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Archive for January, 2008

Green-washing

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Carolyn Bigda, who writes the business column Getting Started, recently warned about “green washing,” a term dubbed to describe companies that profess to be green and distribute green marketing materials, but only do the minimum.

“Green” is the new black, the latest fad. And companies are eager to tap into consumers’ growing desire to do their bit to address global warming and protect the environment.

In food products, for instance, the label “natural” suggests “organic” without meeting the standards required for an “organic” label. In fact, there are no government standards for labeling something as “natural” or “free-range.”

Other companies are playing the same game with vague claims like “eco-friendly,” “earth-friendly,” “eco-safe” – without a significant commitment to practices that warrant those labels.

Bigda advises consumers to conjure up a large measure of skepticism while wading through the hype and look for specifics. Don’t assume that a company’s green efforts are meaningful or substantial unless you have the information that backs that up.

Bigda offers some websites that can help you check out a company’s green claims:
For organic standards, check out www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexNet.htm
For information about eco-friendly products and habits, go to www.newdream.org and www.greenerchoices.org
To find out what the FTC says about environmental claims, go to www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/eande/index.html

Eco-friendly wedding invitations

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

You may not know that Raleigh’s original eco-friendly printer offers letterpress printing on recycled paper for wedding announcements and invitations, calling cards and other green printing projects. We use the same soy inks and recycled papers to print small runs of hand-crafted, green printing projects on our mid century Chandler-Price letterpress that we employ on our five-color offset printing press.

Low waste and a low hourly rate combine to make short runs of letterpress printing affordable and eco-friendly, and the nature of the feeder on the letterpress allows for a wider range of papers, including recycled kraft chipboard. The letterpress plate embosses while it prints, producing a wonderful old-school, craftsman-like feel to the printed page. Talk to us about ways to use the letterpress to make your project more unique.

How eco-friendly is digital printing?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Xerox claims it’s dry inks are edible, making them some of the most eco-friendly printing inks on the market today. That’s right, if you order green printing from Barefoot Press, your project can be printed on recycled paper with edible inks. We’re not sure how good they taste, but they evidently don’t do any more harm to the environment than they do to your liver. Also, because digital printing requires fewer make-ready sheets, it uses less recycled paper than conventional offset printing. For short runs and very high quality, digital printing can be a good choice for your green printing projects. And if you need more than a couple hundred sheets, our offset printing department will take care of you. Your account manager will automatically quote the most cost-effective method, while assuring the most eco friendly printing process is used for your marketing material.

The most eco-friendly offset printing paper

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Our house uncoated paper contains recycled fiber made from 100% post consumer waste, and is processed chlorine free, making it the best choice for green printing, especially when coupled with soy inks and water-miscible solvents. It’s hard to buy more eco-friendly printing than this. Barefoot Press, Raleigh’s original green printer, offers this paper in every popular text and cover weight. This eco friendly offset printing paper is suitable for letterhead, brochures, one-sheets and flyers, as well as booklets and catalogs. It is very affordable, helping to break down the myth that green printing has to be expensive. In fact, we offer a complete line of recycled paper and recycled envelopes in all weights and finishes at very affordable prices. Contact your account manager for a quote on your green printing project. Call 800-229-1164 or email info@barefootpress.com!

Rare wildlife spotted

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

For the past few years, our lead account manager has been spotting a rare albino deer in his inner-city neighborhood near Cary, NC. No-one wanted to believe him when he told the story, but now the animal has been captured on film. Jamie Weber’s neighbor snapped this picture yesterday. I know this isn’t about green printing or eco-friendly marketing, but we thought you guys would enjoy seeing this beautiful animal. It’s nice to know that wildlife finds a way to survive, even in the over-developed Triangle.

Green Printing

If it’s yellow…

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Being a green printer, and having been involved in the business of eco-friendly printing since 1987, I am keenly insterested in all aspects of conservation. Our offset printing presses use water, but not very much. However the paper-making process, including the manufacture of recycled paper, uses so much water that the mills must maintain their own wastewater treatment facilities. Water conservation and use issues are frequently on my mind. So it was that I had wandered into a department store here in drought-stricken Raleigh the other day, and found myself in the restroom in front of the urinals.

Now, let me begin by telling you that I don’t flush public toilets, or any other toilets, after a pee. It’s just wasteful, and I wasn’t brought up to be wasteful. Looking around, I noticed that at least one other citizen of Raleigh, NC must be thinking the same way, as the urinal neighboring mine was not filled with clear water either. As I was doing my business, a fellow shopper approached the aforementioned unrinal, and the FIRST THING HE DID WAS FLUSH THE TOILET!

While I was digesting the concept that one couldn’t even bring themselves to urinate into a toilet without flushing it FIRST, I finished my business and stepped back in time to hear my friend flush for the second time. As I washed my hands, a new urinal patron arrived, and promptly flushed the urinal that I had just used! I left before I had to bear the inevitable second flush.

Mind you, the Governor of NC is begging us to conserve water, and our reservoirs are looking more and more like mud-puddles every day. Every urinal flush uses almost a gallon of water, while a standard water-saving toilet uses 1.6 gallons per. Even I will agree they need to be flushed from time to time, but my nose tells me that up to 8 hours of percolating creates no noticable unpleasantness, and if you don’t want to look at it just close the lid! The ladies of the house will thank you for that, anyway. So please, If you are one of these people that can’t bear to leave their waste in anything but crystal clear, fresh water, please post a reply and tell me why! I want to understand… really I do.

Our recycled building.

Monday, January 14th, 2008

When our lease finally ran out last year on our home of 14 years on West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh, NC, we went looking for a building we could afford to purchase. Our search was concentrated inside the beltline, and we finally found the perfect location near Five Points. Our new space is a 1950′s era industrial building, which contains many architectural design cues of the era. Immediately, we set ourselves to the task of shaping this neglected gem into the perfect home for Raleigh’s original green printer!

First, we had to gut the existing electrical and bring it all up to code, while supplying enough juice for our multicolor offset printing presses. Then we got to focus on the fun stuff, so we called upon our friend and client Charles Holden of Raleigh’s Oxide Architecture for help. Charles is an expert in sustainable, eco-friendly architecture.

We started by gutting out the old drop ceiling in the front room, exposing the beautiful, original framing. We then installed sustainable bamboo flooring in our customer areas and offices. We opened up a couple of walls and enlarged our bathroom doors to 36″ to make them accessible. Leaking, rusty metal windows in the bathrooms were replaced with new aluminum double-pane insulated units for better energy-efficiency. Natural quarry tile was laid in the bathrooms and hallway.

The original leaky plumbing was replaced and on-demand water heaters installed. We re-conditioned many old fixtures, and what we couldn’t salvage was replaced with water-saving alternatives. Energy-efficient lighting was installed, along with programmable thermostats to control high-efficiency HVAC units. Motion sensor light switches turn off lights automatically when rooms are not in use. Dimmers allow us to reduce wattage as well.

Our friend and neighbor, cabinet maker Rob Stone, built and installed custom cabinets, and cast a concrete countertop to create a coffee-bar just off the conference room. We found a great, used commercial stainless sink that is the smallest we’ve ever seen! Everything has been brightened up with low-VOC latex paints.

We have more work to do, and exciting plans for the exterior. Since we do much of the work ourselves, progress has been slow. But we’d rather go this route than build from scratch, as recycling old architecture is so much more rewarding, and results in less environmental impact.

We love our new neighborhood just off Whitaker Mill Road. Larry’s Beans is just down the street, with one of Raleigh’s rare biodeisel pumps out front. There’s a lot of energy going into green business here and we’re proud to be part of the movement. Call us for a tour any time, and keep an eye out for our open house announcement. We’re planning our house-warming party for the Spring of 2008.

China bans plastic shopping bags

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

In reaction to the environmental impact of billions of thin plastic bags floating around China, the government has banned their production altogether. The backers of the law hope that this will lead to greater environmental awareness throughout the population. Going forward, groceries will have to be packed into straw baskets or cloth bags as they were before the bags became ubiquitous. In response to China’s initiative, Australia has also committed to phasing the bags out by year’s end.

Water Conservation Tips

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Ordering green printing is a great start, but there are many things you can do to make your office and your life more eco-friendly. As most of our local customers know, the Triangle area is in a record drought. Like many areas of the country, every year our reservoir levels get lower during the fall and winter. We feel that this has as much to do with unchecked development as it does with reduced rainfall, but whatever the cause, it is important that we all do what we can to help, both at home and at the office.

We found these tips for water conservation on the NC state government website (www.ncgov.com) and wanted to pass them along. Please comment if you have other tips to share.

Kitchen
- Eliminate leaks by replacing old gaskets. A dripping faucet can waste 3,600 gallons a year.
- Install faucet aerators.
- Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge, instead of running water until its cold.
- Don’t leave the water running while rinsing dishes.
- Don’t use a garbage disposal.
- Only use the dishwasher with full loads, and use the “water-saver” setting, if available.
- Don’t rinse dirty dishes before loading into dishwater; scrape clean and let the machine do the rest.
- Don’t thaw frozen food under running water.

Bathroom
- Don’t leave the water running while rinsing, shaving, or brushing teeth.
- If you hear running water in your toilet tank, adjust the leaky float valve or replace the faulty hardware.
- Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket.
- Install a water-filed plastic jug or a “toilet tank bag” in your toilet tank to reduce the water used per flush. Don’t use a brick, which may crumble.
- Check for leaks by dropping a small amount of food coloring in the upper tank. If color appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
- Take shorter showers
- Install faucet aerators and or water-saving showerheads.

Outdoors
- Check for and repair leaky garden taps, hose connections and sprinkler valves.
- Water in the morning or evening, not in the heat of the day, to prevent evaporation.
- Avoid watering on windy days.
- Water slowly, thoroughly, and as infrequently as possible to promote deep roots and healthy plants.
- Hold your garden hose close to the roots of plants so that there’s little waste and evaporative loss.
- Add compost and other organic matter to your soil to improve its water holding capacity.
- Choose plants that don’t require a lot of water.
- Mulch all plant beds to reduce evaporation, weeds, and soil temperature.
- Position sprinklers so that they do not water pavement.
- Use rinse water from the house to water plants in or near the house.
- Never let water run unnecessarily
- Limit car washing. Use a bucket and a hose with spray attachment.
- Don’t use the hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. A broom will provide more exercise, anyway.

The Red Cross goes green!

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

The Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross in Raleigh, NC has partnered with Barefoot Press to go green in 2008! From now on, the Triangle ARC is committed to green printing, using recycled paper in all of their offset printing materials. The envelopes used in their mailings are now 100% post-consumer recycled, and are printed in soy-based inks. The Red Cross in the Triangle reconizes the importance of eco-friendly printing, and has turned to Raleigh’s original green printer for help. We are proud to support their efforts: www.trianglearc.org.

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