Xerox’s Reusable Paper
Xerox's Reusable Paper (TreeHugger)
I saw this featured in Time as one of their inventions of the year. I've seen “digital paper” before, but this is a concept where you can print and then easily erase the paper for re-use. This would reduce waste, right?
It was interesting to see comments on this “TreeHugger” site that implied the re-usable paper is a bit of a workaround, it's not really getting to the root cause issue — why do you need to print?
Still this is an interesting application for those times you have to print a document for single time use.
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Here’s why I need to print. Most of my work is writing, which includes editing and proofreading. While on-screen editing is a boon, it’s not enough. There is something that happens to the brain when it experiences information in different forms. Paper is a different “read” from digital. You can make notes, cross out, move text without losing track of where you are in the piece of writing, and so on. The same can be true with IT, and doing things like finding duplicate data.
Waste comes more from making copies of documents that no one will read. So far, the best conservation method I have been able to find is to get a source of all that printing overproduction and do my printing on the back sides of their waste documents.
I have to confess that I overproduce by printing stuff of the web for later use. Sometimes that’s OK if I’m making folders for research, but a lot of times I print stuff I never refer to. I doubt that anyone 20 years younger than I really likes paper as much as I do.