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Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient Computer Printers Claim Their Share of the Market

written by: J.C. Wilkinson•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 12/31/2010

How eco-friendly is your printer? Is it an energy hog? Is it manufactured with virgin materials? The new breed of computer printers are energy efficient, made with, and use recycled materials.

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    Computer printers are generally not eco-friendly. They use way too much power for their size, are not easily recyclable, and are largely manufactured with virgin materials...until now. HP is leading the way in coming out with it's Eco Highlights line of printers.

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    HP's New Line of Eco-Friendly Printers

    HP's new Deskjet D2545 Printer is made of 83% recycled plastic from HP's Planet Partners program, as well as other sources. It will include recycled plastic water bottles. In addition, this deskjet printer uses cartridges manufactured using molders made from recycled plastic.

    To make this eco-friendly printer even better, it is Energy Star qualified, and comes with HP Smart Web Printing software installed, which allows users to print portions from several web pages on a single sheet of paper.

    The price of this very appealing product is only $49, which appeals to pocketbooks as well.

    Three HP Laserjets will carry the Eco Highlights label; the P94015x, P4515x and P4515xm.

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    Unique Eco-Friendly Printer Ideas

    While this is a big move from a major company, and sure to make headlines, a smaller company has come up with an even more interesting eco-friendly printer.

    The Riti Coffee Printer amazingly uses your recycled coffee grounds to create printer ink. The printer works by replacing the ink cartridge by placing used grounds in an ink case. You manually move the ink case left and right to print text, which makes it totally energy independent as well.

    While not practical for large scale printing projects, who wouldn't love getting a letter from a friend printed in this way? If you don't drink coffee, the printer also works with tea.

    The Riti printer was one of the top 50 entries in this year's Greener Gadgets Competition.

    An interesting point was made that today's refillable ink cartridges could probably be filled with coffee or tea, but how strong would it have to be? That's an interesting possibility that should probably be explored further. It brings back memories of days when students used cartridge pens, and refilled the plastic cartridges with food coloring to create a rainbow of written words.

    From huge corporations to home workshop inventors, creative minds are coming up with more green, eco-friendly ways to print what our computers produce. This is just a start, and the future promises to show us more innovation and inspiration in taking computer printers to a green world.