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Most printer users preferred purchasing new equipment instead of just replacing its empty cartridges with a new set. But having a new printer only means that your old one must go into disposal. If it doesn't even count on you the sentimental value of your printer buddy, then why not think about the impacts it can bring to the environment once this junk of your is not properly discarded.

Printer equipments, from inside and out are all made of non decomposable materials, mainly plastics. Of course it doesn't only work with just plastic components, there are rubbers and metals inside its mechanism that makes the whole machine. However, discussing about its components isn't our topic for this post, our concern is how can we properly get rid of with our old but not obsolete, printer buddy. Nowadays, a typical printer are often thought of as a disposable equipment, indeed it is, every appliances has their limit from which we have to disposed them of. Especially the consumables particularly the laser toner and ink cartridges that every printer consumed.

To help find a way or think of a possible solution on how you can get rid of your old printer equipments as well as the empty or used cartridges, let's have a simple list of how you can either disposed or reuse them.

If you value your printer that much but it's not working properly as much as you wanted, then why not make a craft out of it. Reuse it and make something unique yet helpful, to cite an example, I saw an article over the net from which a printer chassis was used to create a mailbox. Well that is something I've never thought of doing, and it's really awesome. Try to think of other ideas and craft where you can make use of your old printer, from its chassis down to its smallest component.

Cartridges, as they are just small containers can be used as house ornaments, or you could grow an herb from it that you can use as an ornament in the kitchen while having some fresh spices and herb supplies. Also, a dash of creativity will do the trick for you to think of a wonderful masterpiece out of these empty printer cartridges. There are a lot of art works and exhibits wherein they have featured an art piece that used toner and ink cartridges as a medium.

If you don't have that much talent and creative inside you, then go GREEN and recycle those materials. With the cartridges, it's not advisable to refill it and re-install on a printer. As it can lead much trouble to your printer, than you getting bothered by the expense of purchasing replacement cartridges. If you want to literally save and cut down your printing expenses, then opt for the alternative, they're not just refilled alone, re-manufactured cartridges are environmentally beneficial. These recycled printer cartridges are considered as eco-friendly toner cartridges and ink cartridges, providing cost-efficient printing solution while helping save the environment at the same time.

For those who knew about recycling centers around their areas, you can send them out to their facilities in exchange of some bucks. That lives you with no other reason not to be responsible for the environment and be creative as well.

 
 
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Proper disposal is a very essential task that most of us often neglect. Probably some of us were just being lazy to do it properly, which results to harmful effects due to improperly discarding wastes. Plastic materials are none-biodegradable, hence it will take so much time and energy to decompose these matters. These plastic wastes can contaminate the environment even before these materials break down.

If we can't do a thing to reduce the number of years a single plastic waste requires to decompose, then maybe we can at least diminish the use of it on our daily lifestyles. Any individual is part of a whole, and if you think that your actions doesn't even count, then you'd be wrong. Being eco-friendly is something that we should be proud of, embracing green practices is a lot better than anything else.

While there are wastes that are accepted by your neighbor-recycling bins, still there are plastic waste materials that requires a different way of recycling. E-waste for example are accepted by selected organizations available in your areas, and unless you have a special idea to recycle this worn out high-tech materials there's no other reason why you should not send them out. For home-based professionals or someone who takes his jobs at home, you are not exempted to accumulate waste. Especially for someone who often used a printer. Paper wastes are easy to handle, as there are a lot of recycling plants that will accept those, what you should think about are the plastic materials it consumed. Empty and used printer cartridges must be, and always should be discarded properly. If you know any organization or recycling programs that accept those cartridges then try sending them out, and you might just earn money from it.

Manufacturers do include safety guidelines and instructions on how to properly disposed their products. It's not only the empty cartridges that you should see as waste, there you have the bulky packaging which can be made of plastic wrappers, styrofoam, tapes and boxes. Whilst it's more concerning that the cartridges can be potentially harmful for the environment. That's why you should definitely send them out to any recycling programs or organizations that are thoroughly experienced when it comes to recycling printer cartridges. In addition, aside from promoting cartridge recycling, you can also avail of these eco-friendly toner cartridges and ink cartridges from some online retailers, or any nearby printer shops around your area. That's like hitting two birds with one stone, you get to be more environmentally responsible and cut down your printer expenses at the same time.

If by any chance your respective supplier or manufacturer doesn't provide a guideline on how to properly disposed their products which you bought from them, although I doubt there is any, you can browse the net to find online services. But I'm pretty sure that there's an available recycling center near you, that will accept selected waste materials from your own bin.

 
 
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Saving is different from turning green, but you can have them both by becoming green at home or at the office which leads to a lot of savings. Being responsible for the environment while keeping your self focus on greener ways can be a potential factor to save money and reduce accumulated waste. How can you switch your working environment to become greener, and where should you start? I may not be the best when it comes to providing ideas that can help you go green, but at least I'm effectively conveying its purpose and means.

Start lowering energy consumption
Any office requires double or even triple power supply over a typical house. It needs at least 24 hours of continuous energy flow to sustain units that need to be working all day long. Computers, lights, office appliances, printers and all equipments that simultaneously sip energy from the outlets. One way to resolved this is by using a power strip, you can group all the equipments that works similarly into a single power strip. So whenever these units are not needed, you can switch off the power strip with just a click of a button.

Limit office supplies
You may not notice, but believe me there are employees taking supplies from the office bringing them home. If you'll try to limit their resources, they will gradually learn to save on using what's available unless they can provide extra for their own. It is also helpful to make your employees responsible on saving materials. Just like with paper usage, if there's a limited pack of paper materials reserved for printing, tendency is your employees will only print what's important and definitely required. This will result to reducing office supply cost as well as paper waste in the office.

Turn waste into money
There are several materials which you assumed as waste wherein actually you can use them to make money. One good example are the printer cartridges. Any office does have a printer, I mean who doesn't it's a necessity, thus you accumulate empty or used printer cartridges. Do you know that there are several organizations and programs that are so much willing to accept those you consider wastes, and they can even pay you for surrendering those. Moreover, if you want to save more on your overall printer cost, then opt for eco-friendly toner cartridges or ink cartridges which are truly a great savings provider.

Make a switch
If you can replace some of your office equipments or any materials that you think consumes much energy and cost, then it would be better to invest on machines that are energy efficient and requires a low maintenance cost. It does need money to invest on these office supplies and equipments, but in the long run you'll it suitable that you made a switch. Go GREEN your office now.

 
 
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Have you tried using recycled paper materials in your office for printing purposes? Or have you tried recycling used printouts and other paper materials? If you haven't tried doing so, or have no plan of doing such thing, well reading this post would be better for you.

Do you know that when you sum up all the forests in the world, about 80% of it had been logged? According to statistics, 40% of these trees from logging goes to paper manufacturing process, while the other half falls on some businesses that require wood as raw materials. In addition, the industry of paper materials is considered as the fifth largest consumer of energy.

So for every sheet of paper you used or wasted, you also dwindle an amount of energy and natural material. Likewise, the more you re-used or recycled papers, the better you utilize and extend the worth of every wood and energy consumed in the production of these materials.

Paperless printing and eco-friendly printing practices have been promoted worldwide, and today there are several campaigns and organizations supporting the said movement. Imagine, even from its production, hazards and pollution are emitted during the process, which results in severe destruction of the ozone layer. Also, the notable amount of waste we accumulate annually is definitely alarming. Do you think the future generations would still have enough space to build their self a home if right now we require more landfills to dump our waste.

What could be the benefits of using recycled paper materials? First, using re-process papers is cost effective, and second, it is indeed beneficial for the environment. A wise consumer would opt for products that give savings without compromising the quality. Companies would also benefit from using such materials, it can cut down their office supplies cost by simply using recycled paper products. Printing in the office doesn't always require high-grade paper materials since most of the time employees are just printing drafts and initial reports.

To save more on your office printing expense, equipped your printers with eco-friendly toner cartridges or ink cartridges. These consumables are also made from recycled components that came from customers who returned used and empty cartridges. Isn't it nice, to save money while responsibly helping the environment. Well here's another that will boost you more to switch on usng recycled paper materials and printer consumables.

According to Waste Watch,
            "Every ton of 100% recycled paper bought in place of virgin fiber paper, about 30,000 liters of water and 3000-4000              kwh of electricity are saved."

Let's all promote paperless printing as well as the campaign on using recycled paper materials. So we can reduce the need to cut trees, and diminish paper waste dumped in the landfills. Recycling is one of the great solution to help us save the environment and also our pockets.

 
 
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More than 30 years ago, personal computers are too expensive, exorbitantly priced that not every house can afford to purchase one for their own. But look at it right now, cheap, very much affordable and we even have a thousand of options and models to choose from. Computers before were just sitting on houses of wealthy families, businesses and companies. Now, personal or desktop computers are considered an essential equipment that every house or every individual can afford to have.

Much like the 3D technology, the emergence of 3D printers became a hit in several manufacturing industries. It was intended mainly for production, what to produce depends on your own ideas or decisions. Actually 3D printing technology already existed a few years ago, it was used by large manufacturing companies in the production of several materials. But technology evolves and people get curious, which results to the invention of less expensive yet still costly but considerably smaller versions of 3D printers.

In the business industry, 3D printers are indeed a very useful machine in terms of several factors, it is worthy for a business or manufacturing company to invest on having such equipment. Now, many are trying to show its worth and value for the masses, just like what they have done with desktop computers. Revolution wise, computers before were really huge, maybe about the size of a room, but now we can have a personal or desktop computer that can share a space on our desk. If you try to think about it, maybe those bulky and large 3D printer equipments can also be innovated and re-invented into something smaller and cheaper but still capable of functioning as a full 3D printer.

A Kickstarter member, Mr. Brook Drumm, started a campaign to raise some capital for his project on building a 3D printer that could possibly fit on a kitchen counter. Imagine the way we adapt on the computer revolution, what if just like it, three-dimensional printing can be close at hand for any individual or every house. Just think about it, if you have one of this technology you can print anything you would need, as long as the printer is capable of producing, you know there's always a limitation to everything, just be realistic.

This technology, although sometimes misunderstood, will not replace conventional printing, it is indeed falls into the same category where it prints to create an output, but these two technologies are distinctly different, and applies in different ways. All 3D printers use filaments or plastic materials to produce anything in three dimensions, while a typical printer uses eco-friendly toner cartridges or ink cartridges to create two-dimensional printouts. Thus, it makes sense why these two technologies can never be compared.

I myself would love to have my own 3D printer, and you have read my previous post about the 3Doodler 3D printer, you'll surely be enticed as well to have one.

 
 
The 3D technology creates massive changes from the printing industry, it allowed many aspiring creative builders to bring their 2D drawings and ideas into three dimensional figures and objects. Before, it started as manufacturing small-sized materials, then gradually it changes and evolved which results to its application on creating heavy and bigger stuffs from the controversial 3D guns up to home building materials. It is indeed a breakthrough in the print technology, and although it hasn't totally reached the masses with its expensive price, many have brought their own ideas into realities through this technology.

Now for those who haven't tried using a 3D printer, well you're not alone as you can include me on the list, here's a great surprise for all of us who want's to create our own 3D-made design. Let's all give our praise to WobbleWorks, by developing the very first 3D-printing pen for a much affordable value. Behold the 3Doodler, a 3D printer with the size of a pen, although it's much bulky to grip that's definitely considerable. The 3Doodler device is also equipped with the heated extrusion head of a typical 3D printer and uses a thread of ABS/PLA plastic filament to create three-dimensional printouts.

The 3Doodler is effectively useful for creative doodlers as it allows freehand drawing in the thin air, creating structures and 3D models as sturdy as the ones constructed using the MakerBot 3D printer. With this device, you don't have to create a three-dimensional or CAD model that you need to print on your printer, thus you save the cost of consuming inks or toners with your eco-friendly toner cartridges and ink cartridges. Just create your own 3D design as simple as like you're doodling, the only difference now is that you don't create your 2D drawing in a sheet of paper, instead you create it in three dimensions by sketching in space.

Unlike any typical 3D printers that you just have to wait after submitting the CAD model from your desktop to your printer, and then let it do all the printing, with the 3Doodler, there's a technique you need to master to be able to create a nice 3D object. There are two buttons provided on the front which allows the control of the filament extrusion. The 3Doodler is available through KickStarter, details and price are provided through this link. The company is still working on developing a 3Doodler version that can be powered by a battery unit. I'll keep you posted about this great invention as I'm also thinking of getting one for myself.
 
 
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If you're familiar with FilaBot, a machine that creates filament for 3D printers from old recyclable plastic materials, which was also featured here in PrintGreen last month. A new version of this machine has been created, it's not actually an upgraded version of the Filabot, but it's a machine that works just the same with a different mechanism. Still it is intended to produce substrates for 3D printers that use plastic materials to create three-dimensional outputs.

Designed by Marcus Thymark, a German Engineer and Inventor, this filament-producing machine called FilaMaker can grind up and reprocess plastic waste materials. As of now, Thymark's project still needs some improvement, by integrating an additional melter and extruder which the machine lacks. Based on a hand-cranked, he made a plastic shredder with the use of some stainless steel which acts as the teeth of the machine that powerfully grind up each pieces of plastic materials you feed.

Thymark explained his invention :
            "The FilaMaker can handle different kinds of plastic, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene                 (PE), and polypropylene (PP). The design of the machine allows the user to handle materials in different forms                     (even plastic bags), and to easily switch from one material to another. "

With the use of the FilaMaker, 3D printing enthusiast can now be able to reproduce filament materials for their printers just by recycling plastic waste piling up in the bin. Even your previous 3D projects like figures and miniatures can be grind up with the use of this machine, so you re-use those filaments and create a new design.

Aside from this great inventions, if you really want to go green with your printing habit, whether that's a 3D printer or just a conventional printer, there are ways from which you can turn your regular printing practice. With 3D printers, make sure you dispose of properly those toxic materials that should be discarded. For conventional printers either laser type or ink type, you can return your empty or used ink cartridges to your respective manufacturer so they can recycle those. There are several major printer manufacturing companies that are developing eco-friendly toner cartridges and ink cartridges for their customers, to cut down their printing expense and also save the environment.

 
 
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How can we actually say that a product is indeed Eco-friendly? Products claiming they're hundred percent made from recycled organics and materials, yet they look bulky with those plastic wrappers and packaging. Are they really Eco-friendly? Maybe if we look at it this way, such that the product was actually a recycled matter and soon it will decompose once reaching their limit. But what are going to do with those plastic wrappers and packages, unless they're also decomposable or organic, they'll soon bring harm to the environment if not properly dispose.

Styrofoam and plastic packaging are not environment-friendly, thus if you try to purchase a product with a mark that says '100% made from recycled materials', yet it was packed in bubble wraps or Styrofoam, that's a bit absurd. They're promoting green products, but they still incorporate non-degradable materials into the packaging. Thus it makes sense, that recycled consumables with less packaging are more Eco-friendly.

Paper supplies that are used for printing, recycled or not, are necessities in most offices. If you would prefer to purchase recycled paper sheets, then it is much better not only for your office environment but also for the environment. What makes it a good choice for your office? First they are cost-efficient, thus saving you some good bucks and cutting down your office supplies cost, and second, you promote green printing practices not only to yourself but extending the benefits of it to all your employees.

Shopping for your weekly or monthly groceries, whatever you prefer, is one of the factors why you get tons of plastic bags in your house, and mind you, not all recycling plants and organizations accept every kind of plastic waste. Thus, it leaves you with no other choice but to discard all those waste, which then goes to the landfills. So what makes you a green and better shopper? Bring your own reusable bags, a big one so you jammed everything you need to buy from the store. Avoid purchasing consumables and products in plastic wrappers, unless you're fond of collecting waste. What's good about products with less packaging is the fact that you don't have to read any tiny-font descriptions of what is it, just look at it.

Printer's, everyone own a printer buddy at home, offices or business environments, it became a necessity equipment actually. Inks and toners, let's set them aside, as there's still no solid solution that can replace those chemicals to create greener printouts. But, printer cartridges can be recycled, even the major brands and big names in the print industry accept returned cartridges to undergo recycling process. Although the packaging is still the same, there are some manufacturers working on providing a better packaging or at least less packaging if they will allow. These eco-friendly toner cartridges and ink cartridges are made from empty and used printer consumables, refurbished and recycled to re-use.

Manufacturers can do a lot of things and a way better solution to their products packaging. It's just that they use it for promotional purposes, imprinting brand names, logo and stuffs like that into the box and wrappers. What could be the use of a green eco-friendly product, if it's inside a harmful packaging, it's like eating junk food to suffice your hunger but you don't get nutritional value.

 
 
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Feliz Día de San Valentín or simply Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Well there's a lot of nifty gifts and ideas you guys should think about this special day. PrintGreen is a green journal for eco-friendly stuffs and related things, but since it's a special day for everyone or not, giving credits to those bitter folks, let's have something related to this heart season.

If you're stuck on finding the best gift that would definitely melt your special someone's heart, then why not spend some good money this Valentine's day with a personal touch. One of the trending technology in the print industry is the 3D or three-dimensional printing. For those who haven't heard, 3D printing doesn't only involve molten plastic materials in order to create objects in three dimensions. Traditionally it was, but nowadays 3D printers are now used not only for plastic figures or stuffs, but also for food preparations, creating artificial human organs, and many more.

The emergence of 3D printing technology has become more innovative and surprising, from small toys and miniatures up to large-scale buildings, the application of three-dimensional printing is never ending. Now for this Valentine's Day, the said technology again has something to offer for us. A famous store particularly the FabCafe situated in Shibuya has offered an interesting workshop for aspiring chocolatiers to learn how to create an edible guilty pleasure treat of someone else's face. Explaining it simply, you scan your face or somebody else's face to have a three dimensional digital model which then be printed using the ProjetHD 3D Printer. The printed material will serve as the mold from which the chocolate will be poured to fill the form and then let it solidify either by placing it inside the fridge or just let it rest on a cool room temperature.

Just place it inside a box and you are all set for the Valentine's Day. Make your special someone happy by making his or her own mini chocolate molded face. To make it more special, along with the box of chocolates you can also include a note card filled with some sweet nothings, printed using recycled paper materials and eco-friendly toner cartridges or ink cartridges depending on your printer. Have a great Valentine's Day this February everyone, stay lively and always be environmentally friendly.



 
 
It may not be too common to hear about bio-based inks for printing, based from the recent years there were development and innovations with regards to this matter and most were considered good news. Through those innovations we've greatly improved and change the way we print, but the output still remains the same, even paper materials and other medias used for printing are still being consumed. How are those changes can be beneficial for the environment? Unless the chemicals particularly the inks and toners were improved, wherein a breakthrough to form environment-friendly pigments and toners or dyes had been developed.

According to some University researchers, a new form of color production has been developed. It was known as "physical color" named by the scientific community. Amazingly, this breakthrough allows the production of colour images without the need for inks, dyes or such chemicals.

The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor, also the Head of the research lab, Jay Guo, explained:
        "Instead of coating a material with ink or chemicals, lab uses precisely inscribed grooves to yield an observable             color. Rather than using these chemicals, you could basically emboss the structure — a very ‘green’ print                         technology.”

Aside from the great fact that all printed products made through this innovation are all environment friendly, the problem of fading prints was also eliminated due to the advance coloring techniques applied. The process which is also quite similar to traditional color production was called "Structural Color". Traditionally, colors are produced when molecules absorb light, but with structural color, nano-cavities trap light at specific wavelengths depending on the depths of cavities.

The structure of cavities allows them to display colors, thus in a way it can be called a physical effect since it is the structure that is being altered rather using the molecules to create a chemical effect from which colors can possibly be produced.

This innovation is certainly a discovery worth to improve, the progress may lead to far more better technology that can be applied in several scientific fields. It seems that those eco-friendly toner cartridges and ink cartridges aren't all alone when it comes to promoting greener printing practices. I hope that this technology will soon be a reachable as well as an affordable printer consumables for the masses. For the full details about the research you may refer on this link.

 

    Author

    Fiel Mori Promotes Eco Friendly stuffs and creating environment friendly articles for everyone @PrintGreen



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