What do you do with empty toner cartridges? Although there is much buzz about living green and being eco-friendly, many of the modern conveniences that people today enjoy are not exactly good for the environment. Packaging materials like plastics and Styrofoam are fast filling up the world’s landfills and sea beds. The same holds true for our electronic gadgets and peripherals. Although we cannot do away with most of these things, there are ways through which we can lessen their impact on the environment. For example, the life cycle of toner cartridge packages can be prolonged so that they remain useful and stay out of the landfills for a longer time. About a million toner cartridges are thrown away every day. Making the conscious effort to put one less toner cartridge in the trash can go a long way in preventing further environmental damage. This begins at home too, especially if you have a home office.
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To keep your toner cartridge useful for a longer time, try the following techniques:
Shake, shake, shake.
Don’t always believe the indicator on your printer. Just because it flashes to indicate that you are low on ink does not mean that you really need to replace your cartridge. In most cases, the sensor reads your cartridge as empty because of the clumping of ink particles. Take your toner cartridge out of your printer. Hold it horizontally with each hand on one end of the cartridge. Shake it from side to side to redistribute the ink particles. When you put it back into your printer, you will find that there is still enough ink to last you more than a few printed pages.
Change your print resolution.
You do not have to go high res all the time. You can change your print settings to print on econo mode to save on toner. The lower your print resolution settings are, the less toner you need. This stretches your cartridge’s printing capacity. You might even find that your print output surpasses the maximum print pages indicated in your cartridge’s packaging.
Refurbish your cartridges.
There are companies that take your old toner cartridges for refurbishing. They will take these cartridges apart and replace any parts that are worn out. The cartridges will be refilled with ink and then resealed and packaged. This practice does not only keep the cartridge from getting tossed in the trash. This also saves you a whole lot of money. Price comparisons show that you can save about 30% to 50% on your toner cartridge costs. And yes, it’s a good practice for the benefit of the environment too. Saving the environment one toner cartridge at a time will be worth a cause.
Add appeal to your home office by keeping it “green”
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Maddie K. says
Toner is so expensive so getting every little bit a use is important too. I think that from a financial end to recycling the cartridges is good too. I send ours back to the company and they ‘refurb’ them and I get back a little money for every cartridge I return.
Great tips! I recently bought a new printer and while it was a great deal, the ink cartridges run out much quicker than I’m used to. I will definitely be using the tis to extend their life and replace them more inexpensively. Plus I’ll be helping the environment at the same time!
Maria Iemma says
We recycle our toner cartridges at work all the time. Everyone has to do a bit to save our environment and resources.
md kennedy says
Great pointers, but I would add one more: Print less! I believe we all print way more than we have to – think twice before you press that print button!
Paula Weintraut says
I always took my cartridges out and saved them to recycle and found some that had ink left in them. Some made a mess the shake them hint is good for everyone to know, I was just thinking they were emty and time to replace.