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Seven methods to make your office more sustainable by switching to eco-friendly printing

While the world is clearly moving in the direction of digitalization, printing remains crucial; in order to be more sustainable in our daily lives, we should all be decreasing our carbon footprint when it comes to our office/home printers.

Traditionally, printers have not been eco-friendly because their traditional petroleum-based inks are harmful to the environment because they generate VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
 They also include hazardous materials that dissipate into the atmosphere during the printing process.

Eco-friendly printers, on the other hand, employ cartridge-free ink (typically in reusable bottle containers), are compact, energy-efficient, and designed to be readily recycled, and hence do not produce harmful e-waste. Vegetable-based eco-friendly inks are also common, which is healthy for the environment while still producing excellent results.

Another significant concern associated with printing is deforestation for the production of paper, but there are more sustainable solutions available, such as FSC certified paper. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forestry practices around the world. The paper they certify isn’t recycled because it’s made of virgin tree fibres (meaning the wood pulp used to manufacture it comes from a well-managed forest with no deforestation), making it even more environmentally beneficial!

We’ve gathered a list of environmentally friendly printers, inks, and FSC-certified printer paper to help you boost your eco warrior game and reduce your carbon footprint.

Eco-friendly printers

(Listed in alphabetical order)

1. Brother MFC-J2330DW A3 Inkjet All-in-One

This printer can handle up to 250 sheets of paper, is vegetable ink friendly, and features a refillable ink tank.

Available on Makro (online)

Brother compatible ink: Available on Takealot

2. Epson Ecotank L3050 Ink Tank System Printer

Because it comes with up to two years’ supply of ink in the box and is compatible with vegetable ink, the small inkjet with a refillable tank can significantly cut printing costs.

Available on HiFi Corp (ink included)

3. Epson Ink Tank System Printer L382

This printer with a refillable ink tank offers high-quality results and can print thousands of pages for a low price. It is environmentally friendly due to its compatibility with vegetable ink.

Available on HiFi Corp

Epson compatible ink: Available on Takealot

4. Epson L3110 3 in 1 Ecotank Printer

This tiny variant allows for high-volume printing and is compatible with vegetable inks. It has a refillable ink tank.

Available on HiFi Corp (ink included)

5. HP Ink Tank Wireless 415 All-in-One Printer

With its high-capacity, refillable ink tank system and eco-friendly ink, the HP Ink Tank Wireless prints thousands of pages.

Available on HiFi Corp

HP compatible ink: Available on Takealot

FSC certified paper

These papers are suitable for vegetable ink printing on inkjet and laser printers. With high whiteness and opacity, they allow for bright, vibrant colours.

1. HP Color Choice FSC 120gsm A3 Paper – 250 Sheets

Available on Takealot 

2. HP Color Choice FSC 90gsm A3 Paper – 500 Sheets

Available on Takealot 

3. HP Color Choice FSC 120gsm A4 Paper – 250 Sheets

Available on Takealot

4. HP Premium FSC 100gsm A4 – 250 Sheets

Available on Takealot 

5. Mondi Rotarim Green Range

Available on Mondi site

6. Sappi Earth Kind range

Available on Sappi site

Our 7 top tips for eco-friendly printing in your home and office

  1. Print double-sided sheets to save paper.
  2. Always use print preview and double check your work before printing to avoid printing mistakes.
  3. Recycle existing printouts for note-taking paper or crafts where possible.
  4. Consider a digital alternative where possible such as creating PDF documents instead of printing.
  5. When using a commercial printer, insist on using recycled/ FSC certified paper and vegetable inks.
  6. If you do upgrade to a more sustainable printer, donate your old printer to an organisation in need.
  7. Recycle your existing print cartridges to avoid contributing to toxic waste.

Source: https://theethicalagency.co.za/switching-to-eco-friendly-printing-and-7-ways-to-make-your-office-more-sustainable/

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