If you're trying to live a greener lifestyle, chances are you avoid printing at all costs. Between the energy, the paper, and the ink, printing is not the most eco-friendly thing you can do. Sometimes, though, there are things we have to print out. Maybe it's paperwork for our taxes or something for work where an electronic document just won't do the trick.
If you do have to print, stretching your resources is a great way to green up that process. You probably already know to print on both sides of your paper or maybe you even fish junk mail out of the bin and print on the back of that. But what about the printer ink?
PC World did a study back in 2008 showing that when the "low ink" light comes on on most printers, between 8% and 45% of the ink is still in the cartridge. If people all replace the cartridge when the light comes on, that adds up to a lot of wasted ink! There are a couple of ways that you can waste less and make that printer ink last longer:
- Just wait. Head to the store and pick up an ink refill when the "low ink" light comes on, but don't actually replace the cartridge until your print quality starts to suffer.
- Shake it up. No, for real. I used to work at a...let's say "frugal"... office, and when our printers would run low on ink, they'd always tell us to shake the cartridge and try again before they'd order a refill. Just be careful - some cartridges will leak if you shake them, so best to do this over a sink or wrap it in a small rag before you shake.
One word of caution: it can be bad for your printer to let it run totally dry of ink, and it would really cancel out your efforts if you had to replace your printer! Once print quality starts to go down, replace the cartridge to avoid damaging your printer.
What do you guys do to conserve at the office? I'd love to hear your tips in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by freestockimages