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02.07.2014


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The primary goal of the Minneapolis study was to assess “whether the accrued benefits from Minneapolis’s street trees justify the annual expenditures” – in other words, are their street trees worth what they cost? By providing a detailed cost-benefit analysis using i-Tree, the authors show that Minneapolis’ actively managed street trees do indeed provide a good return on investment, providing $1.59 in benefits for every $1 spent. The Minneapolis study was a pilot STRATUM project and one of the first of its kind ever completed (Stratum is the precursor for i-Tree Streets). Overall, this study indicates that Minneapolis’ urban forest compares favorably to urban forests nationwide. Stocking level, which refers to the percent of street tree planting sites that are planted, was estimated to be 87%. Based on an inventory of a sample of Minneapolis’ street trees conducted by trained volunteers, this study estimates that there are approximately 198,633 (standard error (SE) 14,088) street trees in Minneapolis. Lack of species diversity is a serious problem on its own, and the age structure of Minneapolis’ street trees reveals how long the impacts of catastrophic pests and disease can last when that is the case. The study also evaluated tree condition as an indicator of both how well trees are managed and how well they perform under typical growing conditions on Minneapolis streets.
Not surprisingly, large trees were found to provide significantly greater benefits than small trees.
The study also gives a detailed account of how much each of the top 14 species contribute to each benefit, showing which species are best for each of the estimated benefits.
Costs were based on total expenditures during 2004 including pruning, planting, irrigation, removal and disposal, inspection, administration, litter and storm cleanup, legal costs, and infrastructure repairs associated with trees (e.g.
The total cost was $9.2 million, or $46 per tree – significantly less than the total benefits provided per tree. With total benefits estimated at $24,933,434, and total costs estimated at $9,209,041, net benefits are estimated at $15,724,393.
The authors use the above analysis to provide very specific management recommendations to achieve what they term “urban forest sustainability.” Their definition of a sustainable urban forest includes not only species and age diversity, well adapted healthy trees, and appropriate tree numbers, but also cost efficient management.
Their recommendations for increasing species and age diversity include detailed guidance on species selection for new trees that are tailored specifically for the City of Minneapolis based on current performance of the city’s street trees.
Show that benefits provided by Minneapolis’ street trees greatly exceed costs expended to plant and maintain the trees, with a $1.59 return for every $1 spent. For those who have not seen the item, or live outside the UK and are unable to view the program directly, the following link leads to the relevant clip from the program. There is, however, another half to the story that presents real positives for the consumer. Watchdog’s mission is to inform and guide consumers so that they can avoid the pitfalls of the unscrupulous trader – in other words, to champion the cause of the consumer.
The trouble is – the only pitfalls in buying printers and cartridges arise from a lack of understanding and a lack of information. Cost of Printing (inkjet) has fallen dramatically over the last decade We are all familiar with the falling costs of technology. With more highly honed technology, manufacturing processes and XL ink cartridges containing more ink, the Total Cost of Printing using typical consumer inkjet printers has fallen by 42% in 10 years.
What I’ve done in the chart below is to take the three primary printers that would have been purchased at specific points over the last decade in each of three categories and calculated their running costs using today’s cartridge prices and power cost (all printers from the same manufacturer). For users still running printers that are 10 or more years old, as was your reporter, it is almost certain to be well worth upgrading and buying a new machine. Comparing ink costs with other productsFunnily enough, ink is not the most expensive liquid available on the high street. Just to put the record straight on the cost of ink – a litre of black ink used in Hewlett-Packard’s HP 932XL cartridge for the Officejet 6600 (as used in the comparisons contained in this letter and using the same prices as used in these comparisons) costs the equivalent of just ?1,199 per litre – less than Chanel No.5 – and that is NOT the cheapest ink around!


Avoiding the pitfalls and wasting money on inkWhen buying a printer, the consumer needs to consider a number of factors.
That is – spend a little more on buying the right printer in the first place and it will cost you less in the long run!! Printer CartridgesIn the ‘olden days’, inkjet cartridges were mostly (but not exclusively) constructed like the cartridges you showed, with the print head integrated with the ink tank.
Therefore – always buy a printer that has four separate cartridges instead of a tri-colour cartridge (a single cartridge that contains all three colours). But, more important even than this is the fact that most printer manufacturers offer more than one size of cartridge for most of their printers.
A high capacity cartridge that costs a bit more but prints a lot more pages and offers a much lower Total Cost of Printing. Several times a week I receive emails informing me that I can “Save up to 50% on printing costs with XL cartridges”.
Often, consumers are completely unaware that they can spend a little more in the short term but a lot less in the long term by making an informed decision. As you used HP cartridges in your item, let’s check out the HP range – 19 active models of inkjet desktop All-in-One. So, you can see that the user has a choice of cartridges and that the higher up the hardware range you go, the more pages you get from the relevant cartridges.
Note 2: All prices used in the calculations are sourced from one leading UK E-tailer, May 2013. You will note that, at the lowest monthly printing volume (5 pages per month), it is the cheapest printer that has the lowest running costs. However, while there would be just a little ink left in the cartridges for the cheapest printer at the end of the three years, there would be a massive amount of ink left in the cartridges for the business printer.
So, at the higher monthly print volumes, the larger quantity of ink in the cartridges for the higher level printers comes into its own and these printers very rapidly demonstrate that they are much cheaper to run than the cheapest printer. Just to prove the point that consumers should always consider the ink cartridge configuration and the long-term total costs when buying a printer, rather than just buying the cheapest, in the chart below I have added in the cost of buying the printer at the outset.
This clearly shows that, at the lowest monthly printing volume (5 pages per month), it is the purchase price that is quite definitely most important.
However, where a user is printing anything like the average monthly volume, as determined by our online consumer survey, the cost of the ink cartridges becomes the most important factor – and the scale of the importance then increases with the number of pages printed. In these scenarios, we’re looking at consumers benefiting from an overall 16% cost advantage (?63) over three years from buying the business printer rather than the cheapest, if they print average volumes (40 pages per month). A word on printer technologyPrinters and printing, especially inkjet, is an incredibly complex ecosystem, with print heads that are capable of firing 35,000 droplets of ink, from each nozzle, onto a page every second. Introduced just a couple of months ago, Hewlett-Packard’s latest business inkjet printer has a print head that does not move like the print heads in our current inkjet printers – it is fixed in place, is 8? inches wide (page width) and has 42,240 nozzles (10,560 nozzles per colour!!). On top of this, inkjet printers manage to fire these ink droplets with such incredible precision that the end result we see is a beautiful, detailed photograph or a high quality document. It just is not possible for technological advancements of this nature to occur without the investment of the printer manufacturers. What this all means is that the cost of development – of keeping us, the customer, satisfied with the performance of our printers – has to be recovered from somewhere. More help for consumers to comeCharisCo Printer Labs has developed a software solution (tcprojector API) that is specifically designed to help consumers and businesses alike to choose the best, most cost-effective printer for their purposes. I am aware that the BBC is not permitted to advertise but it is important that consumers are aware that the item you screened last week is not actually negative but a case of individuality and choices. I’m sure you will appreciate that this is a very deep subject, with many different facets, only the most pertinent of which I have been able to cover here. Please understand again that this letter is not about running anyone down and certainly not about pandering to the printer manufacturers. I hope you will take the time to digest this information and feel that you can go some way towards presenting some positive facts regarding Total Cost of Printing to your viewers. Colin Usher, pictured with his wife, Jenny, designed his eco home to cost as little as possible to run.
Mr Usher, who has been an architect for 35 years and is a director at Liverpool-based John McCall Architects, recently won an award for the house which was the winner in the Domestic New Build Category at the 2015 Buildings and Energy Efficiency AwardsThe total cost of the build - including purchasing the land and demolishing the existing property - was A?440,500, which is the going rate for similar four-bedroom properties in the area.
The house is designed to maintain an even temperature year round by using insulated concrete and a hi-tech heat pump that takes in heat from the outside air and uses it to warm the house.


Mr Usher told MailOnline that he was 'very proud of the technical aspects of the house', which he says is more or less hermetically sealed, but uses pumps and a clever design to keep fresh air circulating. ASUS motherboards focus on long-lasting benefits, including features that minimize operating costs to keep your electric bills low and protective measures that ensure greater durability. We have optimized our equipment architecture to significantly reduce waste heat, which in turn reduces the cooling requirements for your room. We want to help you see a quicker return-on-investment and fewer costs impacting your margins. There is more to be considered when determining the best value buy, which is what we call Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This why we design and manufacture our reefer boxes and reefer machines using innovative techniques and the latest technologies to achieve the lowest possible TCO. Not only does this study include a much smaller geographical area, it is also more focused within its study area. The authors of the study acknowledge that the City of Minneapolis “maintains trees as an integral component of the city infrastructure…The urban forest makes Minneapolis a more enjoyable place to live, work and play, while mitigating the city’s environmental impact,” but this is a mental calculation familiar to anyone running a business (or a city). Like the Chicago study, it analyzed the structure and benefits of the Minneapolis urban forest – that is, just the actively managed street trees – but it takes the study several steps further, analyzing total costs and cost-benefit analysis as well as management implications, including very specific management recommendations. The sample inventory of 4,574 trees included 60 different species, which compares favorably to the mean of 53 species reported by McPherson and Rowntree (1989) in their nationwide survey of street tree populations in 22 U.S. Importance values take into account not only total number of trees but also canopy cover and leaf area.
This analysis is valuable both to guide management decisions and for future species selection, as “species with larger percentages of trees in good or better condition are likely to provide greater benefits at lower cost than species with more trees in fair or poor condition” (McPherson et al, 2005). For example, American Elms are very effective for stormwater runoff reduction, providing 41% of the total stormwater benefits provided by Minneapolis’ street trees, even though they only comprise 9.9% of the total number of trees. Maintenance recommendations that are tailored specifically for Minneapolis’ street trees based on this study’s analysis of structure, costs and benefits, are also included. This means that it’s also more important than ever to have data to show that investments into urban street trees pay us back. Solar panels keep the electricity bills to a minimum.Mr Usher, who has been an architect for 35 years and is a director at Liverpool-based John McCall Architects, recently won an award for the house which was the winner in the Domestic New Build Category at the 2015 Buildings and Energy Efficiency Awards.
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Whereas the Chicago Region study analyzed all trees within its study area, the Minneapolis study only analyzed actively managed street trees (McPherson et al 2005). Because ecosystem services increase greatly with increasing canopy cover and leaf area, importance value is a better indicator of the proportion of ecosystem services provided by each species than just the number of trees. These are important factors for designers to understand when considering how trees can contribute to high performance landscapes. Due to a resurgence of Dutch Elm Disease, Minneapolis had to shift funds from pruning to tree removal, so pruning costs were only 58% of the amount spent in 2002, and tree removal costs were higher in 2004 than in 2002.
Emerald Ash Borer, which arrived in Minneapolis in 2010, is no longer a threat but a reality. In the case of Minneapolis, the planting and maintenance of street trees, while described as economically efficient, was still classified as “non-essential.” Enter i-Tree. Analysis of importance values of Minneapolis’ street trees showed that Minneapolis’ street trees may be even more vulnerable to pest and disease than street tree numbers alone indicate, as American elms, which account for 10% of the total number of street trees, have an importance value of 26.7.
McPherson et al (2005) found more green ash trees than any other species in Minneapolis’ street tree population. Total tree canopy cover was estimated at 31.5% for Minneapolis in 2009 (Bauer et al 2011), so street trees account for almost one third of Minneapolis’ total tree canopy.



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