Print this: Actually, please don't, but DO think about why printers should get more airtime in green tech discussions

I was talking to someone within the past couple of months (I honestly can't remember who right now, sorry) who made a pretty profound statement that seems pertinent in the context of this post. I had just admitted, somewhat shamefacedly, to my ongoing addiction to printing out my notes, presentations and other reference materials that I use in my writing.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

I was talking to someone within the past couple of months (I honestly can't remember who right now, sorry) who made a pretty profound statement that seems pertinent in the context of this post. I had just admitted, somewhat shamefacedly, to my ongoing addiction to printing out my notes, presentations and other reference materials that I use in my writing. For which I was rightly scolded.

But the person I was interviewing made the point that many sites across the Web actually pretty much encourage or dare you to print off a physical version of what you're reading. People even offer widgets to help you make things more "printer-friendly." Then, of course, you wind up printing five more pages than you want anyway because of funky page margins and the extraneous ads that just have to sneak their way into your world.

I digress, but my point is that printers and paper are becoming more widely recognized as a key puzzle piece in the green/sustainable/efficient technology debate. A study out of Microsoft a few weeks back (one conducted on their behalf by KRC Research) found that more small businesses (about 250 were surveyed) were interested in the drive to a paperless office than were focused on power management capabilities for their technology. That, my friends, is VERY interesting. I'll be reporting more on that survey in the near future.

So, anyway, the REAL purpose of this blog is to let you know that printing behemoth Hewlett-Packard recently held a conference around its imaging and printing products to brief about all sorts of new products and services. And for those of you who get excited about such things, the company has updated its Carbon Footprint Calculator for printing, which is a free resource.

The main thing that is different is that the calculator adds the features and capabilities of the HP LaserJet Power Calculator. The sorts of things it handles are the following:

- Head-to-head comparisons of the impact that ONE particular inkjet or laser printer might on the environment compared with another model. (This includes energy usage, carbon footprint and any cost savings information that can be derived from your particular situation.) - Printer fleet scenarios that let a business look at the metrics related to an entire portfolio of HP printers from the current line-up OR legacy printers from the past two decades OR competitive printer products produced during the past 10 years. - Information that evaluates networked print management features (examining the "forgotten job" syndrome, etc.) - Geographic-specific information for more than 146 countries (so WAY beyond U.S.-centric). - Etc.

You can find a backgrounder on the new tool at this link. And, behold, a link to the calculator itself.

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