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Teen save government $136 million: 14-year-old tells US gov’t how to save $136M

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A teen can save the government $136 million, and the Pittsburgh teen’s idea on how the government can save $136 million has actually been described as “remarkable” by Gary Somerset, the media and public relations manager at the Government Printing Office, according to a March 29 CNN report.

Suvir Mirchandani, a 14-year-old Pittsburgh-area middle school student, has proven that by changing fonts from Times New Roman to Garamond on all printed government documents would save the government millions of cost in ink because Garamond, being one of the oldest fonts around, is much thinner than the default Times New Roman interface.

The 14-year-old teen came up with the concept of how to save ink by switching fonts as part of a science fair project. At a cost of $75 an ounce of Hewlett-Packard printer ink, it is more expensive than French perfume, which costs only $38 for the same amount of Chanel No. 5.

What began as a science fair project gained quickly attention by the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), which was so impressed by the middle-school student's findings that JEI challenged him to apply it to the federal government.

In response to the teen’s idea on how to save the government $136 million, Gary Somerset from the media and public relations manager at the Government Printing Office said that at the moment the GPO was focusing on shifting from print to online publications, and that he could not commit that Mirchandani’s idea would be implemented. Press secretary Dan Cruz said that a federal initiative called “Printwise” is teaching “government offices how to default their computer settings to Times New Roman, Garamond and Century Gothic to minimize printing waste” and to save ink. As the 14-year-old has proven, switching from Times New Roman to Garamond would save even more money, not just for the government -- but for everyone who is tired of high ink prices.


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