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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guest Post: The Most Eco-friendly Printers

Most people, if they have a choice, want to have it all. They would want to have printers that are both great at printing and easy on the planet. But is it possible to have it all?

In short, yes. There are certain things consumers can look for which ensure they are buying the most eco-friendly printers with the highest tech specs around. Generally, inkjet printers use less energy than laser ones, on the whole, and all-in-one printers are more energy- efficient than having a separate printer, scanner, fax machine and copier.

There are also international certifications and programs which highlight the eco credentials of printers. The EPA issues the Energy Star certification to products that use less energy than similarly priced products or, if the energy-saving products are more expensive than comparable products, the amount of money saved on energy bills will make up the difference in a relatively short time. The European Union (EU) has enacted the RoHS directive, which restricts the use of six hazardous materials (lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBBs and PBDEs) in the manufacturing of electrical equipment.

Dell 1235cn

The Dell 1235cn is a multi-function color laser printer that is Energy Star certified and RoHS compliant.

In addition to its eco-credentials, it prints, copies, scans and faxes. It can print up to 17 black and white pages per minute and 4 full-color pages per minute, and it can print 2400X60 dots per inch (dpi).

HP Officejet Pro K8600

The HP Officejet Pro K8600 is an inkjet printer with some really impressive eco-friendly specs. Because it is an inkjet printer, it can use up to 50% less energy and up to 70% less in supplies and packaging than laser printers. One of the reasons it uses less supplies is because of its ability to automatically print on both sides of a page.

It can print up to 35 pages per minute, whether the settings are in black and white or in color. It prints up to 4800x1200 dpi.

Samsung SCX-5530FN

The Samsung SCX-5530FN is a multi-function laser printer which is EcoLogo certified. The EcoLogo program was developed by the Canadian government but is now recognized around the world. It is similar to the Energy Star certification in that it compares products in the same category and awards the certification if the products meet strict criteria. The awards are also verified by independent third parties to ensure the products meet international standards.

This machine prints, faxes, copies and scans, and it prints up to 30 pages per minute – while printing on both sides of the page. Additionally, it prints images at up to 1600 dpi.

Xerox ColorQube 8570

Xerox has a good track record in producing eco-friendly printers and printing supplies, and it maintains its reputation with the Energy Star-certified ColorQube 8570. This printer uses cartridge-free solid ink, which uses up to 90% less waste and 30% less energy consumed. It can print on both sides of the page, and it also studies its user’s operating patterns to optimise the printer’s energy use and productivity.
As for its printing specs, it’s pretty impressive in that department, too. It can print up to 40 color pages per minute at 2400 dpi, all whilst using 40% less energy than its predecessor, the Phaser 8560.

Canon PIXMA MP530

Canon has launched a Generation Green initiative, which aims to make their products more eco-friendly, from the beginning of the manufacturing process to the actual use of the products. To that end, they have produced the PIXMA MP530, which prints on both sides of the page automatically. It also features individual, transparent ink tanks, so they can be refilled individually, which helps reduce the amount of wasted ink.

It is an all-in-one, like many of the other printers on this list, so it can print, copy, scan and fax. It can print up to 29 black and white pages per minute or 19 color pages per minute, and it can reach a print resolution of up to 9600x2400 dpi.

As this list shows, it is possible to find electrical appliances which are both high-tech and eco-friendly. With a little research and some clear consumer labelling, it is possible to help the Earth while taking care of business in your home office.

Author Bio: This post was written by Clickinks, an online distributor of cheap ink cartridges that carries a variety of products for top printer brands. Visit Clickinks.com to find the right ink to suit your printing needs, whether you're looking for Canon ink, like the eco-friendly Canon MP530 ink, HP ink cartridges, such as the HP OfficeJet K8600, or any other brand!

Elena White is the founder and editor of  Life The Green Way, corporate sustainability coordinator at her day job, and a "rurban" wife and mother.  Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter at @Lifethegreenway.