Conservation

Save on Ink and Toner with These 5 Simple Tricks

It’s about the most expensive liquid on the planet. Gold, oil, and even human blood cost less by volume than printer ink, so here’s how to squeeze every drop out of each cartridge.

In a 2007 study commissioned by Epson and undertaken by research company TUV Rheinland, it was found that many models of printers could still have as much as 60% ink volume remaining when the printer tells you to replace the cartridge! Epson commissioned the study to back up their claim that multi-ink tank model printers (which mainly only use individual color tanks for each primary color and black, some models taking up to 9 different ink tanks) are more efficient when it comes to wasted ink. In general, they are correct, as a printer with individual tanks typically will usually only prompt to replace the cartridge when it is actually close to empty, and it won’t prompt you that it’s empty if only one of the colors (as in the case of tri-color cartridges) is empty, even if the other 2 colors still have ink remaining.

HOWEVER (I made this big because it’s a HUGE caveat), they did not factor in the automatic cleaning cycles nor the dreaded priming cycle in the case of Epson inks specifically. These 2 automatic and unavoidable processes are done automatically at seemingly random times. There is surely an algorithm for when the printer should perform these things, as in the case of the priming cycle, this is always done immediately after a new ink tank is installed. This is the reason your Epson (or some Canon and HP models) will tell you you’re only empty of one color, and then when you put a new one in, it frustratingly tells you it’s empty of another color.

So what does one do?! We have a few tips that may help you wring out every precious wisp of essential paper-juice from those cartridges.

Tip 1: Spend less money on your ink and toner

“Well Chris, that was stupendously obvious, you think I didn’t already know that?!” Sometimes I wonder… Given how often I hear friends, family, and customers who tell me about their recent hassle-filled trip to Staples or even Wal-Mart where they spent 20%-60% more than they would have paid for equivalent quality ink or toner from us! Then I usually find out they still think the remanufacturing industry is still guys in a dank basement or garage injecting ink into barely usable cartridges.

Nobody selling similar remanufactured inks or toners still does this, the self-refill kit was an early-90’s phenomenon that doesn’t cut it still today. Today, in most cases, inks are re-chipped or reprogrammed in order to work and provide advanced ink level monitoring, and toners are rebuilt entirely with new or refurbished components which renew them back up to OEM standards. This means there is virtually no difference on most of our products how they will function when compared directly to the brand name OEM products, but with the goal of reuse and recycling EVERYTHING rather than building brand new cartridges with new materials. You can see how much you can save easily by checking our online web store here.

Tip 2: Buy high-capacity (XL) sized inks and toners

This may be more costly up front, which always hurts, but when you compare page yields, and calculate the actual cost-per-page, you’ll notice instantly that the high-capacity (or high-yield) cartridges are a better deal. As we touched on before, don’t even bother with the “Economy” sized inks, they are cheaper up front, but give you practically nothing for your money compared to high-yield cartridges.

Follow this formula: (Price of Ink cartridge) ÷ (Estimated page yield) = Your cost-per-page

HP #74 Black: Our price – $13.99 ÷ 200 pages = ~.07 per page
HP #74XL Black (High yield): Our price – $29.99 ÷ 750 pages = ~.04 per page

Clearly the high yield has a huge advantage of being almost half price of the standard yield when looking at the cost-per-page.

When we start to compare black ink as compared to a laser printer that takes black toner we see a larger difference (Tip: laser printers usually have much lower cost-per-page, particularly monochrome/B&W)

HP #74XL Black (High yield): Our price – $29.99 ÷ 750 pages = ~.04 per page
Brother TN-450 (High yield toner): Our price – $39.99 ÷ 2,600 pages = ~.01 1/2 per page

Give it a try yourself! Find your ink or toner here and then use this handy calculator to check how many pages you can expect.

Tip 3: Use a different font for documents you print

Surprisingly, this is an amazingly effective ink-saving choice. With the proper font, you could use as much as 40% less ink on the things you print!

In 2014, a student named Suvir Mirchandani began a science project that turned into a consulting gig for the US government and a published paper in a research journal.  He essentially studied four different typefaces: Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. The clear winner was Garamond, saving as much as 24% ink compared to the others.

Another study of note is the University of Wisconsin program which switched its default font from Arial to Century Gothic (a nice little font if I may say so as a typeset nerd/fontophile myself) and it saved them an estimated 30% in ink and toner coverage.

Ecofont (Image Courtesy: Nat Geo Mag Blog Central)

We’ve also discovered a font that is geared toward only one thing: saving ink. It is very readable and uses a unique way of leaving voids in unneeded areas of each letter while still appearing to be a full letter. This font is called Ecofont, and you can discover how it works here. It’s pretty cool.

Tip 4: Avoid unnecessary cleaning cycles

Sometimes it’s unavoidable when the printer decides to do it on its own, but you don’t always need to run that print head cleaning cycle if your prints are looking funky, streaky, or “gappy” (those are all technical terms, wink, wink).

If your printer takes just 2 cartridges (a black and a tri-color), then you have print head-integrated cartridges, which means, as opposed to ink tanks, the print head is an integrated part of the ink cartridge. This makes the automated print head cleaning just an unnecessary waste of ink. Follow this video to see how to manually clean your print head on this type of cartridge:

HP_564XL_ink_jet_cartridges
A set of ink tank cartridges

If you have a printer with a fixed print head that uses ink tanks (see photo to right for examples), in most cases the automatic print head cleaning cycles built into the printer are the only

option to clear up poor print quality. But as ol’ Bennie Franklin liked to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To this end, we recommend printing something out on a bi-weekly to monthly basis.

Sounds simple, but why will that help? The #1 cause for poor print quality on an inkjet printer is due to dried ink clogging up the thousands of microscopic print head nozzles that dispense the ink. Keeping them in use before they have a chance to dry up is an easy way to keep this from happening. YES, printing something simple like Google’s home page will use up some ink, but it uses a smaller amount of ink than a full cleaning cycle, which (almost counter-intuitively) saves you ink in the long run.

Tip 5: Use “draft” or “Eco” mode for text printing (or if you don’t need high-quality images)

While every printer has a different configuration, and some do not have “Draft” or and Eco-mode (sometimes called ink-saver or toner-save mode), choosing this as your default print mode will definitely conserve more ink or toner. These steps should work on most printers to enable this mode on your Windows computer:

  1. In Windows, click on the Start button (Or press the Windows Key on your keyboard) and choose Control Panel.
  2. Choose Printers and Other Hardware from the menu that opens.
  3. Choose View Installed Printers or Fax Printers.
  4. On the window that opens, look for your printer’s name. Right click on the printer’s icon and choose Printing Preferences, sometimes Printer Properties.
  5. On the Print Quality tab, choose Draft or Fast (varies depending on the printer).
  6. If you want to conserve your color ink, choose Grayscale Printing on the same tab (just remember you’ll have to uncheck that box if you want to print something in color).
  7. Press OK. That’s it; now your printer will automatically print in Draft Mode (and in grayscale, if you chose that option) until you change it back. To change it, simply follow the same instructions and choose Standard for print quality.

We are extremely happy you’ve read up on our most coveted, super-secret tips for maximizing the life of your cartridges. Now that you know how to easily get the most out of your inks and toners, I can’t believe you’re not already looking to save even more money on the inks and toners you need! To help you out there, you can click the button below to start saving money buy buying high-quality eco-friendly supplies from us!

Buy high quality inkjet cartridges

If you have your own tried and true method of saving ink or maximizing the life of this very expensive commodity, we’d love to hear them for future revisions, leave a reply below!

Landfills and the K-cup, A Disaster in the Making

Keurig K-cup, Coffee, Recycle, Biodegradable, So let’s see if I got this right. In the far distant past if one wanted to have a fresh brewed cup of coffee he would go to the pantry, pull out a bag of ground coffee and measure out the correct amount of grounds for the number of cups he wants.

Put a filter into the basket and into that pours his grounds. Then measures and pours the correct amount of water into his coffee maker and turns it on. 10 min later he gets his coffee.

Now all of this takes maybe 5 minutes, 10 if you’re slow like me. While the coffee is brewing you do other things to get ready for work or whatever it is you do in the morning.

I don’t see this as a huge hassle and besides that wonderful coffee smell is half the experience. Well it seems a guy by the name of John Sylvan who invented the K-cup back in 1992 thought this routine was just too tedious. His goal was to create “a better, more customizable and liberating caffeine experience than the tepid office percolator”. I still don’t understand what that means but that was his reason for inventing the K-cup. Like the old saying goes, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fast forward to 2016 and we find ourselves under a virtual mountain of these damn cups. Come to find out there not even biodegradable, now that’s just plain irresponsible in this day and age, even back in 2006 when these things really took off it was extremely short sighted on the part of the manufacture.

“But their popularity has created an even bigger problem: a mountain of used, non-recyclable plastic cups ending up in landfills. According to Halifax, Nova Scotia-based filmmaker Mike Hachey, who has made K-Cups the target of his crusade, there could be as many as 60 billion of them in landfills. Hachey started a website Kill the K Cup to track the activities of Keurig Green Mountain and, to raise awareness, he’s made an over-the-top horror video in which a monster made of K-Cups attacks helpless young urbanites. “Kill the K-Cup before it kills our planet,” the film proclaims.”  – EcoWatch.com, “Kill the K-cup Before It Kills Our Planet”

Now here’s the dig, other companies do make biodegradable compostable pods, but the Keurig 2.0 has a digital rights management system that rejects pods made by rival companies.

This sounds eerily like the aftermarket ink and toner industry which I’m a part of. They installed a similar system in their printers that can detect if the cartridge is a aftermarket thus rendering it unusable. This takes away a choice that the consumer has a right to, mainly once they buy a piece of equipment they should have the right to use any aftermarket product they want.

But that story is for another article. The point is the Keurig K-cup is currently only about 5 percent recyclable; the rest is made from No. 7 plastic which can’t be recycled. As of 2013 it was reported that Keurig Green Mountain Coffee produced enough coffee pods to wrap around the equator 10.5 times. Keurig did say they are working on the problem and are committed to fixing it by 2020 which as of 2015 gives them time to produce enough cups to circle the Earth 52 more times. Does it really take that much time to solve this man made disaster?

I just can’t for the life me understand how a business in good conscience can willing produce a product that can’t be recycled, and then admits there is a problem but it will take them at least 5 years to fix it. Looks to me like profit trumps common sense again. I must admit though in their defense at the time of this writhing they are really trying to solve this problem. If you visit their web site  it states that they are now using a plastic called #5 Polypropylene plastic which is much more recyclable than the old material they were using.

The best solution at this point is to ensure what you are buying is made from the new #5 Polypropylene material, if its not don’t buy it. This will send a message to Keurig that the consumer insist on bio gradable products. Make sure that your community’s waste recycling center can process this type of plastic.  If after looking into this new material you are still not comfortable with using these K-cups how about just going back to making coffee using a good old drip coffee maker!

What are your thoughts on this? Do you own a Keurig machine? Did you know the problem these cups are causing to our already strained eco –system? Would you stop using this machine as a sign of protest until Keurig came out with a bio-degradable version?

Want an easy way to help the planet? Buy remanufactured printer supplies!

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Worlds First Plastic Fishing Company!

Cleaning up our waterways, Recycling Plastic bottles
Courtesy of Plastic Whale Project in Amsterdam

Fishing for Plastic, who the heck would want to fish for plastic? A group of people based out of Amsterdam have come up with what I consider one of the best darn ideas I have seen in a long time. It’s so simple you wonder why no one has thought of this before. There name: Plastic Whale, get it? Like hunting whales but they are hunting for plastic, genius.

OK, so here’s the business model, first the company fishes out plastic bottles and other plastic debris from the city’s numerous canals using simple nets and their hands, what ever works. Second, when enough of this trash is collected the plastic is transformed into material to make a boat. Holy Christmas what a great idea, but that’s not where it stops. Third, and this is the genius, the new boat is used to fish for more plastic bottles & trash that in turn will build more boats!

If this catches on it could turn into a monster of a business. Imagine if other countries started doing this and the boats got big enough to go out to sea.

Their goal, to rid the world’s waters of plastic pollution. It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic trash is entering our waterways annually. My question is with all of the awareness out their of the harm plastic does to our environment who the hell is indiscriminately throwing plastic trash of any kind into our waterways?

The founder and captain Marius Smit is up to the task and states that he not only envisions a world of plastic-free waters but also a world where people understand that everyday trash, such as plastic bottles can be transformed into “a valuable raw material”.

This statement resonates with the efforts of Keller Slater who is taking the same concept but instead of turning plastic bottles into boats he is retriving discarded fishing nets and turning them into clothing. This same clothing can then be recycled and turned into clothing again. Hell it seems like these pioneers are on to something.

Since 2010 Plastic Whale has fished out more than 50,000 plastic bottles and over 10,000 kilos of various waste from the canals of Amsterdam according to Smit.

They have seven boats so far all made from recovered plastic and even give businesses and individuals plastic fishing tours, how cool is that.

Smit does not stop there, Plastic Whale takes the bottle caps and create beautiful mosaics on the floors of the boats. He started another company WasteBoards which makes unique skateboards from bottle caps.

His take on plastic and what he wants everyone to learn is plastic should not be regarded as valueless waste, but as valuable raw material. “The root of the problem, as we see it, is that people regard plastic as a disposable. We try to change people’s perceptions” Smit states.

All this indiscriminate discarding of plastic into waterways has caused a global problem in our oceans called “Plastic Soup” which is poisoning our sea life. It must stop and I believe Smit is on to something.

Knowing and understanding the problem is the first step. Be aware of what you are doing with your plastic when your done. Find out where to get it recycled responsibly. Support efforts like Marius Smit and maybe you could even start something in your state or country.

Bottom line, be part of the solution, not the problem. Whatever you do don’t throw any plastic into any water way thinking one bottle or one plastic bag won’t make much of a difference, it does.

We would love to hear from you and any ideas you have to stem the flow of plastics into our oceans or maybe you have seen or heard of someone else helping to solve this issue in a new way that you could share with the rest of us.

 

 

 

10 Things You Can Do To Reduce Plastics In Your Life

I recently wrote an article about how pro surfer Kelly Slater is doing some fantastic work helping to clean up our oceans by recycling millions of tons of discarded fishing nets and turning them into clothes. He mentions in the article how all manner of plastics are finding there way into our oceans and killing marine life.

Admittedly the majority of us can’t go out and start a recycling business but all of us can help in the reduction of our use of plastics. Plastics of all kinds have become such a huge part of our lives that most of us don’t even think about it anymore. From the one use grocery bags to every single item we buy that is wrapped or contained inside of plastic.

It really has become a worldwide problem. It was looked on as a great invention when introduced and it really has changed how we live but at what expense?

I’m sure most of us recycle in our towns by separating plastics from paper etc but only a few types of plastics can be recycled by most municipal governments. And the small fraction that does get recycled still requires a lot of energy and water which just is not a good thing, kind of like robbing from Paul to pay Peter.

The plastics that can’t be recycled ends up in landfills and oceans and takes hundreds of years to degrade not to mention the toxins they release into the environment.

In the end the best way to stem the flow of plastics into our environment is for each and every one of us to start being conscious of what we are buying and what it is being packaged in and if there is an alternative.

Here are just a few ideas to start with but what we’re really looking for is feedback with your ideas of how to eliminate as much plastic from our lives as we can. Imagine if every person on the face of this planet followed these and other ideas about limiting the use of plastics in their lives what a positive effect it would be on our fragile environment!

A good example is the town where we are located, Northampton, Mass recently passed a ban on single use plastic shopping bags, you now have to use paper.

1. Bring Your Own Shopping Bag

Yes, the lowly plastic shopping bag. We’ve come to the point of not even thinking about these items but they are really one use items and end up in the waste stream. According to one estimate somewhere between five billion and one trillion bags are used each year around the world. That’s a lot of trash for an item that can easily be eliminated simply by bringing your own bag. I believe most us are just to plain lazy to do this but when you think about it it’s very easy. It’s just a matter of taking some time to figure out how many bags you would need and buy them once. Every grocery store I go to have these bags for sale so it’s not like you have to go looking for them.

2. Stop Buying Bottled Water!

This really is a no brainer. We have all been brainwashed into thinking that we need to buy the “pure spring water” they are selling us in bottles. It’s complete BS, in my opinion. Where do you think they are getting all the millions and millions of gallons of water that are in those bottles? From our aquifers of course. If you have a well it’s the same water you get from your tap. If you have city water I’ll bet it’s just as good as the bottled water. The real problem is the bottles, what does get recycled cost us a lot and what is not recycled, you got it, it ends up in the never ending waste stream. How about you just buy a bottle and keep it filled with water, problem solved.

3. Bring Your Own Thermos to the Coffee Shop

Did you know that most coffee cups you get to go are usually lined with polyethylene, a type of plastic resin. Yes the outside feels like paper but if it was all paper your coffee sure would not stay in the cup. So in theory you can recycle plastics and paper but when you put them together like this most places lack the infrastructure to do so. Oh and don’t forget the lids and stirrers, both made of plastic and the coffee vendors that still use polystyrene foam cups. By bringing your own coffee mug to get filled you can avoid adding all of these waste products to our environment.

4. Choose Cardboard Packaging Where Ever You Can

When you are shopping there will be many times that you actually have a choice of buying a product that is packaged in a paper product instead of plastic. I’ll admit this is sometimes impossible but at least give it a shot. Paper is very easy to recycle and if it does end up in the landfill it degrades very rapidly compared to plastics.

5. Drinking Straws

These innocent looking products are completely useless and unnecessary but have become such a mainstay of our everyday lives that we don’t even think about them. These are single use items that always end up in the trash and never in my opinion are recycled. You don’t need a straw to drink your beverage so be proactive and tell your server that you don’t need one.

6. Microplastics In Facial Products

This is one I was completely unaware of. Much of the plastics that end up in our oceans and are inadvertently consumed by marine life are called microplastics. Microplastics are commonly added to consumer products like face wash and toothpaste. These tiny beads are intended to exfoliate which they are great at accomplishing but most wastewater treatment facilities are not able to remove them from the water. There are many biodegradable alternative products that can replace the ones you now use, just avoid the ones that have “polypropylene” or “Polyethylene” on the ingredients list.

7. Ditch That Disposable Razor

I never really understood the need for a disposable razor but I guess it’s just another way for the manufactures to sell more product. It just make more sense to buy a razor that takes disposable blades once and then only have to buy the blades. By doing this you are reducing the amount of plastic you are contributing to the waste stream dramatically. All disposable razors are mostly made of plastics.

8. Switch From Disposable Diapers to Cloth

I can just hear the wails from this one. Yes disposable diapers are easy to use, they don’t need to be cleaned and save so much time. They also are contributing an immense amount of waste into our environment and as far as I know there is no process that is available to recycle them. I don’t have scientific numbers to back this up but if you think of all the baby’s in the world and that most of them are using disposable diapers there must be million of tons of these ending up in our landfill every year. The disposable diaper was invented in 1948, unveiled in 1961 by Procter & Gamble and by 1970 American babies went through 350,000 tons of diapers!

9. Plastic Storage Bags

These little bags are great for so many things, from putting our lunch sandwiches in to freezing food in. One really easy way to reduce your use of plastic is to reuse these items. Unless you have stored a meat of some kind in them they can be washed and reused many times over.

10. Cutting Down or Eliminating Period Waste

Believe it or not there are a number of non-disposable products out there that can cut down on period waste like the Diva Cup, the Ruby Cup and the DIY-with-pride Reusable Pads. Using any of these products will reduce incredible amounts of plastic packaging that most pads and tampons are encased in.If you need a little more encouragement to switch Treehugger has an interesting article about Ruby Cup helping African schoolgirls who can’t afford disposable products get much needed supplies by what they call their “Buy one, Give one” program. If for some reason you are not in a position to give up tampons, consider skipping brands with plastic applicators.

So there’s 10 idea’s. Now it’s your turn. Let the rest of us know what you do to stem the flow of plastics into our enviroment.

 

Creating Clothing Made From Ocean Trash by Pro Surfer Kelly Slater

If you’ve been following us you know we are all about recycling and doing whatever it takes to reuse & recycle any and all products to help our environment in any way we can. So when we see someone pushing the envelope and finding new ways to use something that is a nuisance and hazard to our environment we are thrilled and want to shout from the rooftops.

There’s this pro surfer dude, Kelly Slater that has come up with the cool idea of using old discarded fishing nets and turning them into clothes! Now that’s thinking outside the box.  He went out and created his own company called Outerknown.

The label features a line of 100 percent recyclable clothing made from reclaimed fishing nets. “I created Outerknown to smash the formula” Slater said. The material his company produces from the fishing nets is called Econyl, a new type of nylon yarn that comes from old discarded nets, carpets and other nylon waste. The brand, Evolution Series includes board shorts and jackets.

if that’s not enough these clothes can be up-cycled over and over again into new clothing. “There are an infinite number of times the nylon can be broken down and re-born into new yarn without the loss of quality,” Outerknown noted on its website.

Figuring out a way to take what is waste and recycling it to create and build a business is cool in its own right but there’s more to the story that makes this business model so great. According to the Marine Mammal Center, abandoned fishing nets, also known as “ghost nets”, account for approximately 10 percent of all marine debris. Would you believe that a staggering 640,000 tons of these discarded nets are added to the oceans yearly? My first thought when I read this was what are the fishermen or whoever is discarding these products thinking of!

Not only are these nets bad in so many way’s to the ocean environment but these nets are a major plague on marine life. More than 100,000 marine mammals, fish, dolphins, sea lions, seals as well as birds die every year from the harmful effects of plastic fishing nets and trash in our oceans.

Slater has been outspoken on the threat of plastic waste for some time now and sits on the advisory board of the Sea Shepherds Conservation Society.

On an interview with CNN Slater had this to say “You have problems like not only oil spills and that kind of stuff but also the constant outpouring of plastics. Single use plastics all through the ocean, degrading, turning into little bits that are all eaten by the sea life, and they’re dying because their stomachs are full of stuff.”

Granted the Outerknown collection is on the pricey side but to produce a truly sustainable clothing line cost a lot more money to bring from the factory to the rack than the normal way of producing clothing. Outerknown has partnered with the Fair Labor Association which is the best standard for protecting workers throughout the supply chain. Additional, the clothing company has partnered with Bluesign, which is a sustainable textile auditing company that seeks to eliminate harmful substances from the beginning of the manufacturing process.

Kelly Slater has taken a really bad situation and figured out a way to turn it into something good. You can’t get much better than that.

Gee, I wonder what other waste is lurking out there that someone could turn into a usable product thus eliminating it from the environment? Any Ideas?

10 Tips To Help You Green Your Office

Going green is fast becoming a way of life for many of us at home but how often do we think of the offices where we work? If you haven’t really given it much thought now’s a good time to start. It’s easy to integrate simple routines into your work day that will help all of us to lessen the impact we have on our Eco-system. Contrary to the popular belief that going green will cost you more, the reality is you usually will save money in the long run. So let’s take a look at 10 simple ways to go green in the office.

 

1 – Shut down Computers & Printers When Not Being Used

Just about all of us in just about every business now use computers; it has become our central tool. We all too often forget how much energy these machines use and leave them on. Optimize the energy settings on these and other devices can save a lot of energy over the long run. You can set computers to their energy saving settings while using them and shut them down when you leave for the day. Don’t be fooled by the “standby” setting, the unit will continue to draw power in this mode. Don’t forget the printers, same thing, turn them off when leaving but remember to power down ink jet printers because they need to seal the cartridges. Let’s make this easy, put everything you use at your desk on a power strip and just push one button when leaving and your done!

2 – Go Paperless Wherever You Can

Even though we sell Eco-friendly ink and toners for printers we don’t pull any punches and will always give you the best thing you can do for the environment. You should go digital where ever this makes sense for you. There are plenty of ways to go digital now with products like Dropbox (make this a link). By using this product you can save just about everything you used to print and store in a file cabinet in electronic form. Anyone in the world that has access to the product can open the files contained within.  Depending on the settings you chose other members of your team can view them, edit them and add or delete files.  Using software like this you not only save on paper but also on office space because you greatly reduce the amount of filing cabinets you need. One other piece of software that helps on saving paper is a product called Greenprint  (make a link to this)which helps to eliminate blank pages from documents before printing.

3 – Choose a Font That Saves on Ink

Your first reaction may very well be like mine, how much can just changing fonts save me. It can save a ton! A company called Ecofont has a product that can save you up to 50% on printing cost. Ecofont leaves small holes in each font that is not visible to the naked eye thus saving on ink. There is also other options you can choose that saves paper by printing without unnecessary images or printing only small selections from a long email conversation. Saving 50% on any line item cost in your office is a big deal by anyone’s standard. They offer three versions, Home Edition, 3-Pack and Enterprise edition. This is probably the easiest and most cost effective way to save paper, ink, and money in your office.

 

4 – Use Smart Power strips

The use of Power Strips on all of your equipment will help to curb the “Phantom Load” which can save you a surprising amount on your electric bill. Just shutting off your laser printer when you’re not using it, for example, could save you as much as $120 annually. Imagine if you have a fleet of laser printers and you did this to all of them, the savings can really add up

5 – Electricity Monitor

Go to your local hardware store and get an Electricity Monitor. Some local libraries will even loan you one so you can see where the energy hogs are in your office. Again for just a few dollars you could very easily save hundreds every year.

6 – Switch to LED Light Bulbs

This is an obvious one but it’s so important it belongs in the top 10 ways to green your office. Change those light bulbs to the new LED light bulbs. They give the same light for less than one-quarter of the electricity and can last for up to 20 years. Yes they do cost more than a standard light bulb but how long do they last? This one is really a no brainer.

7 – Buy less stuff!

Reduce, re-use and recycle. This is a tough one for many of us but by buying less we are helping to lower our carbon foot print. All the products we buy have to be manufactured somewhere and where there is manufacturing you can bet there is some form of pollution going on.

8 – Avoid Unnecessary Printing

Only print what you absolutely need to. If you really take a look at what you are printing you may be surprised at how much you print a week and then toss the printed material in the trash. Any web page or document can be saved to your computer or in one of many cloud based services.

9 –Choose Eco-friendly office supplies

Before buying office supplies the next time take a few minutes and see if there is an alternative that you can buy that is Eco-friendly. There still seems to be a misconception out there that if you go green it will cost more, that is not always the case.

10 – Repair Your Computers

Repairing your computers is a great way to go green and save you a ton of money. Our generation seems fixated on always having to buy the newest and the fastest. It’s amazing the upgrades that can be installed on computers to being them back to better than new condition and run faster to in many cases for much less than it would cost you to buy new.

We truly hope some of these suggestions will get you going on the path to a greener office and as always we would love to hear from you on how you have taken steps to go green in your office. The way I look at it if we all share our ideas it makes it easier for all of us.

Burn Wood Instead Of Coal To Produce Electricity!

The Dumbest idea for 2015, burn wood to produce electricity in place of coal!

Ink & Toner Solutions is in the business of recycling and reusing spent printer cartridge to save them from the landfill saving millions of barrels of oil a year which helps save our resources and cut down on our carbon foot print. So when we see our elected officials proposing something as stupid as this it makes us feel like were fighting a losing battle.

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Could Someone Be Stealing Your Groundwater

 

Legalized Stealing

Did you know our precious ground water is being depleted for the express purpose of lining the pockets of big industry? Nestle is one of the biggest offenders as you can see from this recent post by MintPressNews.com. California is in one of the largest droughts they have ever seen and Nestle is sucking 80 million gallons of water out of their aquifers and selling it back to them! Hell they are even going into Canada and stealing it from them, you can read about it here. I’m not sure where the bottled water craze started but it is becoming one of the biggest ecological problems of this century. Were we the people really responsible for it just because of the convenience? That’s what I would like to talk about today, its been on my mind for some time and I feel we all have to do something about it.

Is There a Solution?

If we did in fact cause it for no other reason than convenience shame on us. What did we do before the “bottled water”? Brought water with us if we thought we would need it of course. It really would be that easy to stop this ecological mess. Big business would stop sucking the water out of our aquifers because it would be the old supply & demand routine, nobody buying, stop producing it. I guess the question comes down to is there enough of us willing to stop buying this product?

It used to be if we wanted to carry water with us we would simply use a container, fill it with water and bring it with us, why can’t we do that now? There is so much wrong with bottled water it boggles the mind. From the oil it takes to make millions of these bottles to businesses stealing local water supplies, it has to stop.

The Devastating Effect on Our Environment

First of all the companies that are supplying the water are going into states and drilling down into the aquifer and draining them, here is yet another example in Florida. There have been reports of sink holes appearing and whole houses being lost down the hole. The worst part is it took millions of years for these underwater aquifer’s to become what they are, its part of our earth and the way it works. It is part of nature and we all need them, plants, animals and humans. I’m surely not a scientist but it does not take much of an imagination to think about what might happen if we deplete these.

There are many examples of these companies move into a location, negotiate a deal with the authorities and start pumping water at little to no cost. The residents get nothing, the town might get a small payment but in some cases get nothing and the company that is doing the drilling gets to sell a product that cost them almost zero to produce and sell it for huge obscene profits. What the hell’s wrong with this picture?

If this scenario isn’t bad enough, we now have the millions of bottles that have to be produced to put the water in. Holy Christmas, this is just as bad as the problem of sucking our aquifers dry. Many of these empty bottles end up in our land fills, on the side of the road and in our rivers. This problem has really become a ecological nightmare, we must stop it.

How, just stop buying the water. Is it really to much trouble to just buy a few water containers, walk over to our facets and fill them up when we are going out? Have we become that lazy? The gym where I go has installed a water station that you can fill up your water bottle and it has a counter on it that tells us how many plastic water bottles we have saved by doing this. In one gym the counter is well over 50,000 and it has been installed less than a year. Imagine if all gyms did this. Imagine if we all did this. Imagine if no one bought bottled water any more. The depletion of our sacred aquifer’s would be saved.

Ways to Help

Our goal at Ink & Toner Solutions is to help in any way we can with recycling and reusing products. We reuse spent printer cartridges which helps keep them out of the landfill and saves millions of gallons of oil each year. In our Northampton Computer Repair store we strongly advise of repairing computers and printers rather than buy new for as long as possible. We are in the process of launching a new program that will allow consumers to lease to own their own laptops and tablets which is not a new idea but what is new is we will only offer refurbished machines. Again this will save on so many resources which is what we have to all think about going forward.
We are looking for new ideas revolving around conserving, recycling and reusing. Please give us your feedback and ideas you may have on solutions to these global problems. We really are in this all together, none of us will be insulated when water runs out or it has become so scarce and precious that big business will be charging us outrageous amounts for every drop. But that’s another post in and of itself.

The Day The Printer Died!

Can you imagine a day when we no longer have to cut down millions of trees a year so we can produce paper for printing? In my humble opinion that day will come. Back in the late 80’s and early 90s there was a lot of talk about the “paperless office”. The personnel computer was here and we were then introduced to the ink jet and laser printer which could be connected to the computer. What a marvelous invention, gone were the days of the electric type writer and all of the manual corrections that went with that form of printing. Now we could create documents that were easy to correct & save to a computer. But wait, now we could also print just about anything we found on that new platform, the internet. So instead of ushering in the paperless office we created offices that were producing much more printed pages than before.

 

So what happened was simple, when you make something really really easy to use people, will use it more and more. I have no scientific proof for this but I know it to be true. Think about it, before ink jet printers we had the electric typewriter and of course we made mistakes. Mistakes back then were corrected with a thing called whiteout ink or tape. For those of you too young to remember the whiteout ink was in a small bottle with a tiny brush. When you made a mistake you would have to stop, back the paper up in the printer, dab some whiteout on your mistake, blow on it to make sure it was dry, manually turn the paper back to the position of the mistake and start typing again. And then came the next great invention, whiteout on a roll, roll your mistakes away. Even with the fastest typeset this was still slow going. The end result, you only printed what you had to.

 

With the modern ink jet or laser printer we connect it to a computer that has a program installed that lets us type using our computer & keyboard. Making a mistake now means you simply go to the mistake, hit the delete button and retype. Spelling error, no problem, run your spell checker. Want to know how many words in that document, easy, run your program that checks the word count. The boss wants multiply copies, no need for carbon paper anymore, just enter the number of copies you want and presto, out they come on the printer. So what do you think happened to the “paperless office”? It went right down the tubes. People actually printed more, lots more, like crazy more.

 

This was not only limited to the office, when I got into this business in 2004 producing home photo’s was the rage. Kids would also print everything they seen when on line, I actually had mothers tell me their kids were using up all the ink they were buying on this. Not to mention the mothers were printing every recipe they seen and who knows what the fathers were printing, fishing tips maybe. A printing craze ensued.

 

That’s then and now is now. Here’s my point, even though my business Ink & Toner Solutions is in the business of selling ink and toner cartridges for these printers, what I would like to propose is kill your printer. I know you’re sitting there thinking this guy must be crazy, he’s advocating something that would potentially kill his business. That may be but what’s the right thing to do?  CVS did the right thing when they stopped selling cigarettes. They lost millions in revenue, this was one of their biggest profit centers but they made a hard decision and did the right thing. Selling a product that is killing people went completely against what CVS was all about.

 

When I started Ink & Toner Solutions my reason was to sell high quality Eco-friendly ink and toner cartridges that helps to keep them from ending up in the landfills. We do this by reusing the spent printer cartridges and remanufacture them to original specifications. It was my way of contributing to saving our resources and reusing and recycling a product. Well times have changes and there are better ways to save our documents than printing them and saving a hard copy. There are excellent products available to everyone from the individual home owner to a large corporation that will save and store any and all information you can think of.

 

In my next post I’ll go over some of the options out there that just may help you not to print so much and help to save some of those trees.