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Archive for February, 2008

A Greener Clean cleans up the cleaning act

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

We just finished a branding project for a Triangle area startup called A Greener Clean, a cleaning business that is committed to using eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. Owner Derek Heath is offering commercial and residential cleaning services in Raleigh, Cary, and surrounding areas. We created a unique 2-color logo and identity system for him, and of course he ordered green printing collateral including door hangers and business cards printed on our house recycled papers using soy inks. We also produced vehicle graphics for his green-clean-mobile, a Toyota Matrix hatchback.

Your green printer is using A Greener Clean for office maintenance, and they do a great job! If you are interested in their services, you can contact them at 919-740-6268. Keep an eye out for the company’s website, which is in the works.

Green Printing

More on how Pepsi is contributing to water woes in Raleigh

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

We have some more information for you regarding our previous post about Pepsi and Coke. According to an article in the News & Observer, Pepsi Bottling Ventures draws over 400,000 gallons a day from Falls Lake. The lake is the main reservoir providing water to drought-stricken Raleigh, NC.

As reported in the N&O:
…In calling for a boycott of Pepsi, Brown, the Durham councilman, said the company draws 400,000 gallons a day from Falls Lake and bottles it as Aquafina. Reimer declined to respond to Brown’s assertion, other than to note that Pepsi accounts for less than 1 percent of the water distributed by Raleigh, which has averaged about 40.6 million gallons a day over the last month.

The City has now required all car wash businesses and pressure washing businesses to stop using water, but so far has declined to limit Pepsi’s massive consumption in any way. In fact, they pay the same rate as any other user in Garner.

Read all about it:

Vinyl banner recycling program

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Barefoot Press, in conjunction with Whole Foods Markets, is implementing a recycling program for obsolete vinyl banners. Beginning immediately, you can drop off your old banners either at Whole Foods Market at Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue in Raleigh, or at our location at 731 Pershing Rd. The banners will be delivered to a processor that can dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner.

Because we are a green printer, and vinyl banners are not really the best example of green printing, we wanted to offer a means for eco-friendly disposal. The banners would take many years to break down in a landfill, and could leach chemicals in the process.

Barefoot offers green printing alternatives to vinyl, such as heavy recycled paper for indoor use and natural canvas for indoor and outdoor use. However, if the application calls for a long-lasting product that must be water proof, vinyl may be the best, if not the only option. This program will help reduce the carbon footprint.

We offer a wide variety of large format print products, including translites, product labeling, static clings, posters, vehicle graphics and trade show displays. Your account manager can help guide you through the options for all of your point-of-sale materials.

Pepsi and Coke contributing to water shortage

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Your green printer is on the soap-box about water again. Sorry folks, but the more we read and hear about the drought here in North Carolina, the more interesting things get. The Independent Weekly reports that mega-corporations Pepsi and Coca Cola have maneuvered themselves into a favorable position to take advantage of our water crisis.

The deal is this: Pepsi and Coke are the two largest bottlers of water in the market. Pepsi Bottling Ventures bottles Aquafina here in Raleigh, NC drawing from municipal sources. Coke draws water for its Dasani brand from Charlotte, NC reservoirs. The state has signed a contract not to compete with retailers if the cities run out of water. This means that if the reservoirs run dry, no state agency will step in to help its citizens until all of the bottled water has been sold off retailer’s shelves.

Interesting conflict of priorities… Despite the extreme shortage, neither Pepsi nor Coke has been asked to pay more for the water it draws from the municipal water supplies, nor have they been asked to reduce their consumption. If we run out of water, our only choice will be to purchase water bottled by them. The faster they bottle water, the sooner we’ll run out, and at 3000 percent markup (the bottlers margin over the cost they pay the municipalities) the windfall profit they stand to make is substantial.

Might not the bottlers be motivated to increase production in order to stockpile inventory and take advantage of the sweet deal the state made with them? Seems the mega-corporations are having their water and drinking it too. Check out the full story at

Energy Savings Tips

Monday, February 18th, 2008

As part of our Green Business Marketing program, your consultant will make recommendations that will augment your green printing efforts and make your business more eco-friendly. Printing is just one area that is addressed. We look at water and power usage, ergonomics in production, and many other aspects of your operation. Call us to discuss details of the program. Meanwhile, here are some tips for saving electricity that we find many of our clients can benefit from at the office and at home:

Raise air conditioning thermostat settings in the summer, and lower them in the winter. A difference of a couple of degrees can make a significant difference on your electric bill and lower C02 output. Areas that do not need to be heated or cooled, such as storage rooms and unused offices should be isolated by closing the vents and keeping the doors closed. Areas that are used only occasionally might be better heated with efficient space heaters.

Replace tank style water heaters with on-demand units. Use small, energy efficient models and install one per bathroom or point-of-use. Alternately, wrap your older heater in an insulating blanket. In either case, lower the temperature setting to 120 degrees. If you have an older heater, install heat traps on the water lines. Regular maintenance is critical too. Sediment accumulates in the bottom of the tank, which creates a barrier between the heating element and the water it’s trying to heat. Draining the tank every 6 months will keep the sediment flushed out. Insulate exposed hot water pipes.

Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent, or better yet, LED alternatives. Compact fluorescent bulbs are roughly 70% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are relatively new to the market and more expensive, but are even more efficient than compact fluorescents and will not lose brightness over time. Also, they don’t generate significant heat, so will not add load to your air conditioning system. Eliminate halogen bulbs altogether, as they use the most energy and generate a tremendous amount of heat.

Replace light switches with motion-sensing units. These will automatically turn the lights on when a person enters the room, and turn it off after it stops sensing motion. These are most appropriate in rooms that get occasional use, like bathrooms, storage rooms and closets.

Raise the temperature of your refrigerator. 38-40 degrees is recommended for the refrigerator, while 5 degrees is ideal for the freezer. These are typically the middle of the dial, or what are labeled as “factory settings” on some models. In an office that is closed at night, install an appliance timer that turns off the fridge between 9pm and 6am. A well insulated fridge will stay cold all night if the door is not opened, but the unit will still cycle on and off if not on a timer.

Check for air leaks around window frames. Caulking or weather stripping them is easy to do and is a huge energy saver. If you have single pane windows, install double-pane glass or replace them altogether.

Check for air coming in through electrical receptacles. If you feel a breeze, install gaskets (available at hardware stores) behind the covers. Also use plugs to cap unused outlets.

Look at your HVAC ducts to see if they are insulated. Air ducts that pass through unconditioned space will lose efficiency if they are not insulated. Also, tape all joints in the ductwork to prevent air lose through leaks.

At home, wash only full loads of clothes and dishes and consider air drying them rather than using the clothes dryer or the drying element on the dishwasher. If you do use the dryer, avoid over drying your clothes, as this will shorten the life of the garments as well as use un-necessary amounts of energy.

Replace older appliances. Newer models are much more efficient. Look for the “Energy Star” seal when choosing appliances. These models are required to use less than 50% of the energy required by the Federal minimum standard.

Remember that anything you do to save water will also save energy. Using less hot water lowers energy consumption, and if you are on a well, your pump will run less too. Low-flow shower heads and sink aerators are a good place to start.

All of these tips will save money. Even the ones that involve significant costs should break even in the relatively short period of 1-3 years, depending on the solution implemented. In the meantime, you can take satisfaction from the fact that your carbon footprint has been greatly reduced. Please leave us your tips through the feedback feature on our newsblog at

Carbonless forms for green printing

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Glatfelter (the new Mead Carbonless) just announced that ALL their carbonless lines – Excel (offset line), Xcelerator (digital line) now have NatureSolv carbonless capsules on their sheets.

This is a biodegradable carbonless capsule made of soy, meaning the carbonless paper waste is now landfill friendly instead of the SAS310 solvent used in all other carbonless sheets that helps to preserve the sheet. They have also had this in their products for the last several months, so every sheet of carbonless you use from Glatfelter has the nautresolv capsule.

Also the Excel and Xcelerator will be FSC certified soon. You can read more about this at

Planet-happy pet tricks

Friday, February 15th, 2008

You may recycle plastic bags and work hard to use cloth bags instead. But when you take the pooch for a walk, you have to scoop his poop into something – probably a plastic bag that then goes into the trash and ends up in a landfill. Same deal with litter pan liners for the feline member of the family.

Well, help is here. BioBag offers doggie waste bags and cat pan liners that are 100 percent compostable and biodegradable, made from cornstarch and renewable resources. You can get 100 dog waste bags for $18.45 and 10 cat pan liners for $18.40 at You can find natural alternatives to clay litter made from corn and wheat at your grocer. is in on the green pet campaign as well. For $9.95, it offers the Orbee-Tuff RecycleBall and RecycleBone. Non-toxic and mint flavored, they are made from leftover material that would otherwise be thrown away. And if Rambo chews them up, you can send the bits back to the company for recycling into future toys.

The company also makes an eco-friendly, 100 percent hemp, fleece-lined adjustable harness that also doubles as a doggie seatbelts for rides.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Our loyal customers that have supported green printing for 20+ years are our favorite Valentines! We appreciate all you do for us by supporting our efforts to promote recycled paper, soy ink and eco-friendly printing. We hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day!

Is FSC paper greener than recycled paper?

Monday, February 11th, 2008

We have had several people ask us which paper is best for green printing: paper that contains pulp sourced from FSC-certified virgin fiber or paper that is made from 100% post-consumer recycled fiber? Here are some pros and cons.

Paper that carries an FSC certification is brought to market with the representation that the source of the tree fiber that the paper is made from has been certified by an independent agency to be legal and harvested in a sustainable manner. This means that it comes from a managed tree plantation, or is selectively cut from old growth forests in a manner that allows the forest to stay healthy. It is, in any event, virgin fiber pulp sourced from trees.

In order for your green printer to place the FSC logo on FSC-certified paper, the printing company, as well as the mill, the logging company and the paper merchant, has been required to pay the Forest Stewardship Council for the right to use the logo. We have tried repeatedly to get accurate information, but so far have been unable to get a direct response from the Forest Stewardship Council about total costs. However, we believe that the cost is approximately $4000 for the initial “certification”, with an annual recurring membership cost of an additional $2000 per year.

Is FSC-certified paper better than recycled paper? We don’t think so. Unlike paper that is made from 100% post-consumer pulp, FSC-certified paper does not reduce landfill use or deforestation. The best choice for green printing is still recycled paper, soy inks and water-miscible solvents.

Here in the Triangle area of NC, which encompasses the towns of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary, printing companies that claim to be green number about 3. More are climbing on board all the time via FSC-certification. While this is an easy way to claim to be a “certified green printer,” we would argue that FSC-certification alone does not a green printer make. In fact, we know of no actual “green printer” certification process.

Because many large corporations are interested in protecting their brands by implementing a green marketing policy, they now require their printers to become FSC-certified. Naturally, some larger offset printing companies have gone that route. But in most cases this is all they have done to green up their act, and in fact have done so only to obtain new, or keep existing business.

If these printers have been selling the cheapest paper for years and have built their businesses on ecologically obnoxious business practices, they have created quite a large carbon footprint to overcome. We welcome everyone’s efforts and recent conversions to environmental stewardship, but hope that print buyers will support those companies that have lived the message, even when it wasn’t the easiest business strategy. These long-term green printers are likely more committed, more informed, have a more thorough understanding of the issues surrounding green printing, and can better guide their customers as they develop a green message of their own.

Green Printing e-commerce site in the works!

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Barefoot Press, Raleigh, NC’s original green printer, is making it easier than ever to order eco-friendly printing. We are preparing to launch the commerce section of our site as a one-stop resource for green printing. The most commonly ordered products, such as envelopes, stationery, brochures and one-sheets will soon be available for convenient online ordering. Everything on the site will carry the Green Rhino seal, and will be printed on earth-friendly papers with soy inks. You will be able to access our store directly from the products section of this website, or log on to We hope to have this section live in the next couple of months, and welcome your input here through the blog. Please give us feedback on the things you would like to see to make it easier than ever to order green printing!

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