PrintEco cuts paper waste when you print

Software utility can help cut between 20 percent and 30 percent of the wasted pages that often are churned out when you print content from the Web, email threads.

Some of us just can't seem to resist the habit of printing the longer messages that we receive in our email or while collecting research for some purpose or another. New research from IDC, in fact, estimates there there will be something like 1.2 trillion pages printed during their forecast period of 2010 to 2015.

Many of us have embraced the duplex religion, printing on both sides of a sheet of paper before tossing it somewhere (hopefully in the recycling bin). But most of us still struggling with reams of wasted paper, especially if you are printing something from a Web site. Exhibit A: I printed a story on Friday as background for a blog posted I was writing, and was dismayed that five pages of comments on the story were also printed. Not my intention.

There are printing utilities specifically intended to help with this; the latest I've discovered is called PrintEco, from PrintEco Software. Arpan Shah, founder and CEO of the company, figures that the software can help people eliminate close to 20 percent of the wasted pages. It acts in conjunction with the Windows editions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and works with Internet Explorer and Firefox. A customer dashboard displays that pages that can be eliminated if you choose the more ecological path, Shah said. Sorry, folks, no Macintosh edition yet.

What makes the software different from other green printing utilities? Shah said it is the amount of manipulation required in order to cut out paper. Other similar utilities require to spend time reviewing the print preview and making selections, but PrintEco lets you do some scripting to eliminate that step.

The software is in what you would call a beta test phase (recognizing that some software these days is in a perpetual state of beta). PrintEco costs $10.99/workstation, but if you are a company with more than 25 systems to green-print-enable, you can negotiate a volume discount, Shah said.