Going Green

 

The last few years have shown an ongoing movement within the print industry to become more environmentally friendly. There are many forestry programs that provide jobs as well as a supply of raw materials for printed materials. A huge amount of recycling to offer renewable materials, but there is also an energy component to creating those materials. The largest challenge is to come up with sustainable materials.

 

So what is the right step for your company? While most larger companies have already made the switch to offer greener solutions, it’s never too late to start! Today’s consumer is much more environmentally aware and wants to make sure that they’re doing their part as much as possible. Making decisions to support companies that support recycled materials or paper from sustainable sources is a factor these days. Budgets are of course a factor as well, but there are some options that do not break the bank.

 

FSC stocks are a simple option that allow businesses to help with the sustainable forestry movement. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. The FSC does this by setting standards on forest products, along with certifying and labeling them as eco-friendly (FSC information taken from Wikipedia). What that means is that by printing with FSC regulated stocks, you’re supporting their efforts to manage forests in a way that makes them sustainable.


Another option is choosing stocks with a higher than average recycled content. Most stocks have SOME % of recycled materials, but there are specific stocks that have 50% or 100% post-consumer recycled materials used in the manufacturing of that particular stock. Choosing this option is sometimes more expensive, but you’re helping keep the paper/pulp from recycling programs circulating with a new life.

 

There are great solutions such as using hemp products as well. Which could be another article all together. But to start, hemp is 7-8 x’s more recyclable than paper. Paper is only 3x’s recyclable. Hemp paper does not require bleaching, which means less chemicals, it is stronger thus longer lasting and 1 acre of hemp produces as much as 4 acres of trees yet only takes 100 days to grow to a stage where its fibers can be used.

 

Ink is another thing that people don’t usually think of as having environmental impact. Many printing companies (Direction Printing included) have made the switch to using inks, coatings, and chemicals used in print production that are vegetable-based wherever possible. Traditional inks that are petroleum based which can be much more harmful to the environment. They can eventually lead to contamination of the local groundwater and soil.

 

Vegetable-based alternatives are typically better for the environment and have less of an impact during the recycling process as they tend to be removed easier during the washing processes. But don’t let the fact that they’re vegetable-based make you think that they’re inferior, they still produce results as good as standard inks.

 

Overall production processes are also becoming more efficient as each generation of equipment is engineered and re-engineered. While there is obviously always going to be power needed for any type of manufacturing process, printing included, the simple changes/switches in lighting and power saving equipment are helping to reduce the energy used per project.

 

If you have a mandate or project that you’d like to have a quote on for more environmentally-friendly options, we’d be happy to discuss.

 

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Going Green

 

The last few years has shown an ongoing movement within the print industry to become more environmentally friendly.There are many forestry programs that provide jobs as well as a supply of raw materials for printed materials. A huge amount of recycling to offer renewable materials, but there is also an energy component to creating those materials. The largest challenge is to come up with sustainable materials and there are great solutions such as using hemp products. Which can be another article all together. But to start hemp is 7-8 x’s more recyclable than paper. Paper is only 3’s recyclable. Hemp paper does not require bleaching, which means less chemicals, it is stronger thus longer lasting and 1 acre of hemp produces as much as 4 acres of trees yet only takes 100 days to grow to a stage where its fibers can be used.

 

So what is the right step for your company? While most larger companies have already made the switch to offer greener solutions, it’s never too late to start! Today’s consumer is much more environmentally aware and wants to make sure that they’re doing their part as much as possible. Making decisions to support companies that support recycled materials or paper from sustainable sources is a factor these days. Budgets are of course a factor as well, but there are some options that do not break the bank.

 

FSC stocks are a simple option that allow businesses to help with the sustainable forestry movement. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. The FSC does this by setting standards on forest products, along with certifying and labeling them as eco-friendly (FSC information taken from Wikipedia). What that means is that by printing with FSC regulated stocks, you’re supporting their efforts to manage forests in a way that makes then sustainable.


Another option is choosing stocks with a higher than average recycled content. Most stocks have SOME % of recycled materials, but there are specific stocks that have 50% or 100% post-consumer recycled materials used in the manufacturing of that particular stock. Choosing this option is sometimes more expensive, but you’re helping keep the paper/pulp from recycling programs circulating with a new life.

 

Ink is another thing that people don’t usually think of as having environmental impact. Many printing companies (Direction Printing included) have made the switch to using inks, coatings, and chemicals used in print production that are vegetable-based where ever possible. Traditional inks that are petroleum based which can be much more harmful to the environment. They can eventually lead to contamination of the local groundwater and soil.

 

Vegetable-based alternatives are typically better for the environment and have less of an impact during the recycling process as they tend to be removed easier during the washing processes. But don’t let the fact that they’re vegetable-based make you think that they’re inferior, they still produce as good of results as standard inks.

 

Overall production processes are also becoming more efficient as each gen of equipment is engineered and re-engineered. While there is obviously always going to be power needed for any type of manufacturing process, printing included, the simple changes/switches in lighting and power saving equipment are helping to reduce the energy used per project.

 

If you have a mandate or project that you’d like to have a quote on for more environmentally-friendly options, we’d be happy to discuss.

 


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