Pittsburgh-area middle school student Suvir Mirchandani, 14, has found that his school district can save 24 percent on ink consumption and up to $21,000 annually by printing documents exclusively in the Garamond font, which has thinner strokes.
Mirchandani, who was interested in applying computer science to promote environmental sustainability, conducted the analysis as part of a school science fair project that focused on cutting waste and saving money. The sixth-grader compared four different typefaces, and measured how much ink was used for each letter with the APFill Ink Coverage Software tool.
His teacher encouraged him to publish his findings, which he did in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a forum for the work of middle and high school students that has the same standards as academic journals. JEI considered Mirchandani's work to be a real standout and challenged him to apply his work to the federal government. By changing the font, Mirchandani says the federal government could save $136 million annually and another $234 million at the state level.
"Consumers are still printing at home, they can make this change too," Mirchandani says.
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