Saving Paper Energy - Duplexing
What is the best way to save energy when copying or printing? "Buy energy efficient equipment" you may say. Well yes, low energy consumption is important indeed. But there is another way to make interesting energy savings, most often without even needing to change your equipment! This other way is to print on both sides of your paper sheets ("duplexing").
Just like any other product the production phase of paper consumes energy, almost 17 Watt*hour [Wh] per single sheet of paper (recycled paper uses less energy to make, some 12 Wh). Although this might not seem much, it is significant when compared to the electricity use of your copier or printer.
Take for example a medium-sized office copier producing 50 pages per minute. When copying, this machine may use some 1000 Watts of power. One minute copying thus results in (1000 Watt * 60 seconds) 17 Wh consumption of electric energy. Just as much as one sheet of paper. However, during these 60 seconds the copier will have processed 50 sheets of paper in single-side mode. In this example "Paper Power" outweighs electric power by a factor of 50!
Clearly the production of paper costs much more energy than it takes to print or copy it. That's why double-sided printing/copying (duplexing) will save a bundle. Life-Cycle-Analyses on office equipment have shown that considering energy at all stages of production, life and disposal saving paper really is the prime target for the office. Furthermore the costs of paper is also much higher than the cost of electricity used by the equipment. So, if you're interested in saving money as well, don't forget your "paper power" consumption and start duplexing.
A useful site on cutting paper consumption is: http://eetd.lbl.gov/paper/counting/html/index.htm