'Green printing' is a method of printing that takes the environment into account when deciding on what types of papers to buy and what types of chemicals to avoid. The first place to start to switch to green printing is with the source of the paper. Estimates suggest that 100 million trees are cut down annually to supply fiber for writing and printing paper. Although trees are replanted, this is not done on the same scale. Using recycled paper cuts down on that number by reusing post-consumer content such as paper and fabrics. For example, one alternative to wood pulp is blue jean cotton. Instead of using caustic bleach to whiten papers, manufacturers can use chlorine dioxide. This is the same chlorine used in swimming pools and is less harmful.
When going green, a printing company should also consider the inks that it uses. Soy-based inks are becoming very popular because they let out fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the environment. Print companies can also cut down on the number of colors they use on some works; two can be as effective as three. Pantone color inks are also preferable to metallic based ones.
Companies can also make sure they are following industry standards. Most printing associations have information on these and how to follow them effectively. The last way for a printing company to become green is by keeping up on the latest technology such as water-washable inks and wind energy.
By following the steps above, printing companies will find that they are helping to preserve the environment for the next generation.