Participating in an ink cartridge recycle program is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your home and office. If you use an inkjet printer, chances are that you are throwing away several ink cartridges every year. Rather than allowing these items to end up in landfills, it makes since to recycle them instead of throwing them away.
Different Ways to Recycle Used Ink Cartridges
There are several types of ink cartridge recycle programs. If you are ready to start recycling ink jets, it's a good idea to find out what options are available and choose the solution that makes the most sense to you. Be sure to choose a recycling program that is convenient and fits your lifestyle so that you are likely to continue to participate in an ongoing basis. Otherwise, even if you have the best of intentions now, you'll likely fall back into the habit of tossing out your empty cartridges when they run out of ink.
Cartridge Recycling Drop Off Programs
Most office supply stores accept ink cartridges for recycling, as do stores that sell similar items. This can be a convenient option if you visit a local store to purchase new ink cartridges or other supplies that you may need for your business or home office. While you probably won't make a special trip to a store just to drop off any empty ink container, it's easy to get in the habit of carrying along your empty cartridges when you go out to purchase new ones.
As an added bonus, there are often opportunities to save money when you choose this option for recycling. That's because retailers even offer purchase discounts to customers who participate in their ink cartridge recycling programs. You may receive a discount off your current purchase or a coupon that can be applied on a future visit to the store.
Ink Cartridge Fundraising Programs
Giving your empty ink cartridges to a non-profit organization that participates in an ink jet recycling fundraiser is another great way to make sure that your empties don't end up taking up space in a landfill. Choosing this option for recycling ink containers is a great way to combine environmental responsibility with philanthropy. This approach to recycling allows you to donate to a charitable organization without any out of pocket expense to yourself or your company.
Contact local non-profits in your area to find out which ones have drop off locations for used ink cartridges. Choose one that has hours of operation that are convenient for you and that is located in an area that you travel by on a regular basis so that you can easily get in the habit of dropping off empties on a regular basis.
Refill and Reuse Ink Cartridges
An alternative to participating in a formal ink cartridge recycle program is to simply refill empty ink containers for your own use. Rather than throwing away or turning in your empties, take them to a store that offers a refill service and have them refilled. For example, Walgreens offers an affordable ink cartridge refill service. Simply take your empty black or color cartridges to the photo counter in a Walgreens store in your area and have them refilled for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase a new container of ink for your printer. Alternately, you can purchase a do-it-yourself ink cartridge refill kit and take care of refilling your ink containers yourself.
Responsible Printer Usage
In addition to recycling printer ink cartridges, it's also important to think twice about when and how you use your printer if you want to incorporate green living practices into your work habits at the office and at home. Stop and think about whether or not you really need to print something before automatically sending it to the printer.
For example, proofread your work on the computer rather than sending every single draft to the printer. It's fine to review a printed draft or two, but do your best to eliminate errors on screen before you start printing. This will reduce the amount of ink (and paper) that you use, resulting in fewer ink containers that need to be recycled or that get thrown away. You'll save money and the environment will benefit, along with your budget!
Recycling Cartridges Saves Money and Reduces Landfill Content
However you choose to recycle your spent ink cartridges, you're doing a good thing for your wallet and the planet. Think about the number of cartridges you go through in a single year, and imagine how many other people may use the same amount. By recycling instead of simply throwing all that plastic away, you're reducing the amount of waste going into landfills, and that's a good thing.