I am frequently asked about the steps We Do Printing takes to minimize our impact to the environment. There are many print companies out there that are claiming to be completely green print shops-but this is impossible. Printing, no matter what kind of printing you do, is never going to be completely green but there many choices we can make to ensure it is as eco-friendly as possible.
So here are a few things WDP does:
1. Paper: Whenever possible we use recycled stock, especially for our offset printing. Our letterpress paper is either tree-free cotton, fast growing bamboo or local paper made from a variety of industry waste like denim off-cuts and flax straw. Any scrap paper is reused or recycled. One of the main benefits of letterpress printing is that there is not nearly as much paper waste with each press run as there is with offset printing.
2. Ink: The majority of our inks are soy based and rubber based. Soy ink was thought for a long time to be greener than rubber ink but honestly if you gave them a score-they would be tied. We find that the rubber based inks print nicer so we find ourselves using rubber ink more often than soy ink. Most ink colours are mixed by hand so we don’t have to order in a full tin each time we have a job to do. We also use some oil based inks that were rescued from heading to the landfill after a local print shop went out of business. Reduce is the first R after all!
3. Packaging: The majority of our customers are not local so packaging is a major concern for us. Custom packaging for our printed goods is something we did think about but it really does seem wasteful. So, all of our business card boxes are plain and made from recycled materials, and for shipping, we re-use boxes, bubble wrap and packing from supply orders whenever possible.
An example of how we packaged a wedding invitation suite for shipment. No wasteful custom packaging here!
There are many other choices we’ve made such as having our shop on our property so we don’t need to travel to work everyday, buying in bulk to reduce shipments, using energy efficient lights in our shop and taking donated scrap cloth to use in clean-up. We do consider Mother Earth Everyday, not just on Earth Day.