US Census Starts Printing Eco-friendly(ish) Forms

Photo by U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office (PIO)

The 2010 Census has already swung into action but it will take months to print all the questionnaires. At a rate of 1.5 million a day, it will take from now until March of next year, to crank out the form which will be stuffed and mailed off to more than 120 million US households. That’s a lot of paper, but the Bureau is trying to green the process.
“The Census Bureau has gone to great lengths to make the printing process as efficient and eco-friendly as possible," Census Director Robert Groves said. "The printing of 2010 Census questionnaires uses 30 percent less ink than 10 years ago and will be printed on 30 percent recycled paper."

That’s a start. And another good thing is that the new 10-question survey is one of the shortest in over 200 years, since the first census happened back in 1790. The streamlined form will also only take about 10 minutes to complete. More than 13 million forms will also be bilingual (English/Spanish). In an effort to count the U.S. population efficiently and reduce inaccurate addresses, the Census Department had workers walk streets to match actual residents with Post Office and local government lists.

Okay, now in another decade maybe the government will use vegetable-based ink and 100% PCW recycled paper, plus other green printing processes. Or do you think there will be an online version to eliminate or reduce paper altogether in 2020?

More on green printing:
16 Dazzling Eco Paper Products at the 2009 National Stationery Show
How to Shop Smart, Save Forests and Send a Message
Ecofont Takes The Swiss Cheese Approach to Saving Printer Ink
Ecover First Company to use Responsible Print Program for their Watercare Info Leaflet

Tags: Green Packaging | Less Is More | Recycling


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