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Can You Cook a Turkey in Your Copier?

Did you know that copiers consume the most energy of all types of office equipment? That they consume power even when they are sitting idle? Simply by switching to a more energy-efficient type of printer, you can take a chunk out of your carbon emissions.

In addition to their cost efficiency, this is one reason that many businesses are looking at inkjet. Increasingly, even office-style machines have terrific image quality (commercial-quality inkjet presses are now as high as 1200 dpi) and they produce little or not heat. That means low energy use.

A very funny promotional video from RISO explains it well. Grandma may like her color copies because they are “nice and toasty,” but this is because of the heat generated by the machine and, consequently, their high energy consumption. Hence the line, “You could cook a turkey in there!” (I’ll leave the animation to your imagination). Inkjet printers, by contrast, do not use a heat and laser process and they consume a fraction of the energy required to run heat-intensive devices like traditional copiers.

RISO also promotes that its printers are free from ozone emissions, toner particle emissions, silica dust, and other air pollutants. At the same time, however, it’s important to note that, while you do save on the emissions, the industry is still working on recycling inkjet papers. (See related post, “Inkjet Reyclability Is Suspect.”) Chances are, the paper you print will not be able to be recycled into anything but tissue paper.

So high energy emissions or non-recyclability — take your pick.

Then again, if you start out with recycled paper (try 100% postconsumer content), then it probably won’t matter, since it will just end up as tissue paper anyway.

Like this post? See all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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