Eco-friendly products

While working on getting new products live on the site last year (or was it the year before?!), I was delighted to discover we are now supplying mouse pads from Fellowes that are made out of 95% recycled tires! How cool! They are gorgeous and would brighten up any desk space, featuring the ocean, a waterfall, leafy trees, and bright flowers.

This got me thinking: what other products do we supply that are designed with sustainability in mind?

Which of our products could help our customers (and ourselves!) work in manageable and affordable ways every day to look after our planet?

Refillable ink printers

In the early days of Easyink, we were re-inking ribbons (remember those!?) and re-manufacturing toner cartridges. Sadly, we’ve become a throwaway society since then which made this business unsustainable financially, and we’ve moved to online sales focussed on new compatible cartridges. Do you, like me, kind of stare at the empty cartridge you just took out of the printer, and cringe a bit in “am I damaging the Earth” shame when you chuck it in the bin? Some printer manufacturers have been working on an alternative to disposable cartridges and have refill inks on the market, which we supply.

Epson has the EcoTank, Hewlett-Packard (HP) has the Smart Tank, and Canon has the Pixma Endurance and Pixma MegaTank. These printers generally have a much higher up-front cost, but very low running costs. The ink is very cheap compared to cartridges, so these will suit someone who is printing enough pages to off-set the initial extra cost of buying the printer. The printers have a reputation for being slow, which for some won’t be a problem but for others will make these printers unsuitable. Hopefully, these limitations will be improved upon. Call us for a chat if you’re interested in these printers – we can help you decide if they would work for your particular printing requirements. We supply EcoTank, SmartTank and Endurance ink bottles – just enter these terms into the search box on the Easyink site to bring up the range available.

Sustainability-conscious companies

In addition to the refillable ink printers, I found a few eco-friendly products in our range, made out of recycled materials or recyclable, or rechargeable – in addition, while researching these companies I found that the companies as a whole are also working towards sustainability and reducing their carbon footprints. They’re doing this over the whole company in various countries through their offices and manufacturing and research areas, via things like LED lighting and water conservation, and recycling, and involvement in various conservation projects. 

The 3M company produces a report on its sustainability goals every year. We have a large 3M range, and among their products are things like battery-saving mousepads and recycled paper Post-It notes.

Fellowes is another company with sustainability goals, with a large range of products on our site. Their binding covers are fully recyclable, and as mentioned already, they make beautiful mouse pads out of recycled tires. Their shredder waste bags are widely recyclable too (note that in some areas, recycling centres may not be able to take soft plastics in council recycling, although they are technically recyclable – just a matter of finding the correct place to send them, Soft Plastics Recycling are working on it!). Check out the Fellowes range on our site.

The Pilot company, known for their high-quality innovative pens, are also working on their product sustainability. The majority of their pens are refillable, and some of their fountain pens are used with a converter which minimises waste even from the ink cartridge refill. The ink jars are quite attractive and could be re-used in all sorts of ways (I’m thinking button storage, for my sewing room!). The Begreen range of Pilot pens are made out of recycled materials – the B2P (Bottle to Pen) pens are made out of plastic bottles, and made to look like water bottles!

Hewlett-Packard is using a closed-loop recycling process to create ink and toner cartridges using recycled plastics and running a recycling programme for used cartridges.

Kyocera as a company has been environmentally conscious for a long time. We were appreciating their fully recyclable printer packaging well over a decade ago! Check out Kyocera’s environmental policy. We supply both genuine and compatible Kyocera toners.

Rechargeable batteries and recycled paper products

We supply a range of Duracell batteries now, in various sizes – while most are regular single-use batteries we do have rechargeable AA and AAA in packs of 4. We also have a Duracell charger. The non-rechargeable batteries, and rechargeables at the end of their life, can (and ideally should) be recycled – our local recycling centre takes batteries from hand-held devices for recycling so long as they are in good condition (not rusty and leaking). This minimises toxic material going into landfill and recovers elements that can be re-used for new batteries, improving their sustainability. 

Our very affordable Icon range of notebooks includes some made out of 70% recycled paper, and as already mentioned, our 3M range includes recycled paper Post-It notes.

Final word…

Grand gestures might be impossible for many of us, but perhaps the little things we can do regularly as consumers will have a positive impact.

Anna Moore has written 32 articles

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