Did you know that 25% of the 267.8 million tons of municipal solid waste produced in the U.S is paper/paperboard product? The printing industry has an undeniable impact on the environment.
Unfortunately, the physical, paper material is still vital for many different industries. So what’s the solution? One option is to go with eco printing. These are sustainable printing practices that reduce your impact on the world.
If you’re a company that has printing needs but cares about the environment, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about sustainable printing practices.
Is Traditional Printing Bad for the Environment?
Before we begin we need to ask a difficult question: is traditional print media hazardous to the environment? The answer ultimately depends on the supplier and the way they source their paper resources.
Unfortunately, many hazardous practices are currently still being used. For example, many types of paper use a chlorine bleach chemical. When these types of papers get dumped in landfills, then the toxic chemicals get released into the ground.
This then spreads to the groundwater supply and eventually into the air. Certain types of printing technology also release a dangerous amount of ozone. This reactive version of oxygen is incredibly dangerous to the human body.
Finally, unsustainable farming practices are another frequent sin of the printing industry. This occurs when companies don’t replant the trees they cut down.
This is an important part of a sustainable print industry because it supplies future generation’s paper needs.
Five Eco Printing Practices You Can Implement
Wondering how you can start making a positive difference in your printing culture? Just remember that the change begins with you. As such, be conscious of practices that might be good for your bottom line, but bad for the environment.
To help get you started, we’ve organized five ways you can start incorporating eco-printing into your paper needs. Following these tips is a great way to rebrand your company as one that cares about the environment, as well as the future.
1. Find a Company That Uses Soy Inks
Typically printers use ink types that provide deep, bold colors. While they’re attractive, these colors are often made with harmful chemicals. For example, the majority of inks used in magazines are made of petroleum.
These types of ingredients put a strain on the nonrenewable oil resource. So what’s the solution? Eco printing using sustainable inks. For example, you can make softer colored ink out of soybeans.
This is a win-win situation for both the supplier and the planet. Why? Because soy ink is both cheaper and better for the environment. However, keep in mind that good environmental practices are just one way that a commercial printer company can stand out.
If you’re looking for a supplier, then make sure to ask all these questions before sourcing a supplier.
2. Print on Recycled Paper
Did you know that over 49% of all paper material is recycled? Printing on recycled paper doesn’t just save trees that would otherwise need to be cut down. It also saves on transportation and processing costs.
It’s much easier to recycle paper than it is to make it from scratch. Printing on recycled paper is an important part of offsetting your carbon footprint. However, the paper isn’t the only thing that can be recycled.
If you print from your office, then consider recycling your old toner cartridges, printers, and fax machines. Many elements can be reused which reduces your overall impact on the environment.
3. Use E-Documents When You Can
One of the best ways of reducing your impact on the environment is by cutting back on your printing habits. How do you do that? Easy: by utilizing e-documents. This means seriously analyzing when you need physically printed material.
Do you need to print out that meeting itinerary? Or can you just print it? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself. Instead of printing large cardboard cutouts for your presentation consider going with a PowerPoint.
Some direct-to-customer marketing needs can’t be replaced digitally. But consider combining letters with other digital tactics. For example, subscriber lists and online newsletters are a great way of engaging with your clientele without print material.
4. Reduce Your Power Consumption When Printing
Unfortunately, a lot of the old printing technology not only produces hazardous chemicals, but it also uses a lot of power. This is not only bad for the environment, it also hurts your bottom line.
So what can you do? Consider upgrading your printing technology with energy-saving technology.
You can do this by looking into Energy Star’s efficiency program in the printing industry. That way you use less nonrenewable power sources. Plus you’ll get cheaper energy bills!
5. Encourage a Sustainable Environment
Sustainable practices start in the office. Consider changing your company culture by providing training to new employees. This can come in the form of education programs to teach them the importance of recycling print material.
This also means supporting printing companies that engage in eco printing practices. Some suppliers do this by printing on sustainable resources.
Others might use renewable energy sources. For example, some paper printers power their press using entirely wind or solar-generated energy.
Want an Environmentally Friendly Printing Company? Go With Team Concept Printing
We hope this article helped you learn more about what eco printing can do for your company. Ultimately, the responsibility to protect our planet falls on all our shoulders.
As such, environmental printing is an important step forward for many companies. But how do you find a supplier that supports green practices? Look no further than Team Concept Printing. Our company refuses to take sustainability lightly.
We’re committed to protecting the environment with low-impact soy ink and recycled paper. If you’re interested in our eco printing, then get in touch with us today.