Recently, the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan announced its own project: a reusable e-paper product named i2R e-paper. The research team claims the final product can be used more than 250 times and will be compatible with any thermal printer. It doesn’t need a backlight or electrodes to print. What’s more, the i2R e-paper is allegedly also capable of supporting color printing. The product is currently priced at two dollars per sheet, though it is not yet available in the US market.
Should the i2R e-paper prove successful, it will be a tremendous step forward in the direction of a greener, more sustainable printing industry. In the meantime, the following green tips will help you do you bit to help save the environment.
• Buy in Bulk: Buy supplies like toner or recycled paper in bulk to reduce the use of packing materials. This method also has the added advantage of lowering your per-print and per-unit costs.
• Recycle Toner Bottles and Cartridges: Return empty printer ink cartridges and toner bottles for recycling. This substantially reduces the amount of office waste the environment has to handle. Look for the manufacturers who offer prepaid shipping labels to return empty bottles and cartridges.
• Replace stand-alone devices with multi-function printers that can handle scan, copy, print, and fax functions. You’ll save on both money as well as energy.
• Always Select Duplex Printing: Print on both sides of a page to reduce paper use. Look for printers that offer automatic double-side scanning and printing.
• Use recycled paper; try to share nonessential documents electronically whenever possible.
Conservationists Use 3-D Makerbot Printers to Create Homes for Hermit Crabs
Finally, an initiative known as Project Shellter is using a 3-D Makerbot printer to print shells for hermit crabs. The shortage of natural building materials has apparently led these crabs to discarded waste products like bottle caps and food cans. To address the issue, the Project Shellter plans to use a Makerbot printer to print better fitting shells for these cute creatures. So, if you have ideas or suggestions to help these crabs, visit the initiative’s Facebook page to get involved.