Consumer electronics and electrical appliances – which may include printers that use ink cartridges – are becoming greener, which could be good news for people trying to make their home as eco-friendly as possible.

According to Dr Paula Owen, director of Paula Owen Consulting, there has been a great deal of activity over the last five years focused on improving the power consumption of everyday devices.

In particular, she noted there has been pressure on manufacturers from the EU to reduce the amount of energy appliances use when they are on standby.

Dr Owen said "good progress" has been made on this front, adding: "This has seen some real successes in products that started out with truly awful, unnecessarily high stand-by consumption."

Earlier this month, a report by Paula Owen Consulting entitled Elephant in the Living Room revealed electricity use from home computing activities more than doubled between 2000 and 2009.

However, the study noted the growing popularity of all-in-one machines that combine printers, scanners and copiers into a single device has helped tackle the rise in power consumption.