Non-Petroleum Based Inks

Expert Advice -

To become sustainable, we must rely on safe and renewable resources, such as soy beans and other vegetables, instead of non-renewable resources like petroleum. 

Alternative inks, made with renewable resources such as soybeans, are an important step towards sustainability.  These alternative inks also require less energy to produce than conventional ink and are less toxic because they have fewer levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  As an additional benefit, alternative inks make the paper on which they are printed easier to recycle. 

Alternative inks are now used in many newspapers and other commercial printing, but to the best of our knowledge, soy-based inks cannot be used with current personal printers or in ballpoint pens.  One downside of alternative inks is that they take longer to dry than conventional ink, though this is because they have fewer VOCs.