How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Printer has a great story on their website about why we should choose an eco-friendly printing company.

Although we’re reducing the amount of paper we use, partly because of the Internet and email, partly because of conservation, there’s still plenty of ink being applied to plenty of paper. Direct mail, catalogs, product packaging, office paper, etc. It’s all still there.

Yes, these things are decreasing in use. Direct mail is dropping, people are reducing the number of catalogs they receive, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone. We’re still printing lots and lots of mail, catalogs, flyers, coupons, and brochures.

So it’s important that we use eco-friendly printing services whenever possible.

I don’t know a single printer who doesn’t recycle their paper waste, so that’s not going to be an issue. But a lot of printers are still using inks with high VOCs (volatile organic compounds), the chemicals found in most inks and laminates.

There are a few things to consider when you want to use eco-friendly printing.

  • Look for a printer that uses sustainable — that is, FSC or SFI certified — paper. This is paper that has been certified to come from managed forests, has minimal energy consumption, uses no hazardous chemicals, and other green practices. Note: You do have to ask for this paper.
  • Ask for ultraviolet ink. Ultraviolet ink is water-based, and has no VOCs, which means it’s safer for the print shop workers and the environment. And it has a wide color and opacity range, so you can get great color output, and your printed piece will look great.
  • Even your signs can be green. Find a sign printer that can print with ultraviolet inks rather than vinyl or petroleum-based inks.
  • Make sure your own design is green. Stick with standard paper sizes, like 8.5. x 11 or 11 x 17. Use solid colors, not patterns, for a background if your piece has a bleed (color that extends all the way to the edge). And avoid weird designs that require a lot of cutting and paper waste.

Green printing is the wave of the future, and pretty soon any printer who wants to grow and thrive in the coming years will embrace green technology.

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