I recently had to order printer cartridges on eBay and have them shipped to me from China. (I will spare you the details, but it involves incompatibility issues with European-sold cartridges.) This makes me feel extra guilty about anything I print now.
So I was happy to discover that a Dutch creative agency, SPRANQ, has found a way to reduce ink usage by up to 20 percent with its recently developed Ecofont. The font is designed with holes in the middle of the letters – sort of a Swiss cheese effect – and is free to download for personal use on a Mac or PC.
This got me thinking about other tricks and techniques I could be using to make every printer cartridge last a little longer. Here are some ideas I found to avoid unnecessary around-the-world ink shipments:
- Print in grayscale – at 80 percent black, you can also reduce ink consumption by 20 percent.
- Avoid serif fonts. The little tails on the letters use more ink. Stick with the thinnest sans-serif font you have.
- Switch to a smaller font, which can also reduce paper consumption.
- And if you want to be really extreme, stop using capital letters. (Although this last option may not be appreciated by everyone who gets your printouts.)
And when your ink cartridge eventually does start printing on empty, don’t forget to recycle it. Staples office supply giant offers $3 toward the purchase of a new cartridge when you drop off the empty one at any of its retail stores. Office Depot has a similar incentive program, and both offer remanufactured cartridges to lighten your impact even further.