What’s happening right now?
Despite having moved into a highly digitized world, we haven’t been able to completely eradicate the use of printed material and therefore the use of printers. Moving from one technology to another, printers have evolved over the years. Today we have numerous types of printers each different from the other, either in their purpose, size, speed or quality. With each printer catering to a separate industry, they are almost indispensable today. A fact usually overlooked is that printers can be a source of environmental pollution since they consume huge amounts of paper and energy. To counter this, green printers have been introduced. However, up until now, green printers haven’t been adopted in large numbers so as to make a difference.
1. Eco Printer concept
The Eco Printer is a revolutionary new concept printer that makes use of a special type of ink, which would allow a paper printed with this ink to be erased and reused. The photographic materials used in the special ink disappear when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. The most striking advantage of this printer is that it increases the lifecycle of a paper. Wastage of paper arising out of misprints, unimportant documents, temporary handouts and unused copies can be reduced drastically. Once they have been printed, the pages can be re-printed upon again and again. It is a very eco friendly option compared to regular printers reducing paper wastage from the first day itself!
2. Pencil Printer
Another eco friendly printer concept that is the Pencil Printer. Almost everyone at one point of time has used crayons and pencils to write or draw. Some designers have used the same concept to develop this near looking printer, which is not only high on the looks quotient but also has an all important advantage of printing using only slate pencils! The prints taken out of this printer, thus, can be erased and the paper can be reused. A commendable effort indeed to reduce and reuse the use of paper!
3. Eco Printer Concept
This is one of the most unusual concept printers that we have come across so far. This printer takes your efforts to save the forests and paper to the next level. Designed by Hoyoung Lee, the Eco Printer Concept prints as well as erases. It feeds on scrap pencil and eraser pieces. It extracts the “ink” from the pencil graphite and erasing material from the rubber in the eraser pieces. This radical new printer not only prints through one of its ends but has a special exit for erasing the same printed paper too. Way to go on environmental conservation!
4. PrePeat Eco-friendly Printer
Using a special type of printing head and printing paper, the Pre-peat printer makes buying printer consumables a thing of the past. The thermal head and heat sensitive paper combo used in this printer makes sure you can print again and again on the same paper, that too without using any ink. The printer, however, is still facing a steep roadblock in terms of a sky high price tag that will keep it out of reach of general public for quite some time. It will find use in mostly large organizations which use a lot of printing and reprinting. Currently, it comes along with a price tag of $5517 (that is nearly 500,000 Yen), and it prints on plastic paper that come in 1000 packs at a price of $3300.
The impact of publishing and printing activities on the environment has been under the scanner for the past few years as the burgeoning needs for paper and power have started putting pressure on the limited resources of our environment. Be it domestic, official or industrial , printing material, both the paper and the ink have adverse effects on the environment. The drive for environmental preservation is fueled by the demand for conservation of energy and reduction in the wastage of paper, which is to be facilitated by adoption of green printers and printing techniques. These help the environment by printing on paper not made from trees and using volatile organic compounds and other nature friendly inks. Apart from that, some concept printers, as we have seen above, also erase and reuse the paper.
The advantages of using a green printer are myriad. The impact of printer consumables that are believed to impact the environment the most, the printing paper and ink, is reduced to a great extent. If one talks about the ink, while traditional printers use petroleum based inks, which are damaging to the environment and require safe disposal, green printers make sure of green inks such as soy (or other vegetable) based inks that are biodegrade-able. Moreover, the paper used is created using plant waste and not plants to save trees. Some printers also use reusable paper printing techniques, such as erasable ink or thermal printing techniques.
With carbon footprints, CO2 emissions and other adverse impacts of industries on the environment making the headlines every other day, it makes all the more sense to switch to as many eco friendly practices as possible. One of the more subtle and high impact areas is use of green printers. It could save up on paper costs as well as the damaging effect of petroleum-based inks could be brought under control. It has to start at some point as protection of the environment is our responsibility.