Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Which Title is Better: "A Star Is Born" or "HP Corrects My Error"

I'm not really sure whether today's blog is being posted for the right reason, or for vanity's sake. I've been discovered! Ok, only by a PR person for Hewlett Packard... But let me bask in my 15 minutes, please...

Awhile back I blogged about recycling inkjet cartridges, and noted that not all printer companies have a full "cradle-to-cradle" recycling program. HP was one of the companies my source claimed was not fully recycling and reusing. By cradle-to-cradle, I mean that the material from an old product is reused to create a new product. An alternative to the cradle-to-grave notion, which takes a product from raw materials to its ultimate disposal, cradle-to-cradle looks for ways to turn discarded product into the raw material for another "new" product cycle. This idea really took off with the publication of a book by the same name, by William McDonough & Michael Braungart. An important concept for the planet, I ask my Urban Enviro students read it every year.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand... A few days after my original blog, I ran across and posted a press release claiming HP did, in fact, have a closed loop recycle/reuse program. But I also expressed skepticism. What bothered me was what the press release left unsaid. I remained dubious about the extent of HP's program. My doubt apparently caught HP's attention.

As a new blogger, I was thrilled to be "discovered," even if only by the HP damage control maven, Kihza Davidson. I'm guessing she isn't really following me personally. She probably has some web app that scans the entire web for honorable and dishonorable HP product mentions. If the news is bad, she "goes in." Even so, I felt excited to be noticed! Anyway, Kihza wanted to let me know that HP does, in fact, use a fully "closed loop" (cradle-to-cradle) recycling/reuse system.

I directed Kihza back to my original source material, which stated that HP wasn't fully closed looped, She spent a little time researching it, and wrote back:

"That article you sent over was very interesting. Although I cannot speak for the other printer companies, there is a lot of misinformation about HP and no sources listed, so I was curious where the writer may have gotten those statements. (He certainly didn’t go to!) I did some digging and it seems that much of this article actually was pulled directly from another (very out of date) source that was promoting its cartridge refill services."

Kihza also sent some links to the HP website and other published info about their treatment of used cartridges. It seems that my source material may have been old. HP did, in fact, implement a closed loop system sometime within the last couple years. This is good news for all of us (including me) who own an HP printer (yes, I recently bought a Lexmark for my Arizona digs, but still use an HP Photosmart C7280 All-in-One in my Kansas City abode - private message to Kihza: Kihza, the paper jams a lot - what am I doing wrong?). Anyway, of all the stuff (links) Kihza sent, I think you'll enjoy the video clip below the most. And there's more info at


  1. Thanks for your most recent post and being open to our input to your blog.

    At HP, we are proud of our heritage of corporate citizenship that goes back the the Bill & Dave days (Hewlett and Packard). Environmental sustainability is a very important component of this and is something we design into our products, processes and solutions. We look for ways to enable our customers to lower their impact on the environment and save money while they do it.
    Stay in touch!
    Stacey Wueste
    VP of Environmental Strategy for HP's Imaging and Printing Group

  2. Thanks, Stacey. I'm thrilled to learn that HP is doin' it the right way!