Eco-Green Issues, Ink, and Stationery
- I am always amused by the discussions among stationery printers
regarding ink use issues. While everyone is making an issue for
printers, there are many other things to consider. We live in a very
eco-unfriendly culture with a very eco-unfriendly economy. A
tablespoon of ink for a wedding package is the least of issues when
considered in the big picture. As I often say, while
environmentalists are worrying about how much water a toilet uses,
non-environmentalists are busy draining the pond. I am a committed
environmentalist (organized chapters of Earth First and The Green
Party when I lived in Kansas City), but the realities of being
committed to green policies are way more complex than a simple
consumer decision for wedding invitations. Focusing on the use of soy
inks without being aware of other issues (fuel consumption, waste
etc) is probably more of a problem.
I relocated Manifesto to a carbon-negative building to continue my
commitment to green values. Our building generates electricity from
two hydro-power wheels. It also sells clean energy to the grid and is
part of a city-wide canal system with nine hydro-wheels that generate
50 megawatts of clean juice.
We have a few clients who will only use Soy-based inks and we've
adapted our process to meet their needs. But the quality of printing
is noticeably less with soy inks.
1) Soy based inks almost always skin, which means your ink waste goes
up. Even with extra steps to avoid skinning, you usually always get
some amount of skin. Ink skin in the trash or recovery can is waste.
2) Soy inks cannot be left on press over night. If you are running a
large order, they must be removed, which requires an additional washup.
3) Soy inks are much better suited for offset. They lack body and are
4) A lot of the companies I know who push for a "green Image" also
exhibit at the stationery show every year. If there is anything that
is not "Green" it's the stationery show. When it is over, they are
literally bulldozing trash into huge compactors.
manifesto letterpress / industrie standard
4 open square way - L101
holyoke, ma 01040
full-service commercial letterpress
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