Green printing, or eco-friendly printing, can encompass a variety of different components that help reduce a manufacturer’s environmental impact. Over the years, Walker360 has printed thousands of colors and these days we are more committed than ever to printing green.
Most of us are sensitive about the environment. We have all seen that single sentence at the bottom of an email: “Think before you print.” Over the years, the Media world has taught us to believe if we can just stop cutting down trees altogether everything will be better. We will save the environment if we just stop printing paper. Many people don’t realize that they are actually harming the environment through their computers as well. The reality is, you use more energy and create more greenhouse gases reading an email on your computer screen than if you just printed it out.
33 billion kilowatt hours of electricity is wasted each year on spam. This is the same greenhouse gas emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using two billion gallons of gasoline.
These days, everyone wants you to go paperless. Every bank and insurance statement you get in the mail reminds you that you could get it online. Your utility and phone companies want you to pay your bills online. The argument they use is that you can save time, money (a stamp) and energy by doing all your business online. Theses businesses, along with the media, imply that it is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Fact is, all they are really doing is trying to cut their mailing and printing costs.
Paper is biodegradable and decomposes in a landfill without releasing methane, one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases.
The entire printing industry revolves around trees. Without trees, the print industry ceases to exist. In order to stay in business, paper mills have to continue to plant trees or find someone who is planting trees they can harvest. After the trees are harvested, it is back to square one: planting more trees. Despite what the media might have you think, the printing industry is trying harder than ever to protect the environment. Each year, 2.5 billion trees are planted to accommodate the paper demands from every industry. From the medicine and hygiene products, to large corporations and advertising to even print businesses like Walker360. In fact, only 36% of the wood harvested from the world’s forests is used by the paper industry.
65% of all paper in the U.S. is recycled, more than any other material. Compare that to only 15% of electronic devices and 12% of plastic water bottles.
Trees are a renewable resource, but there have to be incentives for landowners to plant more trees. By depressing the market of paper and wood products, landowners will turn to other income methods instead of growing more trees. By maintaining a demand for paper and wood products, we give forest owners an incentive to keep land as forests.
Walker360 has long been a leader as a responsible steward of our planet’s resources.
We are a member of Earth Safe Printing, an organization of printers who are dedicated to conserving, preserving and protecting the environment. Here are some of the things we are doing as a responsible manufacturer to maintain green printing practices:
- All the paper we use for our printing is made with energy generated from renewable resources.
- No matter what the job is, we recycle all of our paper waste. Last year alone, we recycled 155.47 tons of paper.
- Each of our printers uses 100% aluminum plates for printing. These plates are directly imaged on, thereby eliminating a need for petroleum-based films and hard developing solvents. The aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, and last year we recycled 6,232 pounds.
- We educate and encourage our employees to recycle plastic and aluminum, and to eliminate waste whenever possible.
- Our “Print on Demand” services allow our customers to order and print only what they need when they need it. This aides in reducing print overruns, waste and unnecessary warehousing.
- When we approach a direct-mail project, mailing lists are ran through NCOA (National Change of Address) to avoid the waste and costs associated with undeliverable mail. This ensures we are not mailing a person who has recently moved to another address.
- We invest in the latest technology for printing presses and equipment that are designed to operate more efficiently and use less energy. Our high tech printers also reduce the amount of waste, and is either self-cleaning or cleaned without the use of harsh detergents or chemicals.
- Our warehouse and office spaces use energy-efficient, environmentally friendly lighting to reduce the amount of power required, annual emissions and airborne pollutants.
- All our printers use environmentally friendly inks, including soy and vegetable-based inks. Our inks meet or exceed environmental laws and regulations, contain no hazardous ingredients, have a high natural oil content and low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
- In addition, we also offer environmentally friendly options to our customers, such as using recycled or chlorine-free paper.
In the end, it isn’t about the print and paper versus digital technology.
As with any controversy between old and new technologies, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions, and use that information to improve our world. Sometimes it makes sense to print. Other times, it makes sense not to. To know the difference is to be responsible and wise. At Walker360, we have children and grandchildren just like everyone else. And we want to pass to them a world that is cleaner, brighter, and better. As new and improved technologies emerge that will help us to become even more environmentally responsible, we will incorporate them into our business. Because we imagine a cleaner future, one that continues to provide a world of possibilities.