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Archive for July, 2008

We just planted 295 trees!

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Well, not exactly, but the Renewable Energy Credits we just purchased to offset our electricity usage for the rest of 2008 has the same effect. In an earlier post we talked about the Carbon Offset program we are participating in, and we wanted to share the comparisons outlined in our energy audit.

Your green printer uses approximately 105,200 kWh of electricity per year producing the fabulous eco-friendly printed materials our customers order. Our Impact Summary states that by offsetting this usage, we are helping to avoid up to 71,694 pounds (32.52 metric tons) of carbon dioxide emissions from being emitted into the atmosphere.

This action has an equivalent impact as:
Planting 295 trees, or
Not driving 73,157 miles, or
Taking 6 cars off the road for one year.

We especially like the planting of 295 trees comparison. I bet we don’t use that many trees worth of paper in our green printing program, since almost everything we print is on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. What virgin fiber we do consume is FSC-certified, so at least it is responsibly managed and harvested. It’s awesome that we can “virtually” plant trees to replace what we do use!

Keeping cool and saving energy

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Here are some energy-saving tips to keep in mind while you try to stay cool this summer:

Make some shade. Add awnings, even temporary ones, over your windows. West-facing windows are the most important as they add more solar heat-gain in the summer. If your air conditioner is in a sunny spot, shade it with an awning or deck umbrella (make sure you do not cover it or restrict it’s air flow). Shading your A/C units can improve efficiency by 10% or more.

Close your blinds. Especially in the afternoon and especially on west-facing windows.

Use a fan. Fans cost very little to run and can make you feel cooler – up to 7 degrees. A low setting is just as effective as a high one, and uses less electricity.

Change your light bulbs! If you still burn incandescent bulbs, here’s another reason to switch to compact fluorescent or LED: incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat – 75% more than a compact fluorescent. Changing all the bulbs in your house will definitely make your air conditioner run less often.

Install a programmable thermostat. Raising the temperature in your house while you are gone will save a lot of money and improve your carbon footprint.

Wear shorts and open-weave fabrics. Sound obvious? Drink small amounts of water all day long. Keeping well-hydrated will make your body’s natural cooling system more efficient.

Order green printing. OK, that probably won’t make you any cooler, but it will make you hipper while reducing your impact on the environment!

Have ideas you want to share? Leave your comments and we’ll post your suggestions.

Your favorite online green printer has a new FAQ section

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

In order to address some of your most common inquiries, your favorite online green printer has added an FAQ section. It is on the “Services” page. Please take time to read it over… If you still have questions about green printing, recycled papers, soy inks or offset printing in general, don’t hesitate to email or call. And if you think we’ve left something out, just let us know. We’re here to help!

Keep an eye on the site for more improvements currently in the works. Online ordering is coming soon. Our goal is to always be the best green printer online!

Raleigh’s original green printer goes carbon neutral

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Barefoot Press, the original green printer in Raleigh, NC, has purchased enough renewable energy credits to offset all of its power consumption through the end of 2008. This move furthers the offset printing company’s mission to offer the best green printing option to consumers nation-wide.

The carbon-offset program is offered by Renewable Choice Energy in Boulder Colorado and is available to residential customers and green business leaders. Following a simple audit of Barefoot’s energy consumption, the organization prepared an analysis of how many REC’s needed to be purchased. The money from the sale of the credits will be used to fund projects that generate electricity in a carbon-neutral way, such as wind farms and solar installations around the world. The Renewable Choice Energy program is independently audited and is Green-E certified. For more on how it works, and to view a portfolio of supported projects, visit www.renewablechoice.com

Although the program represents an added overhead expense, owner Richard Kilby feels good about the decision. “We’re committed to every aspect of green printing and sustainable business practices. Our customers can now feel even better knowing that in addition to printing on recycled paper using soy based inks and water-miscible, low-VOC chemistry, the electricity used in the production of their marketing material is purchased from non-polluting sources. It’s crucial that we continually evaluate the way we do business, and to always seek new ways to mitigate our company’s impact on our fragile environment.”

Barefoot Press is located in the Triangle area of NC, which encompasses the towns of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, Garner and Cary. Printing plays a vital role in the economy of this growing region, which has been repeatedly recognized by Money Magazine as one of the top places in the country to live and do business.

Is a Prius the best environmental choice?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Why is Toyota, a company that can make a car that gets 55 miles per gallon today, fighting a 35 mpg standard? In a pointed entry in The Huffington Post, blogger and Prius owner Laurie David writes about her disappointment with Toyota’s decision to lobby hard for reducing CAFE standards for automakers. She writes:
“Over the years I watched the Prius go from a weird nerdy car everyone thought you had to plug in to THE car to drive. Friends traded in their SUVs and Jaguars and soon the Prius was everywhere. We all reaped the benefits — customers enjoyed the gas savings, the earth enjoyed the lower carbon emissions, and Toyota enjoyed the limelight. The company deserved all the rewards it garnered for its vision and leadership. Yet now here comes Toyota, fighting to derail a sorely needed increase in fuel economy standards. Toyota’s current actions are unacceptable, depressing, and just plain morally wrong.”

The Natural resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org) explains the situation this way:
For several years the Toyota Prius has been the car of choice among environmentally conscious consumers, and has helped add more than a touch of green to the company’s reputation. Toyota was miles ahead of other car companies when it introduced the Prius hybrid, which combines outstanding gas mileage with style and comfort — a feat that Big Auto insisted couldn’t be achieved. So Prius fans might be surprised to learn that Toyota is trying to move America backward on fuel economy.

Congress is negotiating an energy bill that could raise the fuel economy standard to 35 miles per gallon, a move that would save America 1.2 million barrels of oil each day by 2020 — more than we import from Saudi Arabia. But Toyota has joined forces with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other automakers in an attempt to derail what would be the first improvement in fuel economy standards in nearly 20 years.

Read more and follow the links to send a message to Toyota’s management at: http://beyondoil.nrdc.org/news/toyota.php

Greenpeace publishes site about green-washing

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Under the heading “Green Lies” in the latest bulletin from Greenpeace, the organization states: “These days, green is the new black. Corporations are falling all over themselves to demonstrate to current and potential customers that they are not only ecologically conscious, but also environmentally correct…” The article continues: “As companies increasingly seek to go green, or at least be seen as green, consumers, policymakers and journalists must be able to look beneath this green veneer, and hold corporations accountable for the impacts their core business decisions and investments are having on our planet.”

Green peace defines the term “green-wash” as “Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” It lists four ways that companies can employ green-washing techniques:

1. Dirty Business
Touting an environmental program or product, while the corporation’s product or core business is inherently polluting or unsustainable.
2. Ad Bluster
Using targeted advertising and public relations campaigns to exaggerate an environmental achievement in order to divert attention away from environmental problems or if it spends more money advertising an environmental achievement than actually doing it.
3. Political Spin
Advertising or speaking about corporate “green” commitments while lobbying against pending or current environmental laws and regulations.
4. It’s the Law, Stupid!
Advertising or branding a product with environmental achievements that are already required or mandated by existing laws.

At www.stopgreenwash.org Greenpeace lists a few organizations it believes are marketing green without being green. We can think of more, including Toyota, which lobbies behind the scenes to reduce legislation for improved fuel economy in vehicles at the same time it enjoys huge success with the eco-friendly Prius (Source: Click Here).

Greenpeace encourages site visitors to report green-washing offenders. For more on this environmental non-profit, visit their main website at www.greenpeace.org.

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