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Eco-Friendly Solutions

Tips on saving ink, paper, electricity and money when printing

While the modern printer is quite reasonably priced, printing can still prove to be fairly expensive in some cases. This is because of the cost of new ink cartridges, as well as the electricity for powering the printer. Good quality paper is also far from cheap. Over time these costs can build up and printing those holiday pics can become quite costly.

And it’s not just your wallet that you should fear for, printers and cartridges, when discarded, are not too kind to the environment. Due to the use of the plastics used in their construction and the chemicals found in the inks, if not disposed of in the correct way, can be extremely harmful to the planet.

There’s no need to worry though… with a bit of thought, users can save on the cost of printing and simultaneously help the environment through recycling or reusing the consumables and being careful about how they use their printers.

While there are many inexpensive printers on the market, the cost of cartridges and ink can often be expensive. There are a number of things you can do to combat cost. First of all, if you are purchasing a printer, do your research. Many people fall into the trap of buying a cheap printer that is on sale, only to find out that the ink replacements are more expensive that a brand new printer. Many people do this over and over again, buying a new printer every time they need ink, which is extremely wasteful. Make sure you check what your ink your printer will take before buying, even if it means spending a little more on the machine itself, you will save money in the long run.

If you have a printer and in need of ink then check to see if your cartridges can be refilled, I recommend getting them refilled professionally as it can be a messy job and if done wrong could mess up your printer. If you can’t get the cartridges refilled, then look for re-manufactured, re-filled or 3rd party cartridges online on in a local store. It is commonly thought that refilled or 3rdparty cartridges are of lower quality, but it really depends on where you are buying them from, so check reviews and try a few different types until you find something good for you.

If there is nothing you can do with your empty cartridges, they do not have to be discarded. The environmentally-friendly thing to do is to recycle them. There are many collection points, recycling services and other ways to recycle your cartridges, so you should never have to just throw them away.

Once you have your cartridges, ensure that any not in the printer are stored properly. Cartridges should be kept wrapped until needed and used before the expiry date (yes, even ink can expire). If you have cartridges in your printer, but do not print that often, be sure to print a test page every now and then to prevent them from clogging or drying up.

Power can be saved by ensuring the printer is switched off when not in use. The cleaning cycle, however, uses ink when it is switched on, so it can be more economical to keep the machine powered on if it is going to be used throughout the day.

The cost of paper can add significantly to the cost of printing, so unless top quality paper is needed for printing, buy a lesser quality. Paper that has been printed on one side can still be used for jotting notes, or be recycled.

Knowing what to with an old printer can be a problem as printers are largely made out of non-biodegradable materials. There may be someone, somewhere, who may be able to make use of it, however, and even if it is not working it can still be used for spare parts. The ideal thing to do with an old printer, therefore, is to sell it or give it someone who can make use of it.

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