Eco madness

Whatever plans we put in place to become more energy efficient and produce less waste they must fit in with how we live our lives and how we work.

It is all very well saying public transport is green, but the UK public transport system is not an alternative to the car for many people, and until it is reliable and convenient, people will continue to drive. Fortnightly refuse collection is not th way to get the public recycling more, it just leads to flytipping and smelly streets.

So today I experienced a bit of green madness. Our office has a state-of-the-art, network-connected multi-function photocopier, printer and scanning device.

It’s at one end of the office; my desk is at the other end. Now I needed to make some photocopies so I strolled over to the machine, lifted the lid, put the sheet face down, closed the lid and pressed the start button…

Nothing, The LCD display on the device lit up and informed me that the copier was warming up.

Now I had a choice – do I wait for the photocopier to warm up or go back to my desk? I waited over five minutes. With hindsight, going back to my desk would have been the better option, but needless to say, had I done that I would have been distracted by something or other, completely forgotten about the copies I had made, print out another batch and wasted a load of paper in the process.

Of course it makes sense for a power-hungry multi-function device to run in eco-mode when it has not been used for a while. But waiting over five minutes for the thing to warm up again is madness – particularly as the device is shared among 50 people. And once you march over to copy or print your single sheet, other people magically appear to print, photocopy or scan a hundred page document.

Now while you can’t account for human behaviour when it relates to shared office devices, surely the designers could have considered the impact of running in eco-mode and made the damn thing warm up quicker – ideally a few seconds’ delay.