It's happened to all of us: You print something from the Web, and all you get is a sheet of paper with nothing but a URL or something equally useless. GreenPrint software is designed to prevent printing blank pages from the Web.
It looks for pages that have no type or just a few lines of type (users can set the parameters). Then, the software automatically eliminates these pages from the print job. Users can reselect the pages if desired and deselect any other pages they don't want to print -- say, the pages of legal jargon at the end of an airline reservation.
The software lets users eliminate images from a print job -- for instance, the maps generated in online driving directions -- thus saving ink. GreenPrint also allows users to avoid printing altogether by saving documents as PDF files. The average employee prints about 10,000 pages a year, and roughly 20 percent of that is waste," Hamilton said from his GreenPrint office in the Old Town section of Portland, Oregon.
"We estimate if [GreenPrint] got into widespread use, in the U.S. alone it would save tens of millions of trees a year and hundreds of millions of pounds" of polluting carbon-dioxide gases. GreenPrint tells users how many pages, and how much money, they have saved. Stringer said that based on a rate of 6½ cents per page, she paid off the $35 cost of the software in one day.
But now, GreenPrint is offering a free version of the software for non-business use, supported by advertising. Tens of thousands of people have downloaded the program in the weeks since its January 28 debut.
"Our goal is nothing short of ending wasteful printing worldwide," Hamilton said. More than two dozen Fortune 500 companies are testing out the product.
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