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How To Choose Green Printer Ink Options

2012-03-09

Owners often overlook the quality of the printer ink they use. Although they choose an environmentally friendly cartridge and printer, they forget that they should do the same with the ink. Some consumers make sure they buy a green printer. They also reuse their cartridges. Some people even send used cartridges to organizations that recycle them. Unfortunately, they use the same hazardous ink, and this makes their efforts useless.

There are only a few types of eco-friendly inks available today. These inks are usually for home inkjet printers. The most popular green replacement ink is soy ink. Soy is a natural source of ink and it eradicates toxic volatile organic compounds. VOC components come from the evaporation of petroleum that occurs when making oil-based inks. Nowadays, many industries use soy ink. This can be a good choice for newspaper printing. It produces more vivid images and sharper colors than the toxic ones. Since it is natural, soy is also renewable. There are many sources for soy and using it does not harm the environment in any way. Soy inks can have the same price as traditional inks, but consumers may also find cheaper ones. The only drawback with using soy-based printer ink is that it takes a long time to dry.

Some environmentally friendly cartridges already come with safe ink. Most of them are derived from vegetable oil. This may come from sunflower, corn and carrots. These types of ink also produce the same vivid color as soy-based ink. However, vegetable ink is consumed at a rate that is 10 to 15 percent lower than soy ink. This is mainly because there is less evaporation with this kind of ink. As a result, it has relatively low VOC emissions. The only downside of using these vegetable-based inks is their price. They are expensive.

Unfortunately, these natural inks are not 100 percent free from toxic components. They may also have chemicals mixed with them including arsenic, mercury, cadmium, selenium and lead. These ingredients can jeopardize health and the environment. However, these metals make it possible for these natural sources to become printer ink. Although they still have risks, green inks are worth using.

Consumers can also choose inks with low heavy-metal content. They lower the risks that come from these products. It is important that consumers do not just choose an environmentally friendly cartridge or printer. They should also take into consideration the quality of the ink they use. As technology advances, manufacturers will soon come up with a 100 percent safe ink. For now, consumers have to settle for what is available on the market. Luckily, they can already choose between a number of these eco-friendly products.

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