17 September 2008

Thinking Green

I get lots of inquires about what products I offer that are a little more "green".  Which has lead me, in recent months, to research my suppliers and take steps here at the studio to make greener choices.  Some findings from my research is detailed below.

Paper - all the paper products I use consist, at a minimum, of 30% post consumer fiber and the two classic papers I use most often are now available at 100% post consumer fiber.  The same paper mill that manufactures the fine papers using 100% post consumer fiber has contracted to convert wood and fiber waste into steam energy to power its largest fine paper mill. Here at the studio, I recycle all my paper scraps that are smaller than 3x2 and keep scraps larger than 3x2 for giveaway swatch samples.

Printing - is all together a different monster.  While there are more eco-friendly options like soy based inks, waterless printing and vegetable oil based inks they tend to be pricey and not all together accessible everywhere and/or pertinent to every printing situation.  Where offset and digital printing still remain in high demand (due to their cost effectiveness) - I am elated to see that my letterpress suppliers offer soy based ink options are nearly the same as the traditional petroleum basked ink rates.  

All of my printing suppliers recycle 100% of their paper waste.  One printing supplier is in the works to convert the print shop to run on 100% wind generated energy.  A large step in reducing printing impacts on the environment is to simply print less.  That is where design can come into play - can you get all the information you need into less printed pieces?  Then do it.  No need to print more - just to print more.

Embellishments - Midori, the ribbon manufacturer I use has taken green throughout the organization.  Many employees bike or carpool to work, participate in a project to conserve 20 acres of conifer forest in the Pacific Northwest, electronic newsletters and marketing programs and many, many, more eco-efforts.

What I was surprised to see is that none of my suppliers are ignoring the environment or their impact on it.  Where changes, however small, can me made they've been done and larger projects, however daunting they may seem, are being scoped out and planned for.

While I love email and electronic messaging I would never want to see a day where there is no paper - just save
those paper moments for when they really count. 

Photo courtesy of: The Memory Journalists 

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