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Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh’

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.

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