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mercredi, février 04, 2009

 Pebbles in the roadblock to environmental-friendly living

I never thought that the road to sustainable living would be achieved through big sweeping measures. It's always the small choices that add up - small choices such as bringing your own bags when you do grocery shopping, or choosing locally-grown food that doesn't carry as many carbon credits, or recycling paper.

I'm a massive supporter of the last option. There's always a lot of paper waste being generated in the office - you have misprints, paper jams, fax spam (a LOT of fax spam gets sent to our offices), old printouts that have been discarded, drafts and the like - and a lot of times, information is printed on one side, while the other goes blank, crying out to be re-used.

Re-using paper should be easy. You grab the hunk of paper, put it in a tray, and the printer spits out yet another draft of that essay you're working on, and hey there! Your environmental conscience is assuaged a little bit. But things are never so easy, are they?

Our office printer hates recycled paper. Just hates it. Detests it with a vengeance. Using recycled paper results in paper jams like you would not believe - staff are always risking some limb or other attempting to retrieve the jammed sheet. And even then, sometimes the jams are in obscure corners of the photocopier (we rent one of those huge monstrosities that print-fax-scan-copy), which means time wasted trying to figure out which nook or cranny you need to yank out that last bit of torn-off paper from.

When I first started work here, I put the recycled paper in Tray 2 - which prompted jammed when all the fresh paper in Tray 1 (the default tray) was used up. This happened twice before a very frustrated colleague (thankfully still possessing all of his/her fingers) finally yelled out "Please don't put recycled paper in the trays! Use the bypass tray!"

You would think that the bypass tray would be more hardy - after all, there (theoretically) should be one less roller to pass through since the bypass tray does not allow double-sided printing. But no - the machine jams time and again, and our paper accordian pile grows while I stare at it unhappily. The increasing frequency of the appearance of paper accordians has resulted in the death knell rally for this attempt at environmental-friendliness at the office: "haiyah, just use fresh paper la!"

My life is a strange series of parallels, because that's what my father recently told my mother - to stop using recycled paper to print from our home printer, because the printer kept jamming every two pages.(Personally, I just think that it's just a problem with the HP printer being over its warranty period that's causing the problem - technology murphy's law: once its over its warranty, it fritzes out on you.)

It's incidents like these that dissuade the enthusiastic environmentalist in us. Small things - interrupting your workflow during the day, creating family conflicts at home. We need environmentally-conscious engineers to build and design an energy-efficient photocopier-printer which loves recycled paper. It should be hardy, and not fussy about what paper weight/type gets fed into it - its sole purpose in life is to eat whatever gets fed to it, and spit out whatever needs printed on it.

Anyone up to the challenge?

Libellés : , ,

[Pebbles in the roadblock to environmental-friendly living]
Sngs Alumni @ 4.2.09 { 1 comments }


i've given up on printers. i just pick up the paper and use the other side for writing on. or collect them and send them for recycling. -mer

By Anonymous Anonyme, at 22 février 2009 à 23:10:00 UTC+8


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