No matter whether you’re operating a printer for work or business purposes, it’s always important to ensure that you’re printing with the environment and your expenses in mind. If done correctly, you can pretty much squeeze every last drop out of your printer cartridge and only buy a new one when it’s absolutely necessary.

The good news is that even printer and ink cartridge companies like HP are looking to be more sustainable in the future by increasing recycling efforts and using less plastic. This means that individual efforts by the customers are supported by large businesses, which at the end of the day, results in more eco-friendly products and less rubbish ending up in landfills.

When it does come time to buy a new cartridge, do your research with reviews and really take the time to learn which is best for your own printer. You can also check online with cartridge experts and find the perfect option for your printer make and model, then get them sent to your door for convenience. So, if you’re looking to find new and interesting ways to further your printer cartridge to its full potential, then check out these tips.

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Overlook those out of ink warnings

Every modern printer will give you an alert when your cartridge is beginning to run out of ink… the trouble is that manufacturers and customers have opposing definitions on what is considered “low ink”. In some cases, just a bit over halfway is what some printers count as low ink, which means that many people might immediately switch the cartridge and throw away the original even if there’s a lot still to give.

Your best bet is to disable low-ink warnings in your printer’s settings, have a backup cartridge available on-hand, and simply print away to your heart’s content until the ink literally runs out. Another good tip is to remove the cartridge from the printer, then place a paper towel on the bottom of the ink cartridge in case the nozzles have clogged up and not printing correctly. This can happen if the printer hasn’t actually been used in a while.

Choose wisely regarding font types and sizes

While calling it reckless is a bit extreme, many people aren’t exactly thinking much about the fonts they choose when printing out a page. Thicker, larger, and bold fonts obviously require more ink to print out, and even certain types of fonts will deplete your cartridge faster than you’d like. Unless absolutely necessary, choose smaller font sizes and use types like Calibri, Times New Roman, and even the appropriately titled Ecofont (said to reduce ink usage by 20% by essentially putting tiny white dots in each letter).

Adjust your printer settings to save ink

Going into your printer settings might feel like a bit of a minefield, but if you make a few tweaks and adjustments, your paper and ink usage will be dramatically lowered. Of course, you should always use the ‘print preview’ feature to ensure that there are no mistakes before hitting the print button, but there are other tips as well. If the quality of the finished document is of no massive concern (i.e. not for a client) then change the print quality to ‘draft mode’ and set colour to ‘greyscale’ so that the print-out will always be in black and white (colour uses much more ink). Also, print double-sided so that you’re not wasting perfectly good space on the paper.

Teach others about PDFs and cloud sharing

If a colleague or friend insists on always having a print-out of something, ask them if they’d prefer a digital version instead. Change the format to a PDF and either email it to them or store it in the cloud and share the link via Dropbox, for example. Older or non-tech-savvy people might only know about print versions, but you can change their mind and bring them into the digital age! It certainly means less paper and ink usage.

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