1. Use Soy-Based Ink
The idea of this action plan is to show IES Barcelona that replacing all IES printers with soy-based ink would be very beneficial to everyone and the environment. Replacing IES Barcelona ink cartridges with soy-based ink will provide students and faculty with more efficient ways of printing large amounts of paper and a more sustainable way of recycling and reusing paper. Also, this action will include recycling of these cartridges instead of just throwing them away in the trash where they become harmful to the environment (e-waste). Making aware to everyone at IES of this change will help show the many environmental benefits soy ink has and students may take what they learn and possibly use soy ink at their homes after the semester. With this action, we hope that students may learn how them being sustainable can go a long way for the environment.
There are several reasons why this action would make IES more sustainable. Replacing ordinary LaserJet ink with this soy-based product will give great results.
For instance, at IES Barcelona many students print paper that they have accidentally printed out or where they have to reprint something. This causes wasted paper that was printed. Having these soy ink cartridges would at least provide printers with more papers printed per cartridge. Unfortunately, we can only promote the idea to students to stop wasting print paper. Promoting sustainable printing will make students more resilient in the aspect of saving ink and paper. If everyone realizes how many carelessly print paper, then everyone will become more aware of the more wasted paper we produce and the more ink and cartridges we have to purchase.
Another reason why IES Barcelona should implement this action is for the long-term effects. Petroleum-based ink is very harmful to the environment. They contain many chemicals that are harmful to the environment, especially when people throw these cartridges in the trash and they end up at a dump where they are non-biodegradable. "Soy ink is naturally low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds, chemical compounds that evaporate and react to sunlight) and its usage can reduce emissions causing air pollution" (Soya). The low VOC level produces a substancial less negatives on the environment, compared to petroleum-based ink. Soy ink reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and other chemicals that are placed into the ground and air. In a sense, switching inks at IES Barcelona would help the environment long-term. Another positive long-term effect that the use of soy ink has is the resource that it is made from. Soy bean oil takes very little human labor and resources to produce soy ink. If all oil-based inks switched to soy inks, then it would only take the growing of 457 million pounds (or 41.5 bushels) of soybean oil to meet this goal. This is less than 2% of US soybean production (Weisenbach). If IES Barcelona chose to switch all of its printers' ink to soy-based, then the demand of it would not be high and since soybean oil is reusable (unlike petroleum) then this adds to the reasons why soy ink helps the environment. Constant use of petroleum ink in IES Barcelona and around the world continues the struggle humans have on our dependency of foreign oil.
From these reason why IES Barcelona should switch to soy-based ink, it is important to promote the positive effects of sustainable printing. Including the promotion of long-term effects soy ink use has is a key source in making this action reality. If those from IES Barcelona are aware of the positive environmental effects soy ink has, then they can see that this change would be beneficial and students may implement these changes to their homes back in the US.
1.2.1. Potential Benefits
Some of the benefits of implementing this change would be the lifespan of the printers at IES would increase (which is important since they are used so frequently), it will make it easier to recycle paper, its environmentally friendly, and the ink is non-toxic. The easiest benefit is how soy ink allows printers to print more paper than petroleum-based ink. As a result, in the long-term IES Barcelona will be saving money in buying cartridges. Going along with this, a reason why soy ink would increase the lifespan of IES printers is because it needs a lower boiling point in LaserJet printers, which decreases the amount of ink that could get into parts of the printer rather than the paper. Since LaserJet printers are not cheap, this is a monetary benefit.
For short-term effects, soy ink creates more vibrant colors and better quality than other inks. Plus, when using the soy ink there are not any toxics that we breathe in while printing at IES Barcelona.
In terms of recycling and reusing paper, soy ink can be more effectively removed from paper during the de-inking process. De-inking is used in order to remove ink so that paper is reused and not thrown away after one use. And since soybean oil is less hazardous than petroleum ink to the environment, it is easier to dispose of soy ink.
By increasing the awareness of sustainable printing and proper recycling of ink cartridges, students will hopefully take what they learn and apply to their lives back home.
1.2.2. Potential Costs
Possible costs of this transition include how it takes longer to dry (which may cause problems if large amounts of paper are needed to be printed) and the problem that an over-dependency on a single crop introduces the risk of crop disease epidemics. Some of the substances in soy ink make the ink take longer to dry once finished printing. The possible cost of the over-dependency of soybean oil does not truly affect IES Barcelona unless there is a larger amount of people in the world who decide to depend on this new oil and not one of petroleum-based. The most concerned cost for IES Barcelona will probably be the extra money it will cost for them to switch inks. Its been estimated that soy ink cartridges are between 5%-8% or sometimes 10% (depending on the printer) higher in price than regular petroleum-based ink (PNEAC).
Also, there is a possible cost that many will not care about the change to soy ink and therefore not sustainably print at IES Barcelona. That is why there needs to be this action to show why it is better to be more environmentally friendly with the use of soy ink.
Because there is a lack of information within IES Barcelona about the benefits of using soy-based ink, nothing has been done by the program yet to get this change to occur. The first step that has been taken towards making soy ink recognizable to students in IES Barcelona is adding questions to the Sustainable Survey that was given to students. Now with having more noticeable advertisement in IES Barcelona about why we should switch inks then this plan can be possibly carried out. On these posters or signs, there would be the benefits of soy ink use as listed in the "Possible Benefits" section of this action plan, along with numerical facts that show how we could be saving ink, paper, and money with this change. These advertisements would be placed in the computer areas of IES Barcelona, as well as in the office rooms of faculty because these are the places where people print their documents. The goal with this plan is to spread the understanding of how sustainable IES Barcelona and individuals can be by turning to soy ink instead of petroleum ink. Below is an example of a possible advertisement idea.
• Soy Ink uses less ink per page, which means we can print more paper for each cartridge (SAVES money long-term)!
• Fewer toxins that we breathe in!
• When Soy Ink cartridges are recycled, fewer emissions are released into the AIR!
• Soybean oil is reusable and petroleum (from ink) is not = too dependent on foreign oil!
• Better quality of print!
• Easier to de-ink so paper is reusable!
1.4. References & Links
"Fact Sheet." Printers' National Environmental Assistance Center. PNEAC, June 1996. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. <http://www.pneac.org/sheets/litho/inks.cfm>.
Simpson, Beth, Pamela Tazik, Gary Miller, and Paul Randall. Waste Reduction Evaluation of Soy-Based Ink at a Sheet-Fed Offset Printer. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Sept. 1994. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. <http://www.epa.gov
"Soy in Benefits." Soya - Information about Soy and Soya Products. Soya, 2010. Web. 20 Nov. 2010. <http://www.soya.be/soy-ink-benefits.php>.
Weisenbach, Dan. "Switching to Soy Inks for Commercial Offset Printing." Weisenbach Recycled Products. Feb. 2000. Web. 3 Dec. 2010. <http://www.recycledproducts.com/?cid=25>.
1.5. Students involved in this action
Aaron Richards - Leader
Erin Berlin - Research and implemented idea into Survey
Billy Bayer - Research
Laura Scuderi - Research
Assignment: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)