Teenager Discovers New Way to Save Government Millions of Dollars


moneyNearly all industries try to save money on virtually every part of their business’s functioning, from production, to distribution, to customer service. The results is reduced spending, and also an increase in efficiency, the main goal of basically every company in the world. The U.S. government now has a way to potentially save millions of dollars annually.

A recent discovery by a teenager could impact the country’s spending by simply changing a font. Fourteen-year-old Suvir Mirchandani was doing a science fair project in his Pittsburgh middle school, and decided to test out the economic impact particular fonts had on his school’s budget. He noticed that he was receiving more handouts than in his elementary school days, and wanted to find a more sustainable way for his school to achieve their academic goals without wasting as much money on printing. The student explained his research by stating that ink is two times more expensive than certain French perfumes, according to CNN.

He weighed papers containing enlarged Times New Roman, Garamond, Century Gothic, and Comic Sans letters after determining how much ink was utilized for each font using ink measuring software. He conducted three trials with the same steps and found that Garamond was the lightest, and because of its thinner strokes, it did not consume as much ink. Mirchandani concluded that his school could save up to $21,000 every year by switching to a Garamond typeface for all typed communication.

The school urged Mirchandani to publish his findings, and he came across the Journal for Emerging Investigators, a publication started by Harvard graduate students to recognize work done by middle and high school students. JEI published his story, and urged Mirchandani to push the story further, by attempting to reach out to the government about their printing use as well. He calculated that the government could save about $136 million every year, nearly 30% of the money the government currently spends on printing, by using Garamond.
The media relations coordinator at the Government Printing Office commended Mirchandani for his efforts, but asserted that the government was already doing as much as it could to reduce waste. It has reduced the number of printed memos by more than 10,000 in the last two decades, and several reports are only printed on recycled paper.

But Mirchandani is not the only one mounting a case against ink cartridge waste. Cartridge World, an online ink and toner cartridge retailer, has recently raised awareness about reusing ink cartridges. The company claims that ink cartridges can be refilled at least five times, and then be put to better use through recycling. Their campaign, “Stop the Ink-Sanity!,” is aimed at helping small businesses reduce high printing costs on a global scale.

Mirchandani and Cartridge World’s sustainable efforts have not fallen on deaf ears. Several school organizations are following their lead by hosting recycling drives to encourage fellow classmates, as well as faculty and staff to turn in their empty cartridge for recycling. Mirchandani’s findings could also help several schools and businesses around globe reduce spending, and save thousands of dollars.

Essentially, one teenager’s discovery could create a more sustainable way of doing business for millions of companies around the world. The scale and impact of his research, as well as the efforts of companies like Cartridge World, is not yet quantifiable, but in the coming years, could prove to be some of the easiest cost-cutting solutions.

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