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Eco-Green Issues, Ink, and Stationery

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  • Bryan Hutcheson
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 27, 2009
      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
      often soupy.

      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.



      bryan hutcheson
      manifesto letterpress / industrie standard
      4 open square way - L101
      holyoke, ma 01040
      p:877.529.0009

      www.manifestopress.com
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