Make no mistake, our world is polluted enough – the pollution has been growing for a while now and has reached an all-time high. This is the event that triggered the rise in popularity of eco-friendly movements. Perhaps completely unrelated to the environmentally-conscious way of thinking, the Internet has laid out a significant benefit for this world – being able to exchange the documents, without spending paper and ink. However, there are instances where our business needs cannot be satisfied with the print screen option and, although the regular, tree-cutting paper production business has suffered a mighty blow, eco-friendly printing is necessary to exercise environmental damage control even further.
What is Eco-Friendly Printing?
Eco-friendly, or green printing is where recycling, reusing and reducing is applied in order to decrease the amount of resources used for paper printing. The low-VOC inks, recycled paper and computers that are energy-efficient are used, as well as re-manufactured laser toner cartridges.
Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Chemical) inks are compounds with low amounts of VOC like methane. As methane evaporates the created fumes go into the air, causing pollution, smog and the greenhouse effect.
Environmentally beneficial printers use low levels in volatile organic chemicals and thus dwindle the air pollution. However, the pollution that VOC causes doesn’t end with the environment – these compounds are a well-known culprit for indoor air pollution and creating the Sick Building Syndrome.
2 Major Benefits of Having the Eco-Friendly Printer
The advantages of using eco-friendly printers are significant. In fact, they can be divided into two separate categories:
- The obvious environmental benefits
- Marketing benefits
Let’s tackle the environmental benefits first – although paper packaging and printing might seem relatively unrelated (besides the obvious part of one not being able to work without the other), when it comes to green printing, it is mostly done on recycled paper, which helps support our planet’s greatly endangered tree species. This means that the waste of the natural resources is reduced, in addition to using the mentioned low-VOC inks, which dwindle the pollution. Eco-friendly packaging uses specific ingredients, such as soy ink, which helps support our environment and is significantly less damaging to our surroundings, than the traditional inks – which contain poisonous substances. Additionally, traditional packaging materials contain traces of plastics and, although these are found in small quantities, plastics are perhaps the greatest pollutant out there. Lined with petrochemicals, which require huge amounts of energy for production, gathered from non-sustainable resources, for the most part. The damage the plastics cause doesn’t end here – petrochemicals have been linked to many health problems when used with food.
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Contrary to popular belief, the marketing benefits for using eco-friendly printing are huge. The older generations of businessmen are used to using regular, environmentally-harmful ways of printing and are sticking to what they know – traditional printers and inks are the way to go and the eco-friendly mumbo-jumbo is out there just to turn our pockets inside out, even though this is far from the truth. Eco-friendly packaging is very versatile, which means that it can be used in every major industry that involves standard packaging – from baked goods and food products, to electronic devices and hospitality items. Eco-friendly commercial printing also helps improve a business’ brand image – young entrepreneurs are more keen on doing business with those that are environmentally aware, not only because this is a commonsensical way to go and because you will seem like a responsible company, but also because the term ‘eco-friendly’ irradiates a feeling of openness – something many entrepreneurs greatly value in their peers.
Eco-Friendly Printing Made Easy
In order to exercise green printing properly, buying an eco-friendly printer isn’t the end of the story – unless you’re doing it only to create a better image for yourself.
For starters, once you’ve decided to go green, make sure to be on the lookout for a printer with the ENERGY STAR ® label.
Although eco-friendly printers use inks that are significantly less damaging to the environment, even the soy-based ink shouldn’t be overused. This is why you need to keep your printer settings in check at all times and use fonts such as the popular Calibri and Cambria, which have thinner characters than the majority of fonts.
Finally, when it comes to paper, make sure to look for the Forest Stewardship Council seal on the package.
Eco-friendly printing is doubtlessly beneficial for the environment, but many are unaware of its other benefits, in terms of price and marketing. If you have decided to go green with printing, make sure that you go with recycling and reusing paper, as well. The Earth can never benefit enough from environmental consciousness.