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How Environmentally Friendly Printer Ink Extends Printer Life

2012-02-18

Printing costs continue to go up. Every day, in offices, schools and homes, users print millions of documents. Every day they buy thousands of reams of paper and thousands of printer cartridges. The environmental impact of manufacturing these products is significant, but current technology has lessened the negative impact. Printer ink can be purchased now that does not contain petroleum or toxic solvents. A concerned buyer can extend a printer's life by buying an environmentally friendly cartridge and ink and save money at the same time.

The technology of printing has changed dramatically in recent decades. The environmental impact of paper manufacturing has been lessened. New paper-manufacturing methods use more recycled paper and fewer hazardous chemicals. Millions of trees are no longer cut for paper manufacture. Rivers are now cleaner due to greener manufacturing processes that have little or no negative impact. In addition, environmentally friendly paper no longer costs more than other paper as most paper produced now is made with at least some recycled product. Ink also has changed.

In ancient times, ink was made out of vegetable dyes and other natural materials. In more recent times petroleum-based ink became the standard. Ink made with petroleum has high levels of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. High levels of VOCs have been linked to certain forms of cancer and also some birth defects. New, greener alternatives to petroleum-based ink include soy and other plant sourced ink. The environmentally friendly ink does not cost more and paper printed with this type of ink does not leach VOCs into landfill soil.

Using environmentally friendly ink cartridges also saves money. Printer cartridge manufacture requires petroleum and silicon. Reuse of a printer cartridge reduces raw material usage and saves landfill space. Consumers have a couple of options when considering reuse of ink cartridges. Some firms offer remanufactured cartridges that have been refilled with ink. Printer users may also choose the less expensive option of refilling their own ink cartridges. Refill kits are readily available and easy to use.

Most printer users have tried to print at some point and found that their printer had a dried out, unusable cartridge that required a trip to the office supply before their print job could be completed. Timely ink refills will keep cartridges from drying out and will keep printers functioning at peak efficiency, lasting longer and requiring less frequent replacement. Most cartridges can be refilled up to seven times before recycling.

Using an environmentally friendly cartridge and printer ink saves petroleum, reduces hazardous waste, and uses less landfill space. Consumers can make choices that are positive for the environment and still save money because their printers and cartridges will last longer.

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