You may have always thought that cutting down trees for the sake of printing on paper is bad for the environment, but in fact, printing actually is eco-friendly! When companies choose green printing, they: Use inks that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Use responsibly milled paper Order in bulk Eliminate chemical waste Partner with American suppliers Hotcards strives to always practice eco printing, and the tree farms we use for our paper supply actually plant multiple trees for each one harvested. The paper industry is actually leading the way on alternative energy use, and paper made from recycled materials generates 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution than milled virgin paper. Check out our infographic and learn more at Hotcards and Do You Know the Facts.
Millions of trees are cut every year to make paper. Deforestation poses a threat to the environment in several ways. Rise in temperature, increase in levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and soil erosion are some of the more evident effects. Frequent flooding due to the lack of trees to absorb excess rain water is also a real possibility. We cannot stop using paper despite the usage of electronic tools and devices having become popular but we can surely work towards minimizing the damage. You can contribute by using recycled paper. In addition, you also have the option of using FSC certified paper when not using the recycled one. What is FSC certified paper FSC refers to the Forest Stewardship Council. An FSC certification for forests being used to procure trees for paper making establishes the credentials of the organization managing the forest as a responsible organization that is not just cutting the trees for wood but is also […]
Looking back on 40 years of green thinking. The world celebrated Earth Day last week, on April 22nd, and I noticed that a lot of printers ran special green printing promotions, or blogged about sustainable printing. But I hesitated to post about the day because, for printers, every day is Earth Day. In our industry, we don't have the luxury to ever stop thinking about our environmental impact, to stop learning about how we can reduce that impact, or to ignore our role as environmental stewards. That being said, an interesting question might be: what can printers do to improve the experience of Earth Day in their communities? It's a great day to hold events like community cleanups, and to share knowledge about environmental issues, but an even more interesting suggestion was implied by an Earth Day article on the AIGA website this year, in which author Phil Patton posed the question: “Why is there no simple single symbol or […]
Design inspiration for a green planet. What is it about the color green that is so inspiring? Yes, it comes out in green beer and even dyed green rivers on St. Patrick's Day, but it's more than that. It is the ultimate color representative of the natural world, and the descriptive word itself has also become synonymous with ecological stewardship. Nowadays, green printing and green design are everywhere. They can even start to feel a bit played out. But before you succumb to ennui, and in honor of St. Patrick's Day, have a look at this gorgeous gallery of green textures, backgrounds, landscapes, flashes of brilliance, sharp contrasts, and natural wonders, and remember what makes green so inspiring in the first place!
Pros and cons. As a printer, it's possible to come at sustainable printing strategies from many angles. Using green materials, employing ecologically mindful design sensibilities, recycling, cutting down on waste, and even encouraging employees to lead greener lifestyles are all parts of the puzzle. But the point when printers really step their game up comes when they begin to consider infrastructure. Using alternative energy sources, like wind or solar power, is one consideration. Building a facility, from the ground up, designed around environmentally sound architectural philosophies, is another. In July, Transcontinental Printing opened the NADEV Printing Facility in Fremont, CA. The building has just been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification for its green design. The massive printing plant took fifteen months and well over 200 million dollars to build. It includes green features like recycled materials used in construction, high-efficiency drip irrigated landscaping, and water-saving plumbing. The building is the first of its kind in […]
Be green! Scrub that list! For a long time, list management has been an important part of the direct mailing process. List management means to carefully oversee and thoughtfully edit the list of recipients for a piece of direct mail. The process was created to make sure that mailings were targeted, relevant, and easy for USPS to deliver. Now list management has a new responsibility: environmental stewardship. For too long, direct mail has been listed as 'junk' because poor list management leads to the wrong people receiving mailers, mailers being delivered to out-of-date addresses, and too many mailers being thrown out, unread. And that's a recipe for waste paper disaster. According to the Direct Marketing Association, these practices are no longer acceptable, particularly from an environmental perspective. However, the alternative is not necessarily to stop printing direct mail, but to maintain rigorous list management practices. Keeping clean mailing lists is an eco-must, because it ensures that campaigns do not get […]
Is this the end of sustainable forestry initiatives? Wow, I didn't think I'd be posting about green printing again so soon, but here we go! There's trouble brewing in the old sustainable forest… As you might know – being the loyal printing blog reader that you are – one of the biggest priorities that a green printer focuses on is achieving tri-certification. Tri-certification is all about preserving our country's – and our planet's – forests. (Yup, this all comes back to sustainability). One of the most important things being done to green our industry has been a commitment to using paper made from trees that were logged by companies who take provable steps to replace what they harvest. There is an entire chain of custody that must be entirely transparent in order to prove that the paper coming out of our printers can be traced back to a tree that was harvested from a certifiably sustainable forestry project. Tri-certification, for […]
A survival skill for successful printers. When the mid-00s' brought 'green' everything into vogue, one of the buzzwords du jour was 'sustainability.' And it's a term that still gets thrown around a lot, but it's rarely properly defined. People first started to talk about sustainability in regards to environmentalism in the 1950s and 60s. It was that long ago when experts in ecology started to say, “hey, we can't consume as much as we do, and create as much waste as we do, and continue to live comfortably on planet Earth.” Sustainability, then, became the core of an idea that we had to manage our resources in such a way that life could go one, so that future generations could have a good – or ideally, better – quality of life than we have today. As Wikipedia says in one of its more poetic moments, “Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure.” While sustainable living isn't entirely […]
And not as pricey as the 'trend' tag implies… Ever since the economy has been in the proverbial toilet, experts throughout the printing industry have been saying the same thing: nobody cares about the environment anymore. But what's really being said here? I think it's: nobody is willing to pay more for a 'green' brand or product anymore. Fair 'nuff. Too bad for businesses that were hoping to capitalize on environmentalism as a trend. However, those businesses for whom environmental stewardship is more than a buzz word should not give up on consumers so quickly. The root of the problem is that somehow, 'green' became a trend, and the difficulty with trends is always the same. They fly into popularity, a lot of chic terminology gets thrown around, generalizations and misconceptions abound, people buy a bunch of junk, and in the end, little of substance is gained from the collective cultural experience. However, in this case, it's different. Here at […]
(Really?) It's something we all learned in grade school: don't waste paper! Paper comes from trees. When you waste paper, you're single-handedly murdering our forests. Over the years, this hug-the-planet credo evolved into a full-fledged rallying cry against the print industry for decimating the earth's tree supply and flooding its rivers with chemical waste. Point taken. Really. Printers are the first to admit that when our industry burgeoned into existence, people weren't spending a lot of time thinking about renewable vs. non-renewable resources. We weren't worried about emissions or carbon footprints, Peak Oil or the importance of environmental stewardship. But heck, folks, an industry can LEARN, and more importantly, it can CHANGE. The question is, can an industry change its reputation? As Richard Romano points out ina great editorial on PrintCEO, the print industry is working its collective butt off to develop technologies, best practices, and strategies which make sure that resources are used as carefully and as cleanly as […]