San Francisco, California

Not a lot of people know this, but if the world’s discarded printer cartridges from one year were stacked end-to-end, they would circle the earth over 3 times.

Not a lot of people know this either – that a printer cartridge thrown into a landfull can take up to 450 years to decompose. To put that in context, 450 years ago Mary Tudor was Queen of England, before we’d even had Elizabeth I, let alone Elizabeth II. As for America, it had only just been discovered…

I became aware of these startling facts when I went to Cartridge World to replace my iP90 cartridge, and found to my delight that they offer a refill service, which is not only more environmentally friendly, but also financially friendly, costing about half the price of a new cartridge.

While they were topping up my ink, I popped over the road to Whole Foods Market for some environmentally friendly grocery shopping. (When I say ‘popped’ over the road, it took a while. The lights changed in favour of the cars about 100 times more often than in favour of pedestrians. The price you pay for a clear environmental conscience…)

So all in all, my environmental halo was shining. This is the delicious irony of California – there are so many planet-friendly options, while this state is also the most consumerist society in the world. The ultimate expression of free will.

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