Sustainability While Printing

Sustainability While Printing

Sustainable printing practices are becoming much more commonplace as the years pass. While we live in a digital era, print is very much still thriving, which we’ve discussed frequently. With this, we and many other printers continuously make the effort to protect the environment through the paper we work with. We have created several blog posts discussing this topic, most notably our guide to sustainable commercial printing from 2020. We also created a YouTube video back in 2022 called “Recycling: How We Help Protect the Environment Through Sustainable Practices.” Take a look at the video below.

In honor of Earth Day occurring this month, we will touch upon a few of these same topics. We’ll let you in on the environmentally friendly practices we implement during the process of printing a job. Sustainable printing practices are easy to maintain when you make an effort!

Austin Sullivan stands in the middle of our digital press room. He is examining one of our six-page stringer booklets printed from the digital press.

Digital printing

One of the major components of our business is digital printing. Unlike offset printers, our digital presses do not require plates. When printing, the ink sits on the top layer of the substrate, meaning less of it is used at a time. Energy costs are significantly reduced as well since digital jobs are completed more quickly.

We also make the effort to upgrade our printers regularly to ensure maximum efficiency and that we can offer the most modern printing technology possible. In turn, we can adopt more sustainability while printing. As new methods are introduced every year, we do our best to follow along with them.

Excess paper is trimmed from a project with our cutting machine.

Reducing print waste

As you can see in our 2022 video, we do our best to recycle any paper scraps we work through. When we are printing, we also orient paper so it takes up the maximum space on a sheet. This prevents as much paper waste as possible.

For example, a printed project may be 8.5 x 11 inches, very common for flyers. If the paper it is printed on is 17 x 11 inches, we will print two flyers on that sheet of paper before trimming it down. In this case, we would write the project down as “2-up,” two projects on one sheet of paper. This is a generalized explanation and is a little more complex than that (with also slightly different paper sizes to account for bleed!), but you get the idea.

Click to view exactly how our printed projects are trimmed down.

Scraps of paper from various print projects sit in a cardboard box waiting to be recycled.

Recycled paper

The most obvious answer for how we can all be environmentally friendly? Recycling, of course. We all know that. However, while recycling paper is the best course of action, it is not recyclable forever. The fibers of the paper will break down after multiple uses. As a result, new fibers must be continuously brought into paper manufacturing as well. That said, we always use new fibers from sustainably managed forests along with recycled fibers.

We partner with the FSC to certify the source of our paper and reduce the overall carbon impact. The FSC works to ensure the permanent existence of forest areas through responsible forest management and conservation.

Helpful Hints

April 26, 2024

(2 min. read)

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.