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Eco-friendly printing is easier and more affordable than ever thanks to modern technology, which means businesses of all sizes can engage in eco-friendly business practices without having to spend a fortune. In fact, eco-friendly printing is just as cost efficient as traditional printing, yet it helps your business play a role in saving the environment and creating a healthy planet for all humankind. Each of the following technologies has changed the printing landscape profoundly; they've made it easy for you to go green with your business marketing.
One of the most influential eco-friendly printing innovations was the advent of soy-based inks, or simply soy inks. Until soy inks were invented, petroleum-based inks were the norm in most print shops. Once cutting-edge technology in their own right, petroleum inks had one drawback: They released a large amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the drying process. Soy inks release far fewer VOCs into the environment during drying, and have the added bonus of producing more vibrant colors.
The concept of business and print recycling isn't new, but the many processes that make recycling more efficient than ever are. Once viewed as a thorn in the side of any well-laid budget, recycling has become an eco-friendly way for printing companies to reduce costs and their carbon footprints. Not only do eco-friendly printing companies recycle press cuts, they re-purpose recycled paper into high-quality premium stock such as 13-point recycled matte.
Why does digital printing fit into an article on eco-friendly printing? Because it is a new technology that uses soy inks and has made it more affordable for companies to order short-run print jobs. Thus, there is no reason to order an extra 2,000 brochures just to keep prices low - 2,000 brochures that would never be used and could ultimately end up in the landfill.
The mail house might not be as old as the print shop, but it's close. Mailing direct-mail postcards and other materials via planes and automobiles might not seem like eco-friendly printing until you consider that before mailing services were available directly from print shops, printed pieces had to first be shipped to the buyer before they could be mailed. Removing the middle man vastly reduces harmful emissions and is a logical step toward going green with eco-friendly printing.
Design software, e-mail, and FTP uploads have drastically reduced the amount of paper needed to design marketing pieces. In addition, the ability to upload via FTP and e-mail means that there are no shipping costs, no extra paper or plastic packaging materials, and small businesses can shop around for the most affordable, high-quality printing companies nationwide. Each innovation listed here has made printing more eco-friendly, but together they've not only made eco-friendly printing possible they've also made it more affordable and empowered small businesses to save even more money and compete with large corporations on a broad scale via access to affordable premium printing services.