Whenever I tell people that I write for a site called TomatoInk, their interest is immediately piqued. What does the site do? Where does the name come from? Why didn’t they think of this? Given the near-unanimous reaction and the history behind the unique name, I thought it was high time I told our story.
The Story of TomatoInk
First, the basics. TomatoInk is a company that sells remanufactured printer ink cartridges — I know, finally an environmentally friendly solution to wasteful printer ink! The company’s founder, Andrew Yeung, came up with the idea after experiencing the same frustrations with conventional printer ink that I suspect we’ve all had at one time or another.
“Before having the business, I found that printer ink cartridges were ridiculously pricey,” explains Yeung. “I tried using an ink refill kit but the print quality was no good.”
Yeung started researching other options and discovered remanufactured cartridges. What exactly does “remanufactured” mean? Yeung explains the process.
“Our factory collects high-quality used cartridges. At the factory, specialists professionally clean and inspect the cartridges and replace any defective parts. The factory then fills the cartridges with high-quality ink, comparable to that used in name-brand cartridges. And finally, the factory inspects and test prints every single cartridge.”
This strict quality control process ensures that TomatoInk customers never have to choose between print quality and environmentally friendly products.
Tomato + Ink = Fresh, Friendly, Colorful
And about that name — why TomatoInk? Yeung laughs and explains that it was his wife’s idea. “Our company had been selling remanufactured printer ink cartridges since 2008; however, the site brand we were using at that time didn’t fully illustrate how eco-friendly our products were. My wife said that tomatoes give people a friendly and fresh impression – I mean, who doesn’t like tomatoes? TomatoInk is a name that represents our brand values: Fresh. Friendly. Colorful.”
TomatoInk hasn’t just hung up their hats on their environmental efforts with remanufactured cartridges, either. For a few years now, the company has partnered with OneTreePlanted.
“Many of our competitors use eco-friendly as a sort of marketing collateral simply because they are selling remanufactured products,” explains Yeung. “We want to do more. That’s when the idea of one order for one tree was born. Our customer can literally help our earth by purchasing from us.”
Through TomatoInk’s partnership with OneTreePlanted, each printer ink order equates to one tree planted in the Colorado or Amazon area.
So, what is TomatoInk, you ask? Now you know! Printer ink that costs less, looks good, and benefits the environment, too.
Madeleine Somerville is a writer, author, and blogger. Her first book All You Need Is Less was published in April 2014. Her writing has appeared in both print and online outlets, including The Guardian, Earth911, Yahoo!Shine, TreeHugger, and Alternet. She lives in Calgary, Canada with her four-year-old daughter and writes at SweetMadeleine.ca.