Switching to eco-friendly printing and 7 ways to make your office more sustainable

Feb 14, 2020 | Environment, Ethics, Green economy, Recycling, Sustainable

While the world is undoubtedly headed in a digital direction, printing is still important –  with a view to being sustainable in our everyday lives, we should all be reducing our footprint when it comes to our office/home printers.

Traditionally, printers are not eco-friendly because their regular petroleum-based inks are bad for the environment as they release VOCs, which are “Volatile Organic Compounds” and contain harmful substances that evaporate into the atmosphere during the process of printing.

Eco-friendly printers, however, use cartridge-free ink (they often come in reusable bottle containers) and are compact, energy-efficient and designed to easily be recycled so that they don’t result in toxic e-waste. Eco-friendly inks are also often vegetable-based which is good for the environment and still result in high-quality prints.

Deforestation to produce paper is another big factor that comes along with printing, but fortunately there are more sustainable options like FSC certified paper. FSC stands for ‘Forest Stewardship Council’, which is an organisation that works to promote the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide. The paper they certify is not the same as recycled paper as it’s composed of virgin tree fibres (meaning the wood pulp used to make this paper is sourced from a well-managed forest with no deforestation involved), making it even more eco-friendly!

We’ve sourced and compiled a list of eco-friendly printers, inks and FSC certified printer paper designed to up your eco warrior game and lower your environmental footprint.

 

Eco-friendly printers

(Listed in alphabetical order)

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

This printer has up to 250-sheet paper handling capabilities, is compatible with vegetable ink and has a refillable ink tank.

Available on Makro (online)

Brother compatible ink: Available on Takealot

 

2. Epson Ecotank L3050 Ink Tank System Printer

The compact inkjet with a refillable tank can greatly reduce printing costs as it comes with up to two years’ worth of ink included in the box and is compatible with vegetable ink.

Available on HiFi Corp (ink included)

3. Epson Ink Tank System Printer L382

This refillable ink tank pinter produces quality results and can deliver thousands of pages at an ultra-low-cost. Its vegetable ink compatibility makes it eco-friendly. 

Available on HiFi Corp

Epson compatible ink: Available on Takealot

4. Epson L3110 3 in 1 Ecotank Printer

This compact model provides for printing in high volumes and it is compatible with vegetable inks. Its ink tank is refillable. 

Available on HiFi Corp (ink included)

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

The HP Ink Tank Wireless prints thousands of pages with its high-capacity, refillable ink tank system that runs on eco-friendly ink. 

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.