a staff image of Kristen StaussHere at Uptown Studios we like to be as “green” as possible. The printing options we use are one way that we do this. Here is some information on some not so new, cleaner, greener printing options.

One I find to be most important would be selecting the FSC Certified papers. FSC stand for Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC’s mission is to “Promote environmentally sound socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forest.” The FSC has a set of 10 principals and 57 criteria to meet or exceed in order grow this idea.

Recycled papers, pre- and post consumer waste content are also very important details to look at when choosing a “greener” way to print.  Pre-consumer recycled content refers to the paper collected within the mills and printing plants prior to reaching the end user. Post-consumer content refers to household and commercial goods that have been recycled into a new paper product. Producing recycled paper produces 74% less air pollution, 35% less water pollution, creates five times more jobs and saves old growth trees and native habitat.

Ink choices are also very important in making the “greenest” choice. Two of the main options are using Soy-based ink or Vegetable based inks. Soy based ink was developed in the 1970’s as a response to the oil crisis, since that time developers have been continually searching for better ink technologies. While soy based ink is a better choice than traditional petroleum inks, the typical soy based ink only has to be 7% soy oils to be labeled as soy. All Soy inks will reduce VOC, or Volatile Organic Compounds, being released into the atmosphere.

Vegetable inks are a safer more sustainable way to go, usually containing linseed oil but can be made from any number of vegetable sources including corn, walnut, coconut, canola and soy. Veggie oils tend to take longer to dry but thy release significantly less VOC’s into the air. Veggie inks are also renewable resources and harsh toxic solvents are not needed for clean up.

Additional things to avoid when looking for “greener” printing options are things like; Metallic inks that are not recyclable and can deposit potentially harmful metallic particles in landfills that can get into the ground water. UV coatings are non-recyclable – the inks and coatings can’t be removed from the papers so all of  it will end up in the landfill. Lastly, laminations are not a wise “green” choice, they may make your product sturdier but the paper cannot be removed from the plastics for recycling and the plastics are non-recyclable.

Contact us today for your next print project and get green with Uptown Studios!

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Sources:

http://worldcentric.org/biocompostables/paper-info

https://us.fsc.org/mission-and-vision.187.htm

http://www.printtogether.com.au/environment

 

Kristen Stauss
By Kristen Stauss