Earth Day, Everyday: How You Can Do Your Part to Live a Greener Life
Wednesday April 13, 2017
Earth Day is April 22 and you may be wondering what you can do to honor Mother Earth. There’s plenty you can do right from your work station at home or at the office. For example, with the planet losing more than 15 billion trees every year, improving printing habits can have a significant impact. Recycling paper along with ink and toner cartridges can also make a difference in the environment.
Print with the Earth in Mind
According to the World Wildlife Federation, there are several easy steps you can take to print greener at home and at the office to cut down on the amount of paper ending up in landfills.
- Look before you print – Use the print preview and spellcheck functions to avoid any mistakes, which may cause you to print again
- Use both sides of paper – Printing on both sides of sheets of paper will save you or your company money and cut your paper consumption rate in half. This can be done easily by just setting the default to “double-sided” on your computer.
- Fit more on a page – Use efficient fonts, such as Times New Roman or Arial, reduce images, the size of fonts to 10 point and margins. You could use 14 percent less paper with smaller margins.
- Use thinner paper – Heavier paper uses more fiber and costs more. By switching to a thinner, or lighter weight, paper, you can save between 12 to 20 percent in cost. While printers work best with 70 gsm and 80 gsm (grams per square meter) paper, thinner paper usually does not affect printer performance.
- Print only what’s necessary – Before you print, ask yourself if you really need to print. Typically, one line emails, brochures and entire multi-page documents are not necessary to print.
Recycling for Good Causes
Recycling the paper you’ve printed on has several benefits, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, including:
- Reducing greenhouse gases
- Saving considerable landfill space
- Reducing energy and water consumption
- Decreasing the need for disposal
- Extending the fiber supply and contributing to carbon sequestration
You can also use recycled paper when you print, as well as recycled ink and toner cartridges. According to Green Plus, a business improvement program focusing on business education, networking and recognition, almost 100 percent of materials in a printer cartridge can be recycled or reused.
Cartridge World can help recycle those spent ink and toner cartridges through programs for businesses, schools and local organizations. Your group can raise funds by collecting empty printer cartridges (and cell phones) and returning them to your local Cartridge World store. You can collect cartridges from offices, schools and homes.
You can also earn rewards for your child’s school for your recycling efforts. Parents and friends of schools can save money on printing products as well as raise money for the school.
According to Cartridge World, more than 350 million printer cartridges end up in landfills every year and discarded inkjet cartridges often leak into the soil and waterways. So, recycling cartridges also has these benefits for the planet:
- The average printer cartridge can be remanufactured three or four times
- Each recycle ink cartridge saves about two ounces of oil
- Each remanufactured ink cartridge keeps two pounds of waste out of landfills
We are here to help with local, friendly advice. Cartridge World can help you organize a local printer cartridge recycling program to help reduce waste. Click here to learn more about getting started in your community.