Printers & cartridges
Before buying a printer it would be worth contacting Cartridge World. They are able to refill practically any printer ink cartridge available in NZ, and considering their suggestion that each cartridge takes 450yrs to break down, this seems like a good idea. They will give you advice on which printers are best in this regard. For example, HP, like we have, can be refilled infinitely, while Kyocera and some Okis and Brothers can not be refilled at all. We have not bought a new printer cartridge since purchasing our printer 8 years ago and hope to keep it going for a long while yet. By purchasing a second hand printer you may be able to get a better quality one then you could afford new, and one with more serviceable parts to keep it going longer.
Reams of Paper
So far as I know, all paper reams come wrapped up in paper that has a plastic film, and this is because the paper has to be kept bone dry or it will jam the printer. It has to go in the landfill.
Choose paper with a 100% recycled content or as high as you can. Or if you want virgin white, go for virgin fibre that is a by-product of another industry, like sugar cane. (Sorry no link, couldn’t find a NZ stockist).
End of life
Once you have finished with your printer, consider passing it on to an organisation such as Molten Media who may be able to refurbish it, or use it for parts to keep others going.