Green Printing


In the last few years the exercise of ‘being green’ has come to light in many companies around the country and around the world. One of the biggest industries that is at the brunt of this idea is the print industry. There are many different sides to this argument that printing is or is not a green source to get information. I’m going to shed some light on some of the ways that printing is indeed green and how companies in the print industry can become more green.

Most people are ignorant to the fact that print is a sustainable industry. In fact more printing, means more trees. Trees are usually replanted on the land specifically farmed for trees, when paper is no longer needed then trees are no longer a source of income for those tree farms. The trees will then be cut down and the land will be used for another source of income for the farmers, like crops, housing developments, etc. Therefor with a higher demand for print means a higher demand for trees. Now this being said, there is no need to go around wasting paper for no apparent reason. Everything in this world is in a delicate balance.

“The ideal would be if growing trees was so profitable that landowners could not only afford to manage existing forestland with all its biodiversity in a sustainable manner, but they could also convert land that currently has no trees into forests grown specifically for harvesting as timber, much like Christmas tree farmers do. That would reduce the pressure on primary forests and add, rather than subtract, trees from our landscape.” -Print Grows Trees Campaign.

 As for printing companies striving to be more green there are plenty of businesses that have already switched to Earth friendly and organic inks that are just as good as the previously used inks. And as of now about 65.1% of all paper in the U.S. is currently recycled. Listed below are some ways you can help support print, listed from the Print Grows Trees Campaign.

Support your local newspaper knowing that a tree farmer in Maine or Mississippi can replant and sustainably manage the trees used to make it.

Subscribe to the magazines and catalogs you love knowing that the energy used to make that paper is from at least 60 percent renewable biofuels, has diverted waste from landfills and is helping states meet their green energy goals.

Clip the coupons that save you money knowing that the supply chain that gets you that coupon has been cited at doing the best job of any industry in addressing sustainability issues on a global perspective.

Buy your children a printed copy of a beloved book knowing that the pages are made from a renewable resource, most likely printed with vegetable-based inks, and are ultimately capable of being recycled for use as another paper product in the future.

Support literacy programs that distribute books to children and adults. Reading is fundamental to success in life, and current statistics show that the educational careers of 25-40 percent of American children are in danger because they don’t read well enough. In an increasingly digital world, it’s easy for children to substitute multi-media experiences for reading in their learning process, and books play a valuable role in giving them the reading skills and critical thinking skills they need to lead a full and productive life.

Support your local library. In 2007, there were estimated 117,467 libraries nationwide, representing public, private, academic and specialized libraries. These institutions provide a service to many who do not have full access to digital media, as well as an archive for information of all types.

Of course, there are going to be many sources that say printing companies emit a lot of hazardous chemicals into the air, or that print is dying so no need to buy anything printed anymore, but anyone that knows the bare basics of economics, supply and demand, know that once print truly dies, so will all of the trees.