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Inspecting gadgets

This is an interesting article on money-saving, environmentally friendly gadgets I read on Yahoo! recently.

One of said gadgets is a staple-free stapler that works by cutting and folding the sheets as you press down. The description of this item includes the fact that if every office worker in Britain saved one staple per day, in one year, 72 tonnes of metal would be saved. This sounds incredible (in the literal sense), but if you ‘do the math’, it’s actually true.

If a staple weighs about 32 milligrams, and there are 10 million UK office workers, each working 225 days a year, then 32 x 10,000,000 x 225 = 72,000,000,000 mg. Knock off three zeroes to turn it into grammes, then three more to make kilograms, and three more to make tonnes.

  1. 9 September 2010 at 1:01 am

    Unfortunately, the math leaves a bit out. In order to save these 72 tonnes of metal, every British office worker needs access to one of these staplers. That’s 10 million times the material of the stapler, plus manufacturing and distribution pollution. Even given that several workers may share a stapler, the final savings is only impressive in the very long run.


  2. 12 September 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I grant you that not every office worker has a stapler, nor does every office worker use a stapler on a regular basis.

    I was just impressed by the scaling up from one tiny, individual staple to 72 tonnes of metal. The point is that small savings multiplied by the number of people in a country or on the planet are not insignificant. Many a little makes a mickle.

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