9.greener library

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9.greener library

  1. 1. The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0888-045X.htmBL24,3 Greener library printing and copying Ted Kruse192 Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USAReceived 19 January 2011Revised 29 March 2011 AbstractAccepted 13 April 2011 Purpose – Libraries have a variety of computer printers, faxes, network printers and photocopiers. All these machines have an environmental impact using paper, ink and electricity. This paper aims to discuss strategies for lessening the impact of these devices. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a “how-to” approach for librarians to achieve greener printing and copying. Findings – Modification in library procedures can result in greener printing and copying. Originality/value – The paper reviews the research on greener printing and provides practical suggestions for achieving greener printing and copying. Keywords Photocopying, Green printing, Green standards, Document handling, Waste management, Libraries Paper type General review Moving to electronic copies and messaging Replacing paper with electronic copies and messaging is a preferable sustainable strategy compared to other alternatives. The environmental impact of paper and ink production is eliminated. Paper, ink cartridges, and other waste, is also eliminated. Libraries can move to this more sustainable strategy in several ways. . Move to electronic circulation notices. Many integrated library systems have this capability. Startup requires gathering and adding e-mail address to borrower records. Keeping e-mail address current on users who frequently change their e-mail providers will be a challenge. E-mail pickup notices may speed the pickup of requested books, reducing the waiting time for everyone on the request list and perhaps reduce the number of copies needed to satisfy long request lists. No paper, envelopes or postage also makes this an attractive strategy from a cost view. . Academic libraries should move to electronic reserves for nearly all their reserves. This saves the copying costs of placing journal articles on reserve. It leverages the library’s exiting investment in database without increasing database costs. Depending on the college computer network, reserves could be read outside the library, saving time and costs of a commute to the library. The effect on student copying of reserves has not been systematically studied. Do students print out the reserves for a hard copy? Do they print at the library, campus computer labs or at home? The author’s observations are that some to many students read mostThe Bottom Line: Managing Library of the reserves online. Libraries should discourage the textbook adoption of printFinancesVol. 24 No. 3, 2011 anthologies of journal articles compiled by publishing companies. These articlespp. 192-196 are usually readily available in library databases at no additional cost.q Emerald Group Publishing Limited0888-045X Publishers compile these anthologies to serve the needs of as many possibleDOI 10.1108/08880451111186053 campuses and courses. It is doubtful if any professor assigns more than one-third
  2. 2. of the readings, compelling the student to purchase three times the number of Greener library articles that are needed. Many of these anthologies change every year resulting in little or no resale value at the end of the term and end up being recycled. printing and . Encourage downloading rather than printing of databases saves resources. copying E-mailing search results or writing results to a computer memory device saves resources and allows easy extraction of quotes, charts and tables. To aid users in handling electronic files, libraries can offer training on reference management 193 products such as Zotero. These products not only lessen resources used, they also take some of the drudgery of footnoting and bibliography preparation. . The business side of libraries can make greater use of e-mail attachments for purchase orders, sales tax-exemption certificates and contracts. Compared to a fax, e-mail attachments save resources for both the sender and the receiver. Some vendors and auditors will still require a paper copy of contract with real signatures on major contracts.Reducing the impact of printingGoing completely electronic is not always possible or desirable. But several strategiescan be used to reduce paper use, ink use and electricity. . Paper strategies. Companies have reported as much as a 20 percent drop in paper use by switching copiers’ and printers’ default setting from single sided to double-sided (duplex) printing (Carbone, 2009). This is not always possible on older machines but should be a specification on all new purchases. Using recycled paper does save resources. The practical question is what percentage of recycled content can the library afford? The Office Depot web site shows prices on multipurpose paper ranging from $42.98 per ten ream case of no recycled content to $57.99 for a 100 percent recycled paper (Office Depot, n.d.). The environmental impacts of various types of paper can be estimated using the Environmental Defense Fund’s calculator (Environmental Defense Fund, n.d.). Recycled office paper is more expensive than virgin paper because more purchased energy is used, about 1 million BTU’s per ton. This reflects the cost of de-inking waste paper and other costs. But, water, CO2 emissions and raw materials are saved. Compared to fiber directly from trees, the inconsistencies in waste paper feed stock make it difficult to use the highest speed papermaking machines which also increases recycled paper costs. The environmental benefits from high percentage recycled office paper looks encouraging but the alternative uses of wasted paper have even better environmental and economic benefits. John Maine Vice President – World Papers at RISI noted the loss of fiber to manufacture high quality office paper was 40 percent while for packaging the fiber loss was only 10 percent (Maine, 2010) This was confirmed using the Environmental Defense Fund’s calculator by comparing 100 percent recycled office paper to 100 percent recycled corrugated. 100 percent recycled corrugated used 2 million BTU less energy, 8,369 less gallons of water, emits 672 pounds less CO2 and produces 1,021 pounds less solid waste per ton. The environmental benefits of using high percentage recycled tissue and packaging are much greater than using recycled office paper. Recycled tissue and packaging are cost competitive with virgin materials and recycled office paper is not. Conversion of these products will yield the greatest environmental benefits at lower a cost.
  3. 3. BL . Ink strategies. The amount of ink or toner can be reduced by using mostly “draft”24,3 rather the “best” quality settings. Try setting “draft” as the default on all devices and only use high print quality on the most important documents. The exact savings are difficult to measure because graphs and text use differing amounts of ink. When some ink jet printers say the cartridge is empty, it is possible to squeeze a few more draft quality copies from the cartridge by switching the194 quality setting to “best”. Printers and photocopiers are generous in warning of “low toner or ink levels”. There are often many more copies left so run the printing until print quality degrades. “Low toner” warning usually means: do you have a replacement cartridge, if not order. Soy ink is more sustainable than petroleum based ink. Soy ink now has only limited availability for computer printer cartridges. Petroleum based ink dries quicker than soy ink, which is a significant advantage in printing. Even inks with the “SOYINK” trademark of the American Soybean Association (American Soybean Association, n.d.) have significantly less than 100 percent soy content especially when printing on coated papers. On the plus side, soy inks are easier to de-ink reducing recycling costs. Recycling and remanufacturing of toner cartridges is another sustainable strategy. Remanufactured toner cartridges can have quality problems if not properly remanufactured. The “drill & fill” laser printer cartridges have not been clean, repaired or inspected for quality. Only additional toner has been added. Check remanufactured cartridges for a plastic plug in the toner portion of the cartridge to identify these often problem prone cartridges (Kruse, 2002). Returning empty cartridges for recycling does save materials and landfills. It is possible to return cartridges to large office supply companies for credit against future purchases. Generally, only name brand cartridges are accepted. Several companies, on the internet, buy empties for cash. Payment is for brand name cartridges only and modest, 25 to 50 cents per ink jet cartridge. Vendors usually have a 20 or more cartridge minimum for a buyback. Empty laser printer cartridges have higher value and more potential buyers. Several companies will help organizations start cartridge recycling as a fundraiser. The cash returns will be modest but there is a potential for positive public relations. Finally, the US Postal Service offers free, postage-paid mailing envelops for ink cartridges, cell phones and other small electronic items to be mailed to a recycler. This service is a low effort method to recycle empty ink cartridges. . Reducing other resources. The number and type of copiers have an impact on energy use. These devices spend much of their life in the “sleep” mode consuming small amounts of electricity but are ready for service quickly. Reducing the number of printers and moving to network printer/photocopier combinations can reduce the number of devices drawing electricity in the “sleep” mode. Generally, network printers offer better quality printing with lower ink cost when compared to dedicated desk printers. Xerox has a web site than can be used determine the environmental impact of various combinations of printers and copiers. The data is based on average impacts of various devices but is a useful planning tool (Xerox, n.d.).
  4. 4. Certifications of paper Greener libraryThere are several associations that certify the sustainability and “greenness” ofprinting and paper. One recent advertisement claimed their paper was from 100 printing andpercent post consumer recycled paper from sustainable forests; no ancient forest trees copyingwere used and 100 percent wind energy was used in paper production. It is highlyunlikely anyone could determine the type of forest that was used in waste paper at thepost-consumer stage. 195 Librarians need to understand certifications to make informed purchasing decisionsas well as helping their users cope with environmental claims. Claims must be readcarefully and the certification association’s web site should be consulted. Certificationgroups have careful and complex standards to obtain certification. The complexity of certification can be illustrated by Forest Stewardship Council(FSC). FSC certifies forests have been managed with sustainable practices. On paperproducts, a certification of “mixed sources” means the product has recycled content,wood from certified forests and wood from forests that are not certified but are believedto practice sustainable forestry. This certification is complex and exact percentagesvary with the product. FSC 100 percent recycled does not mean 100 percent postconsumer waste. FSC allows 15 percent of other waste (printers’ trimmings, paper millproduction errors, and cardboard carton manufactures’ trim) to improve paper qualityand durability (Northwest Natural Resource Group, n.d.). Other certification groups include Sustainable Forest Imitative (SFI), which certifiessustainable forestry practices. SFI certification covers the only portion of the productmade from pulp (Sustainable Forestry Initiative, n.d.). Green Seal is anothercertification agency that focuses of sustainable forestry and restricts the use ofchemicals, especially heavy metals, in papermaking. There are several standards forvarious types of paper (Green Seal, n.d.). Claims of wind powered energy or wind powered electricity usually means offsetswere purchased for the energy used by paper manufacturers. It is doubtful if any paperproducer has wind power electricity generating equipment and is doubtful if anyelectricity made from wind sources was actually used in the paper. Offsets are reallysubsidies to the wind energy industry.Future developmentsGenetically Modified (GM) trees are in development. These products will probably facethe same opposition as GM food products. GM trees offer the potential of greatercellulous per tree, which reduces the number of trees needed for papermaking. GMtrees offer the potential of greater protection against insects. FSC already bans GMtrees from its certification program (Forest Stewardship Council, n.d.). In July, 2009; Wal-Mart asked their over 100,000 suppliers to start collectinginformation on the sustainability of their products. Wal-Mart is developingenvironmental labeling that will be easy for the customer to understand. Similarprojects were tried in Europe and were marginally successful. There were datagathering problems and problems on how the customer uses the product that greatlyaffected environmental impact. For example, did the customer use hot or cold waterwith the laundry soap has a significant environmental impact that is difficult for theproducer to measure and to display in an easy-to-understand label. Products withWal-Mart environmental labeling are at least two years away from store shelves. But,
  5. 5. BL given Wal-Mart’s market dominance in many customer products, Wal-Mart’s labels may become the de facto standard for environmental labeling (Bustillo, 2009).24,3 Conclusion Libraries can create greener printing by changing some operations right now. Moving to electronic copies and messages has the most favorable environmental impact often196 with exiting library equipment. Some changes such as double sided printing and printer/photocopier combinations may take new equipment. As information specialists, librarians should be aware of what environmental labeling really means and be a resource for their user communities for this information. References American Soybean Association (n.d.), Soy Ink Agreement, American Soybean Association, available at: www.soygrowers.com/resources/SoyInkLicAgmt.pdf (accessed January 19, 2011). Bustillo, M. (2009), “Wal-Mart to assign ‘green’ ratings”, Wall Street Journal, July 16, p. B1, Eastern edition. Carbone, J. (2009), “Environmental friendly office products help reduce costs”, Purchasing, June 18, pp. 27-30. Environmental Defense Fund (n.d.), Paper Calculator, Environmental Defense Fund, available at: www.edf.org/papercalculator/ (accessed January 18, 2011). Forest Stewardship Council (n.d.), FSC Controlled Wood, Forest Stewardship Council, available at: www.fsc.org/cw.html (accessed January 10, 2011). Green Seal (n.d.), GS-10 Green Seal Environmental Standard for Coated Papers, Green Seal, available at: www.greenseal.org/GreenBusiness/Standards.aspx?vid¼ViewStandard Detail&cid¼11&sid¼11 (accessed January 18, 2011). Kruse, T. (2002), “Recycling opportunities: laser printer cartridges”, Green Library Journal, January, pp. 45-6. Maine, J. (2010), personal e-mail. Northwest Natural Resource Group (n.d.), FSC Labeling, Northwest Natural Resources Group, available at: http://nnrg.org/nw-certified-forestry/About%20FSC%20Certification/about- fsc- (accessed January 19, 2011). Office Depot (n.d.), Office Paper, available at: www.OfficeDepot.com. (accessed January 19, 2011). Sustainable Forestry Initiative (n.d.), SFI Paper. Sustainable Forestry Initiative, available at: www.sfiprogram.org/paper-certification/index.php (accessed January 19, 2011). Xerox (n.d.), Sustainability Calculator, Xerox Corporation, available at: www.consulting.xerox. com/flash/thoughtleaders/suscalc/xeroxCalc.html?utm_source¼feedburner&utm_ medium¼feed&utm_campaign¼Feed%3Aþachievable-sustainabilityþ%28Achievable þSustainability%29 (accessed January 19, 2011). Corresponding author Ted Kruse can be contacted at: tkruse@ubalt.edu To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.com Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints

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