If you are all about saving the environment then this article is for me and you! The printing world has now caught up with the rest of the world and has innovated friendly environmental printing technologies. Most print companies are now using these techniques. Don’t you just love it when everyone is coming together to save the environment? I know I do. Research has it that concern for environmental printing started in the early 1960s. Rachel Carson even published a book, Silent Spring, on the effects printing has on the environment. However, they were never really viewed by the majority as anything more than tree huggers and activists (at best) and eco-terrorists (at worst). Fast forward to 2006 is when many people and businesses began to take the initiative of going green. This is when the environmental printing technologies were born and has been evolving to date. Printing
What is environmental printing?
Environmental printing means printing that does not harm the environment. It involves printing technologies that contribute towards a reduction in pollution, waste, and energy consumption during print production. In the process, printing cost is reduced. It’s simply printing that makes the environment a better place. Do you know how global warming has now become a big crisis? Cutting of trees to make paper which is used for print is one of the reasons for the crisis. In fact, the Union of Concerned Scientists discovered that deforestation is responsible for about 10 percent of all global warming emissions. This is why even print companies are gradually going green. 10% is a huge number! Buckle up and let’s look at the various ways in which companies ensure that their environmental printing process is friendly. The first is by using green inks. Research has it that, inks with a petroleum or plastic base contain harmful compounds and chemicals that harm the environment. Environmental printing has found a nonpolluting alternative in eco-inks. Vegetable inks and soy-based inks are great. They don’t contain volatile chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Vegetable inks consist of natural elements that are recyclable. Soy inks are gentle on the environment as they produce less harmful chemicals that can leech into groundwater. They produce high-quality and bright images. The second way is the type of paper. Using recycled paper is one way of helping the environment go green. It reduces the number of trees required for print runs. This is why if possible when placing your print order, ask if there is the option of using kraft paper. So instead of regular menus, get custom printed kraft menus. Do you have an event? Cool, then get kraft paper invitations and envelopes. In this way, you are contributing to making the world go greener. PCF(Process Chlorine Free) papers are also a good choice. These are bleached papers that are easier on the environment. Another way is the printing technology used. Thanks to rapid innovations, companies are coming up with printing techniques that consume less energy, resources and produce less waste. There is the waterless printing technique that uses water to form non-images on the print. The method involves using silicon instead of water to repel ink. It provides a protective layer and makes the print recyclable. Screen environmental printing is also a great technique. Screen printers, unlike traditional printers that used more solvents, use UV inks that are cured under a UV lamp. In this way, it eliminates the harmful solvents from the printing process. So cool right? It may surprise you to know that the font used determines the number of chemicals to be used. Specific font size matters. The smaller the surface area, the less ink will be used. Research done by Company Folders shows the top 5 eco-friendly fonts include: Ryman Eco, Eco font, Courier, Century Gothic, and Brush Script. Using both sides of the paper helps. It’s known as duplex printing. It saves on money and paper and in the process reduces the number of trees being cut down to manufacture paper. If you want to go completely green then you should ditch foil stamping. I understand how chic and stunning foil stamping makes a card appear. We’ve all been wowed by foil stamping. However, foil stamping is not very environmentally friendly. No, this doesn’t mean that you are now stuck with boring cards all in the name of being eco-friendly. Instead, you could use embossing techniques that produce a similar look to foil stamping. You could use embossed business cards instead of foil stamped business cards. Or better yet, go for embossed kraft business cards for environmental printing. It’s more eco-friendly compared to foil stamping. The type of lamination used also determines how eco-friendly the print is. We understand the beauty that comes with various lamination methods. And we wouldn’t want to put an end to it yet there are eco-friendly methods. Corn lamination is a good method that causes less environmental harm compared to traditional laminations.
Imagine being part of a noble cause of saving the environment. It feels great right? But you may wonder how are you supposed to go about it? Well, you can start by choosing the right print company to work with. A company that is FSC certified which is a certification process that ensures that the paper used for environmental printing purposes is manufactured from wood harvested from well-managed forests. Work with a company that gives the option of using kraft paper that is 100% recyclable. Make the world a better place and choose the right print company.