Even with so much access to the internet, there are still many situations where we encounter printed materials, which need electricity, paper, and ink to be produced. We all know that printing with recycled paper products can help us preserve precious natural resources, but did you know that many of the inks we use are petroleum-based?
It is estimated that two liters of oil are consumed for every commercial toner cartridge produced, and that U.S. commercial and government agencies use more than 100 million cartridges of toner a year. In addition, these figures do not take into account the amount of oil need to produce inkjet printer ink for personal printers, or the amount of oil that is needed to make the cartridges that hold the ink.
Thankfully, there are multiple alternatives to using petroleum-based inks. One such alternative is soy-based inks, which use much less, but still contain small amounts of oil. The most eco-friendly options are vegetable-based or petroleum-free inks, which do not contain any petroleum.
By choosing to use environmentally responsible inks over conventional inks and advocating for the same change in both government and private production, we can greatly decrease the amount of oil that we consume. If we add using recycled paper and recycling old and used ink cartridges to the equation, then we can affect great change with little effort and make significant progress in eliminating the need for petroleum while protecting our natural resources and the environment.