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What is Green Printing?

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Printing in a way which is eco friendly would be considered green printing. This would involve the use of natural inks, such as soy inks, recycled paper, energy conservation and making use of renewable energy.

There are numerous organizations that help to oversee that green printing operations maintain certain standards, which might include using recycled products and paying close attention to paper conservation. These organizations would include Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, just to mention a few. Green certified printing on recycled papers will help to reduce your carbon footprint, while still retaining commercial quality with minimal environmental impact.

Print houses produce what are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are caused by petroleum-based inks, laminates, varnishes, and adhesives. The fumes that are generated from these compounds increase the risk of asthma attacks, according to the EPA and environmental advocacy groups.

Large amounts of fossil fuels are consumed in the production of paper, and with the excess demand for electricity, printers are major users of our natural resources. All printing operations should be striving to become more sustainable, and that means recycling and reusing paper and other supplies whenever possible.

What is the best approach for printers to "green” their businesses? First, they should consider bringing their operations into compliance with all environmental regulations, and then adopt pollution prevention and resource conservation practices.

The Top Ten Green Printing Practices

1. Computerize pre-press operations
2. Establish a solvent recycling program
3. Use alcohol-free printing
4. Print on "treeless" and recycled content papers
5. Educate customers on "green printing"
6. Use low VOC inks
7. Sequence print jobs by ink color
8. Establish inventory control
9. Communicate without paper
10. Use energy efficient equipment

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