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Carbon Footprint Analysis Comparing a Digital Frame to Printed Photos

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Electronic digital photo frames provide a convenient, aesthetically pleasing way for consumers to display several photos in a small space. Though convenient, these displays require continuous electrical input during operation while printed photos rely on reflected ambient light for viewing. To understand the relative environmental impact of both photo display options, a carbon footprint analysis was performed comparing a digital frame over its expected lifespan with 4” × 6” photos printed in album format on a HP printer. We find that operating an average digital frame displaying 200 photos at 44 hours per week for 2 years has a carbon footprint greater than 6 times that of a 200-photo album printed on a HP OfficeJet 6500 All-in-One printer. For the OfficeJet-printed photos the printer bill of materials, photo album materials, and energy consumption all contribute similarly to the carbon footprint. In the case of the digital frame, energy impacts from the usage model are critical for determining the overall impact. In this paper we present our carbon footprint model, the underlying assumptions, and a sensitivity analysis of the results
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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