Printing While Thinking Green: What is Eco-Friendly Printing
Turning production processes “green” has become a priority for many companies across all industries in 2022 and beyond. With respect to print, the form of green we are referring to is eco-friendly, sustainable printing. The term sustainable printing might sound like an oxymoron because printing naturally involves substantial energy, paper, and ink to work. All of these are by nature environmentally unfriendly right? The answer is false! Eco-friendly, sustainable printing is a misunderstood real process that takes place every day. There are numerous techniques to sustainable printing as well as many benefits that are hidden behind common misconceptions about the process. Let us dive into what sustainable printing is.
What is Sustainable Printing?
Eco-friendly printing applies green innovations into a few elements of the normal process of printing. These elements include materials used for print, associated technology, and the very ink printed. All these work in conjunction to minimize impacts on the environment by reducing consumption of energy, pollution, and overall waste.
Debunking Misconceptions About Sustainable Printing
Paper comes from sources other than trees
It is common belief among most people that paper can only be made by cutting down and refining trees into a pulp form, then to large rolls that can be used. More paper equals more trees cut down is an easy decision, right? Wrong, there are in fact various sources other than trees that can be used to produce what we think of as paper. A few examples of sources other than timber to make paper: cotton, bamboo, hemp, kenaf, and sugar cane. All these alternative sources require much less time and energy to produce into a paper form thus reducing impacts felt on the environment.
Sustainable printing is NOT lower quality
Another common misconception about sustainable printing is that it produces lower quality prints than traditional methods. Most people make assumptions about recycled paper such as that it looks or feels strange. People think “green” ink is not as visually appealing or vivid and that the entire process behind environmentally friendly printing is not up to standard resulting in diluted quality and an overall inferior resulting product. The fact is with today’s advancements in green technology, folders, flyers, and postcards that are made from eco-friendly materials and processes look identical to those made traditionally.
Sustainable printing has become affordable
Green technology, materials, and processes are automatically thought of as expensive. Firms in the print industry produce thousands of print materials each day, and the thought of the perceived extra cost can deter pursuit of these processes. While sustainable printing used to be quite expensive, advancements and popularity of sustainability in recent years has caused cost to come down significantly. Today, eco-friendly printing methods are comparable and sometimes less expensive than traditional methods.
With the health of our environment becoming ever more important, adapting to the use of sustainable printing has become more important than ever. The process has become far more efficient than it was a decade ago and at far less cost. There are multiple sources other than timber to make paper which suppresses the need to cut so many down thus saving the natural environment. The faster eco-friendly printing processes are adopted, the quicker our planet will heal.