Tips on Eco-Friendly Printing
Do you want to print green but don’t know where to start? Green print solutions are a balance between the environment and your budget. Simply put, today printing “green” will cost you more “green.”
The three most common printing methods are offset, color digital, and large format. Using any one of these methods, you can get print jobs that are non-eco-friendly, somewhat friendly, or even very eco-friendly. The good news is that most paper brands now have recycled paper stocks ranging from small amounts to 100% recycled content. Today, most print jobs are printed on less eco-friendly paper, so non eco-friendly is cheaper than greener alternatives.
Here are some ideas to make your print jobs greener, no matter what your job is:
OFFSET: With offset printing you have a lot of “green” choices. All brands of paper for offset printing have a recycled solution. Most printers stock only a couple types of recycled paper, so if you have a specific need, you’ll need to plan ahead and make both timeline and budget adjustments.
In addition to the recycled paper, offset printing allows you to use the more eco-friendly soy-based inks. The good news is that soy-based inks do not cost any more than standard inks. Not all printers use soy-based inks, so you need to ask!
COLOR DIGITAL (up to 12” x 18”): With digital printing your green choices are limited. Many digital presses limit the types of paper you can run on them. Upon request you can print on 100% recycled paper or something less than 100%, as your budget allows. Because it’s bit more expensive it is not usually kept in stock. Again, you need to ask!
LARGE FORMAT (posters, etc.): In large format printing, there tend to be few to no green choices right now. The paper and plastic products used for large format plotters do not contain recycled content. Recycled content is being tested on these larger machines and will soon become more available, but at a premium cost.
If you want to help the environment, request materials that have a higher percentage of recycled content. As demand for green options rises, the costs will go down.