Going green doesn’t always mean eliminating paper altogether. In fact, there are many applications where print is the advantageous choice over digital media. I won’t go into that, but check out our white paper, “Choosing the Right Media for Your Events” if you need to see a comparison between print, CD, flash drive and online media.
So what is green printing?
It involves everything from the sustainable forestry practices, transportation of materials from company to company, FSC certified paper, the practices the printer uses… all things that affect the total carbon foot print. When you add all that up, it makes a difference.
One could look at it as if any printing you do that reduces your overall carbon foot print is a step in the right direction. It can be as simple as just reducing the number of pages you print or printing on recycled paper with soy-based inks.
I’ve compiled a some environmentally friendly printing tips and resources you may find useful to reduce your carbon footprint.
10 Eco-Friendly Printing Tips
- Consider eco-friendly design elements when designing your printed materials.
- Choose finished sizes for your printed materials that make the most efficient use of standard paper sizes. While bleeds (ink “bleeding: off the edge of the printed piece) may look nice they often increase the paper waste stream as larger sheet sizes are needed to produce the bleed effect.
- Minimize ink coverage by eliminating full bleeds or large solid ink areas if possible. Using less ink often means saving press time, paper and money.
- Print on recycled paper containing a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste.
- Use chlorine free papers when possible. Ask your printer what they are using to be sure.
- Request soy/vegetable based inks for offset printing or low VOC toner when printing digitally. Petroleum based inks contain carcinogens known to cause cancer.
- Avoid the use of metallic or fluorescent inks as these inks contain more harmful elements in the pigments including in some cases, heavy metals, barium, copper and zinc.
- Minimize page count for printed proceedings, handouts or event handbooks by placing presentation slides 3-up, 4-up or even 6-up per page and by printing on both sides of the sheet.
- Print on the lightest weight paper possible.
- Print only what you need. Consider a print on demand option if needed.
Download our 15 Green Printing Tips
for more valuable information.
Here are a few other links on green printing.
- Printing Green: 12 Things You Need to Know
- Barefoot Press – On Green Printing
- How green printing can make a good impression
- Green printing at Omnipress
And just so you know, Omnipress does take the environment seriously, both from an internal position and to the types of products we produce to how we produce them.