Green Printing As a Good Example

Green Printing As a Good Example by

Water, energy and wood are just some of the many natural resources used for both printing and the production of paper. Inks, acids, solvents, dyes, lacquers, varnishes, driers and various other solutions are used in printing process, and can be hazardous for the environment as well as for humans. Luckily, various green printing alternatives are at one’s disposal. Post-consumer waste recycled-content papers, papers processed without chlorine, vegetable-based inks, as well as products made with renewable energy.

What Paper to Use

One option can be the use of recycled paper. The most important benefits of recycled paper are the fact that it saves trees from being cut, uses less energy, reduces toxic chemicals, and produces fewer emissions than virgin paper. Paper is made from either virgin wood, pre-consumer waste, or post-consumer waste. Pre-consumer waste concerns waste from paper mills and manufacturing plants, whereas post-consumer waste involves paper waste from printing processes. If a sheet of paper contains a big amount of post-consumer waste recycled content that means that a minimal amount of water, trees, and energy was used to produce paper. This is a great way of saving the natural resources. When a paper pulp is made from fibers, which are recycled, the process requires less bleaching, unlike the process of manufacturing the virgin paper. The most environmental friendly is 100% post-consumer waste recycled content. When people use paper with post-consumer waste content, they support the paper recycling industry, which influences retailers to lower the price consumers will have to pay for recycled paper.Green Printing As a Good Example by

Unlike papers from tree pulp, tree free paperrequires fewer chemicals and less energy to process. It contains no acid and it is recyclable. Cotton, soybean, kenaf, and wheat are usually the plants from which tree free paper is made. However, it is more expensive than virgin paper and it is usually imported.

Furthermore, paper produced using renewable energy is also more suitable than using virgin paper. Sunlight, rain, wind, and tides, are resources which are naturally replenished, thus generating renewable energy. For someone to claim they have used this sort of energy in their manufacture, they must find a way to generate the energy at their plant. Meaning, they would have to use on-site solar, tide, wind, biomass or geothermal heat sources. However, they could also try to purchase energy already generated by a renewable resource. One ton of virgin uncoated paper consumes about 19,075 gallons of water, three tons of wood, and generates 2, 278 pounds of solid waste, according to an advocacy group called Environmental Defense. I would say that is more than enough reason to go green in producing paper.

Eco Friendly InksGreen Printing As a Good Example by

The process of printing usually involves a variety of inks, acids, solvents, lacquers, resins, dyes, driers, modifiers, extenders, shellacs, varnishes, and other solutions. Lead, silver, cadmium, chromium, chloroform, toluene, and other chemicals used in printing can be highly toxic. What is more, chlorine bleaching of paper is related to cancer-causing water pollutants. Environmentally friendly printer ink involves soy or flax inks, which are vegetable-based inks. Using them reduces the need for petroleum based inks use that can be hazardous to both environment, and a human. Moreover, they are as functional as inks that contain lead, mercury, and cadmium. If manufacturers chose to use remanufactured types of ink cartridges, they would be helping the green printing technique immensely.

The more you go green the better. Use every chance you have to turn to eco-friendly sources. Living in the 21st century has its advantages, but sometimes we forget that unless we take care of our planet it will not be able to survive on its own. Therefore, the next time you want to print something out, ask yourself if you really need it in print. I am sure it can be even more available to you if it was stored in your smartphone, tablet, or a laptop.


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