Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Green printing tip #4 - What does FSC Certified mean? is it enough?

Today we continue our series of green printing tips, where we bring you in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Last week we discussed various emblems that it's important to use to demonstrate the fact you're using green printing practices. Today Greg's tip is referring to one of these main emblems - the FSC certification.

What does FSC Certified mean? is it enough?

Tip #4
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. This council certifies that the paper mills are following strict procedures in managing their forests.

The FSC wants to make sure the forests are managed properly and that new trees can grow and that the forests are not depleted. To have a printing job be FSC certified, several very important procedures must be followed.

1. The Chain of Custody must be followed.

The printer needs a document from the paper merchant that proves that the paper bought is FSC certified. The delivery receipt must be sent to the Forest Stewardship Council for final verification.

2. The printer Must Be FSC certified.

Not many printers have gone through this process. It costs at least $5000.00 and there are very strict procedures that must be checked out to see if the printer is being environmental in their printing.

3. The PDF of the print job , along with the Chain Of Custody signed
A receipt with the name of the printer must be sent to the FSC.

4. The FSC will check the documents and then email back the code # that must be printed in the correct position next to the FSC emblem

My final approval to this procedure:
I like FSC and I also like that other emblems are printed, next to the FSC emblem. FSC is for managing the forests. It does not mean that the paper is recycled or chlorine free.

I like to see that the paper is also 100% PCW and 100% PCF and that the Energy used to make the paper is Green E certified.
FSC can be for non environmental paper, and FSC can be for minimum recycled paper, and FSC can be for the maximum recycled paper. I like the maximum recycled paper. Then, I am sure your job is totally environmentally sound!

If you have any further questions following our tips, or you have a specific question you want us to address, please email us to info@ecolibris.net.

More links:

Green Printing Tip #3 - how you make sure everyone knows you're using green printing practices

Green Printing Tip #2 - how you can make money while printing on 100% recycled paper

Green Printing Tip #1 - go for a digital job

You can also find further valuable information on Greg Barber Company's website - http://www.gregbarberco.com.

All the tips are archived and saved on http://www.ecolibris.net/greentips.asp
(part of our green printing tools & resources page).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday's green books series: The Cul-De-Sac Syndrome

Once a big house in the suburb was an indicator of success in America. It was part of the American Dream. Today it is transforming from an asset to a liability and becomes a nightmare for so many.

The book we're reviewing today is looking into this dream, the crisis that now seemed so inevitable and a new sustainable dream that should replace it.

Our book today is:

The Cul-De-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream

Author: John F. Wasik

John Wasik has won 18 journalism awards, including several from the National Press Club, for consumer and business journalism. His Merchant of Power was praised by Studs Terkel and well reviewed by the New York Times. Wasik is a financial columnist for Bloomberg News and the author of 11 other book s. He has appeared on such national media as NBC, NPR, and PBS.

Bloomberg Press

Published on:
June 2009

What this book is about? (from the the book's Amazon webpage)
An incisive look at the consequences of today's costly and damaging suburban lifestyle, this new book exposes the economic, cultural, environmental, and health problems underlying life in suburbia. John Wasik provides powerful insights into how the U.S. suburban lifestyle became unsustainable and what can be done to salvage it.

Wasik's observations are firmly grounded in exclusive on-the-ground research, interviews with thought leaders, and the latest studies and statistics. He exposes the untold truths about home ownership: green isn't always so green, life isn't cheaper after accounting for gas, water, and taxes, and modern suburban living isn't so idyllic considering the toll it takes on our health.

Wasik's trenchant analysis adds a new dimension to an important topic, with exclusive research and analysis that debunks the many myths of suburban living, while exploring innovative solutions being developed in cities and suburbs across the country.

Why you should get it?
If you live in suburbia and less and less feel that you're living the American dream, this is the book for you. Not only that this book raises the right questions, it also provide you with some of the answers.

There are some books that are discussing green housing alternatives, some more conventional and some are less, but they're mostly focusing on the environmental-economic link from an efficiency point of view. This book is unique in its much more diverse inter-disciplinary approach, as it masterly presents
the connection between the economy, environment, sustainable development and the American way of life.

And of course there's the focus on the housing bubble, or as the book calls it "one of the most devastating housing recessions since the 1930s". This is the first book that I see which is connecting all the dots, economic, cultural and environmental, with regard to this significant financial blowup that is still going on.

Wasik does a great job in both describing the problem and offering various solutions. I like the fact that he keeps the discussion as practical as possible with many examples that makes this book much more than a theoretical manifesto - it is a description of a dream that once was admired by everyone and its demise. Moreover, it's a description of a new dream, a sustainable one that can shape the future of the U.S. and creates a whole new American dream.

What others say about the book:
"John Wasik's The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome offers enough to chew on for three sets of teeth, enough to digest for three stomachs, and the alerts the mind faster than an approaching siren." -Ralph Nader, Consumer advocate

"Get ready for a totally original look at the American dream. Wasik delivers the first truly multidisciplinary examination—using planning, law, architecture, and history to focus on working solutions that can keep the dream alive. This is a winner!" — Paul B. Farrell, JD, PhD. Columnist, MarketWatch.com and author of The Millionaire Code

"This excellent book takes a ground-level look at the causes of our housing crisis and offers a myriad of ideas on reinventing the concepts of home and community.” —Ilyce R. Glink, syndicated real estate columnist, author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on our website's green resources section.

More related links:

Interview with the the author, John Wasik

Podcast of the author on Blog Talk Radio

The author's website

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Will the new Climate Bill help protecting forests or become a source of income for timber companies?

The Climate bill passed in the House last Friday. It might not be only a new era in fighting climate change, but also the first time when it is worthwhile to keep trees alive instead of cutting them down.

The Huffington Post reported last Friday that trees will be part of the credits scheme that is presented in the bill, and this time it means not only reforestation projects, but also protection of existing forestlands.

The article explains the mechanism:

"Say an acre of forestland sucks up two additional metric tons of carbon after a landowner plants more trees on his land or promises to rotate the way he cuts them down so more are standing at once. If the pollution market created by the legislation is currently trading at $20 a ton, then the landowner could stand to make $40 per acre if he qualifies for the program"

The legislation, according to the article. would also extend to international forests, promising to pay some countries that agree to slow their harvesting of trees abroad.
We mentioned this idea in the past (see links below) and we're definitely in favor of giving economic incentives to preserve the forests and to make it worthwhile to keep them alive, avoid logging and prevent further deforestation.

This idea was discussed in the U.N.’s Bali meeting in December last year, and though it is not approved yet, there's a good chance it will be part of the post-Kyoto protocol that will be discussed in Copenhagen in December. It also enjoys the support of many international parties, such as Prince Charles, Norway, Al Gore and Wangari Maathai.

So we should be happy as forest protection finally becomes part of the carbon market, right? well, we are but it seems that the way it was integrated in the Bill is a little bit problematic..

Well, there are of course concerns about measurement, monitoring and making sure carbon capturing is actually taking place
(especially outside the U.S.), but in all these concerns are no different really from the concerns you have with every other component in the "trade" part of the cap and trade scheme under the Bill. The more significant issue here might be who is eligible to take part in it in the first place.

The article on the Huffington Post mentions that owners of large swaths of forestland, such as timber companies and large farms can benefit from it. Frank O'Donnell of the advocacy group
Clean Air Watch is quoted saying "In effect, the public is going to pay polluters to plant trees. Does that really lead to a major improvement in global warming? I don't know and I'm not sure anybody knows."

The fact that the Agriculture Department, which includes the U.S. Forest Service, will oversee the domestic program and develop regulations for verifying whether a forest owner's particular tract of land is actually capturing carbon, brings up questions like will they make tree farms eligible as well and how much will they will take sustainability into account?

If eventually we'll have timber companies being paid for having single-species tree farms that have replaced highly diverse forests (you can see that
in the Southeast U.S. for example), then we're very far from what the idea of forests protection was meant to achieve in the first place.

So how it can be prevented? here is just one idea - how about limiting forest protection to highly-diverse forests and/or forests that have FSC certification. I believe that these kind of restrictions can provide a better chance that this measure of forests protection will truly help fighting climate change and not just become another way for land owners to make money without making any significant impact on the environment.

What do you think? I'll be happy to hear your thoughts about it so feel free to add your comments.

More related posts:

How investors can save the forests? check out the Ethical Corporation Magazine

Al Gore and Wangari Maathai calls the U.N. General Assemby to support protection of forests

Merrill Lynch is investing in forest protection

How to deal with the growing deforestation in the Amazon rain forest?

Prince Charles wants to team up with Norway to save forests

Preserving forests to fight global warming

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Looking for a green printer in Florida?

We always love to learn about green printers and present them on our blog.

This time we have a video with Augustus Casamayor, chairman/CEO of AC Graphics in Hialeah, Florida. It's especially recommended for those who are concerned with the cost of green printing!

As mentioned on the video, AC Graphics is the first triple-certified green printer in the State of Florida, which means the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsment of Forest Certification) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have verified our company’s products and practices as being environmentally sound.

On Tuesday you'll have a chance to learn more about the FSC certification on our "Green Printing Tips" series.

You can find more information on AC Graphics on their website - http://www.acgraphics.com


Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Men-only book club?

Can men actually sit together, sip Cabernet and discuss books?

Apparently yes, a
ccording to an interesting article of Don Aucoin on the Boston Globe ("Where the guys Are").

So what brings guys to sit together and discuss books? one of the interviewees in the article explains that book groups offer the best of both worlds "I get a night out," he says. "I get to hang out with a few of my buddies whom I normally wouldn't see. I get to have a few laughs and talk about everything. Plus it forces me to read a book a month, which is something I don't know if I'd do."

Well. who knows, maybe we'll see soon a male version of the Jane Austen Book Club. How about the 69-page book club? (following the rule of one book club presented in the article that "there has to be something pretty sick going on on page 69 for us to read the book, either a sexual encounter or some crazy situation.")


Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Summer Reading with Sue Schrader of the bookstore Sources of Hope

The second guest today on our series My Summer Reading is Sue Schrader of Sources of Hope in Dallas, Texas. This gifts and books store is part of the Cathedral of Hope and also participates in our bookstores program, where customers at the store can plant a tree for every book they buy there and receive our sticker at the counter!

Hi Sue, what are you reading now?
Artifacts by Mary Anna Evans

Any recommendation on a good summer reading?
Light fiction – no specific titles

What you are planning to read this summer?
Have several books at home, but can’t remember titles.

What is your favorite place to read in the summer?
Same as in the winter—at meals, waiting in line or on appointments, on the couch.

Thanks Sue!

More information on Sources of Hope can be found at http://www.sourcesofhope.com/

So far on My Summer Reading series:

Christian Valentiner of the Norwegian publisher Flux

Avrim Topel, co-author of 'My Green Beginnings'

Tania Hershman, author of 'The White Road and Other Stories'

Elisabeth Baines, author of the upcoming book 'Too Many Magpie'

Erica Caldwell of the bookstore Present Tense

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green publishing

My Summer Reading with Erica Caldwell of the bookstore Present Tense

This week it's bookstores time on our series My Summer Reading with two recommendations from bookstores that participate in our bookstores program, where customers at the store can plant a tree for every book they buy there and receive our sticker at the counter!

Our first guest is Erica Caldwell of Present Tense in Batavia, NY.

Located in Batavia, NY, halfway between the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, Present Tense is a locally-owned independent bookstore that serves as a center for reading, writing, and the arts in Western New York. As you can see from the picture below Present Tense is also celebrating the summer with a great program of visiting authors.

Hi Erica, what are you reading now?

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Any recommendation on a good summer reading?
The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan

What you are planning to read this summer?
The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha and then hopefully a few more that are in my towering stack of unread books!

What is your favorite place to read in the summer?
On the deck

Thanks Erica!

More information on Present Tense can be found at http://www.presenttensebooks.com/

So far on My Summer Reading series:

Christian Valentiner of the Norwegian publisher Flux

Avrim Topel, co-author of 'My Green Beginnings'

Tania Hershman, author of 'The White Road and Other Stories'

Elisabeth Baines, author of the upcoming book 'Too Many Magpie'

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green publishing

Thursday, June 25, 2009

International Paper believes that paper is greener than pixels. Is this really the case here?

International Paper published yesterday a press release on a new brochure in their Down to Earth environmental series, entitled "Pixels vs. Paper: Are pixels greener than paper?"

The goal of the 6-page brochure is explained as follows: "More and more people are communicating with electronic media. But are electronic devices the most effective environmental choice for getting information? Get the facts before you decide"

Not surprisingly their findings are favorable of paper use in comparison with electronic devices. But is it really so?

They're looking into couple of factors:

Raw materials
- IP explains that paper comes from a renewable resource - trees, whereas electronic devices are typically made of plastics and other non-renewable resources and often contain chemicals and metals.

They also mention that "every day the paper and forest products industry plants more than three times the number of trees than are harvested -- paper is truly renewable and sustainable."
What they don't say there is what trees are cut down and what trees are planted instead.

Mandy Hagith, author of the recommended book "
Paper Trails: From Trees to Trash - The True Cost of Paper" helps to clarify the picture:

"No one likes to think of trees being felled, but many of us have a cosy image in our heads that it all comes from recycling or "sustainable" woodlands growing in neat rows, perhaps somewhere in Sweden. It's a myth. Globally, 70 per cent of the 335 million tons of paper the world uses each year comes from natural, un-farmed sources. In Canada, the UK's biggest source of pulp, 90 per cent of its output comes directly from its ancient forests."

The planting part of the equation is no better in some cases, as you can read about on the Green Press Initiative's website. Here's one example:

In the Southeast U.S., highly diverse forests are being converted into single-species tree farms at an alarming rate. Already 15% of southern forests (32 million acres) consist of plantations...Tree plantations are not inherently bad, and can be part of a sound forest management plan. However, this is not what is occurring in the southeastern U.S. where vast areas of diverse forest are converted to plantations. Included in this region is the Cumberland plateau, which has been designated as a “biogem” by the Natural Resource Defense Council."

Afterwards IP adds in the brochure that "20 percent less CO2 is used per year by person reading a daily printed newspaper versus a person reading web-based news for 30 minutes a day". They don't quote the resource for this fact, but they make it look very conclusive although there are others who claim the opposite.

For example, one comparison of '
Dear Science' got to the conclusion that "
if you're reading on an inefficient desktop PC, a mere two hours online may equal the carbon impact of the print edition," and another comparison at Fat Knowledge found out that "reading the physical version of the NY Times for a year uses 7,300 MJ of energy and emits 700 kg of co2. Reading it on a Kindle uses 100 MJ of energy and emits 10 kg of co2."

Energy consumption - the brochure mentions that "
The amount of electricity to run a computer for only five months could produce enough paper for the average person to use for an entire year." They also write that "our industry is one of the biggest users of renewable, low-carbon energy in the world".

Interesting fact they don't mention is that "The paper industry is the
4th largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions among United States manufacturing industries, and contributes 9% of the manufacturing sector's carbon emissions." (from '15 Facts About the Paper Industry, Global Warming and the Environment')

End of Life -
According to the brocure paper is biodegradable and nearly 60 percent of all paper in the U.S. is recycled, whereas only 18 percent of all electronic devices are currently recycled and E-waste constitutes the single largest waste export in the U.S. Here are two more interesting facts to be considered: Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and one third of municipal landfill waste (from '15 Facts About the Paper Industry, Global Warming and the Environment') and when paper degrades in a landfill it releases methane, a greenhouse gas emission that is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide (resource: The Green Press Initiative).

International Paper encourages you to ask the right questions before you choose between electronic media and paper and they're certainly right. It's important to get all the facts right on the environmental impacts of both options, especially when there are so many misconceptions about the impacts of both paper and electronic devices.

But as the information is still inconclusive, as we can tell from watching this debate for some time (you are welcome to check our eBooks vs. Paper Books to check research and articles on this issue), it is important to bring ALL the facts and not choose only those that are a good fit with your business.

If IP really wants as they say to "provide thought provoking educational pieces that help our customers better understand important environmental topics", they should add to their brochure some more facts that will give readers the whole picture and not just parts carefully chosen from it.


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photos and video from the book launch of 'Where the Buttercups Grow' with author Shelley Meyer

We announced earlier this month on the collaboration with Aaspirations Publishing to plant 5,000 trees for their new children's book ‘Where the Buttercups Grow’.

The book launch of this great book was held in Chapters in Surrey with the author Shelley Meyer (see photo above). You can see photos from the book launch on Aaspirations Publishing's website. Here's also a video from the event:

Beautifully written by Shelley Meyer and vividly illustrated by her daughter Tessa Meyer, this inspiring and powerful story will find a spot on every child's list of favorites, especially when they can carry the story forward in their own lives and plant their very own buttercups. This wonderful title is doubly special because for every book 1 tree has been planted.

To order your copy of the book click here, or if you are in the area, drop in at the Chapters at Strawberry Hill, 12101 on 72nd Avenue, Surrey, BC V3W 2M1.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Green printing tip #3 - How to let let your clients know you are being responsible in your printing

Today we continue our series of green printing tips, which we bring you in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Today Gre
g's tip is referring to an important element of the process:

How you make sure everyone knows you're using green printing practices and it doesn't stay between you and your printer?

Tip #3

My clients want to look environmental in their printing. What do I recommend they do?

I suggest that my clients include the environmental emblems when they are being green in their printing.

Here are few examples of the emblems we have:

- 100% post-consumer waste emblem

- 100% processed chlorine

- Green-e

- FSC emblem (we are an FSC-certified plant)

- Carbon neutral emblem (we derive
our energy from wind and we're carbon neutral)

So let your
clients know you are being responsible in your printing. You will feel good about it and your clients will be happy you are environmental!

If you have any further questions following our tips, or you have a specific question you want us to address, please email us to info@ecolibris.net.

More links:

Green Printing Tip #2 - how you can make money while printing on 100% recycled paper

Green Printing Tip #1 - go for a digital job

You can also find further valuable information on Greg Barber Company's website - http://www.gregbarberco.com.

All the tips are archived and saved on http://www.ecolibris.net/greentips.asp
(part of our green printing tools & resources page).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

A new book from Flux about a unique sociopolitical experiment is going green with Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris is collaborating with Flux (http://www.flux.no), the Norwegian publishing house, to plant trees for the books they publish. We love Flux not only because of their commitment to the environment, but also because this is one of the publishers that succeed to surprise you every time with a new, unique and interesting book.

Today we're happy to update you on a new book published by Flux that we're working on with them to plant 1,000 trees for the printed copies. The book, presenting an unusual sociopolitical experiment that is taking place in Norway (with lessons to many other societies), is entitled "100-årsmålene", or in English: "The 100-years' Targets".

Here are some more details about the book:

A remarkable sociopolitical experiment is taking place in Norway. A group of concerned citizens has formed “100-årsmålene” (literally “the 100-years’ targets”) and engaged a number of institutions and organizations as well as school children, politicians and others to think through what kind of society we want to have 100 years into the future. Not as a prophecy, but minted out as what we actually want to see achieved. What kind of society do we need and want? What do we aim for, collectively and individually? The initiative is, in other words, a strong invitation to start thinking proactively instead of reactively, which is what we seem to do most of the time. Taking this imaginary jump into a future 100 years ahead of today frees our imagination from the quagmire of contemporary social and political practice and hang-ups.

A lot of enthusiasm and a number of inspired ideas for the next society – “the next generation democracy”, as it is labeled – was raised, and the need for overarching visions was quickly taken up by the public involved, while politicians, not surprisingly, are more reluctant. Initially the group’s aim was to influence the political parties prior to the general elections to be held in Norway in September 2009, but so far it has been a challenge to mount a significant and visible impact among leading politicians and to some extent leading media. Leaders in this respect seem to be a breed rather deeply immersed in day to day conflict and chatter, no matter where it may lead. A number of interesting results, however, have emerged from the polls and workshops throughout the country, showing that seeds can be sown for a different future and a sound democracy.

Here are some of the results:

94 % think that politicians should get together and start solving the big challenges, rather than spend their time and energies fighting each other.

80 % wish to go for a stable and reliable zero waste economy (with recirculation and renewable energy.

66 % would support a long-term non-fractional leadership (although only 16 % deem it realistic).

65 % wish for a doubling of quality of life (rather than increased traditional standard of living).

There is also a generally strong consensus that we will be able to find ways and means to accomplish such goals.

More posts related to Flux:

The 5th Step

The Norwegian translation of "The Integral Vision" by Ken Wilber

Dyp glede (Deep Joy): Arne Næss on deep ecology

Summer Reading with Christian Valentiner of Flux

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday's green books series: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Can you live in better comfort and health, support the environment and save money at the same time? well, it's not a daydream, but actually a doable challenge according to our book today on our Monday's green books series. And it all starts and actually ends at home.

Our book today is:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Author: John Barrows and Lisa Iannucci

John Barrows is a teacher for green techniques nationwide for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). John holds the designation of Certified Green Professional. He is President of J. Barrows Inc., providing construction services, general contracting, construction management, and consultation services for over 30 years.

Lisa Iannucci is a 20-year veteran of magazine and book publishing and a former real estate writer.

Publisher: Alpha (a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.)

Published on:
January 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
This guide helps environmentally conscious people make real-world decisions about building or remodeling a home. Readers will find information on how to save money by going green when building or remodeling, how to find the right green integrated system design, how to choose heating and cooling equipment, and how to save money on water.

Why you should get it?
Here are two interesting facts you learn on the foreword of the book: 1)according to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings' energy use accounts for 39% of the U.S.'s carbon emissions. 2) The typical American family pays upward o $1,500 a year in energy
costs. Only these facts are a good reason to get a hold of the book, no matter if you're more about the environment or your expenses (or like many people maybe both).

Green building and remodeling sound very 'heavy' issues that many people don't want to dive into them in the first place and rather leave them to professionals. This book definitely understands these fears and tries to make these issues as accessible and simple to understand as possible.

One part I really liked was 'Deciphering Facts and Myths', where the authors refer to all the misconceptions that might stop people from thinking about green building or remodeling. You talk about myths from "there's too much to learn" or "to be green we have to replace everything in our home" all the way to "historic homes can't be greened" and green building materials don't last longer than traditional building materials."

The book is full with great tips for both indoors (energy and cooling, appliances, light, air quality, water heating and so on) and outdoors (design your yards, pools, fencing, roof gardens, etc.). It also includes much more valuable information such as green building resources list, glossary, green facts, information about the LEED rating system.

And last but not least - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling is printed on recycled paper.


We're giving away our review copy of the book, courtesy of the book's publicist, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy!

How you can win? Please add a comment below with an answer the following question: what you do at home to lower your energy costs and/or use water more efficiently? Submissions are accepted until Monday, June 29, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our Eco-Libris green books page on our website's green resources section.

More relevant links:

GREEN BEGINNINGS: The Story of How We Built Our Green & Sustainable Home

Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Want to learn more about green printing? listen to an interview with Mario Assadi of Greenerprinter

So what is actually green printing? what makes a printer a green one? is it only about offering recycled paper and soy ink?

As we're working to promote green printing as part of our vision of sustainable reading, we constantly explore these questions and try to figure them out.

One of the people who it's always worthwhile to listen to what he has to say about it is Mario Assadi, President and CEO of Tulip Graphics, Inc. and founder of its Greenerprinter brand, which is focusing on growing a sustainable e-commerce business model based on environmentally friendly printing practices.

Mario (see photo on left) was interviewed by Sean Daily on GreenTalk Radio and this is a great talk for anyone who wants to learn not only about the specific journey of Greenerprinter (a great printer by the way - we're happy customers.), but also about the general concept of green printing and its translation into daily operations.

And if you're wondering what he has to say about the questions we asked at the beginning of the post, here's a summary of his approach in his own words: "...But green printing is really, is not about recycled paper and soy ink. Green printing, it is about responsible manufacturing." But there's much more, so don't miss this interesting interview!

Link for the interview: h
ttp://personallifemedia.com/podcasts/234-greentalk-radio/episodes/3931-green-printing-businesses. You can also find the transcript there.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Creative recycling: THEY are making a book from waste paper in the Netherlands

How you can make products out of waste? how you can recycle creatively? we usually look for innovative companies like
TerraCycle to learn how to do it, but today we go all way to the Netherlands to see how you do it with books!

We're talking about a book designed by THEY, a communications agency of the Netherlands, for one of their customers - Lingotto, a project developer in Amsterdam that, amongst other projects, redefines old buildings and gives them a new purpose.

The inside of the book is entirely printed on paper that’s been used for test prints. They explain that on average with every printing run 1 to 2 percent of the paper gets used for testing. So printing 100.000 sheets leaves 2000 sheets of waste paper.

THEY collected different types of test paper and printed 500 books on the backside of the test pages. THEY used Japanese stab binding, by which you leave the old, ‘wrong’ side on the inside and the ‘right’ side, the side you want to read, on the outside.

The cover of the book is made of misprinted packaging for juice and milk. By using different packages and printing in small numbers, the covers are all unique.

For the principle of redefining things like THEY do in this book, THEY invented a new word, made out of existing words, calling it: Restructive.

I haven't seen the book but from the pictures it looks fabulous, and the idea is definitely great. I know it's not a solution for every book printed on paper, especially as my guestimation is that the cost involved is relatively higher than the cost you have for regular printing, BUT this is definitely an example of the creativity and way of thinking we need to see in order to make printing greener and reading more sustainable.

You can read more on THEY at their website - www.theyhaveawebsite.com

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Friday, June 19, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about green branding: An interview with Orly Zeewy, a branding consultant

The added value of going green is constantly growing. According to a survey conducted lately, 46% of consumers say they would shop at a retailer more if it was environmentally friendly. Another study of Mintel shows 62% of customers choose a restaurant based on their commitment to the environment.

Even if these numbers are a littl
e exaggerated, the message is clear: going green equals more customers and more business.

Respectively we see how the importance of the green branding is growing, as businesses understand that to generate the most value out of their efforts to go green, it's not enough today to do the right thing, but you also need to know how to "sell" it to your customers.

Green branding is a difficult challenge (maybe with the exception of Mir Hussein Moussavi..), with growing demands of consumers for information and clarity on one hand and a reality where every day you have dozens of companies releasing new green initiatives, making it harder to differentiate yourself from others on the other hand. So how do you do it right? I decided it's time to get an expert opinion, so I went straight to Orly Zeewy, a brand identity consultant and a fellow SBN member, who is an expert on green branding, to share some of insights on the issue.

Orly has 25 years of experience in design, marketing communication and brand strategy and development. Prior to starting a brand consulting practice in 2002, she was Senior Design Manager for The Vanguard Group. In addition to her consulting work, Orly is a teacher and speaker on brand related topics. She is and adjunct professor at Philadelphia University and a guest speaker for the Wharton International Communications Program. Orly is a visiting lecturer for the Masters program in Sustainable Design at The Engineering and Design Institute at Philadelphia University.

Orly was born in Israel, grew up in Tel Aviv, Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland and now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Hello Orly. Firstly what is a green brand?
A brand that makes an authentic connection between its “green
” products and its sustainable business practices and policies. It’s not only about the green products/services it sells but also about how it runs its business.

What does a green branding consultant do?
Help create messaging and positioning for sustainable companies that will resonate with their target audience and increase awareness around green issues.

Is it more difficult to build a green brand comparing to a regular brand?
I think it’s actually easier since a green brand is working hard to make a positive impact on the environment, the community and in the world. So from a public relation perspective, it is easier to promote
“doing good.“

Do you think retailers really benefit from a green image?
Absolutely. As the number of “green-conscious” consumers increases, expectations around sustainable issues will become more commonplace
and brands will be expected to flex their “green” muscles. Since Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, committed itself to “green”, a lot of other household brands have followed suit and started to incorporate green practices into their business.

I believe this trend will only grow as demand for green products increases. And it’s good to remember that retailers have been losing ground with consumers in recent years and with profit margins slipping further because of the economic downturn, they are all looking for a way to stay relevant. I believe that “green” is the way they will do this.

If I'm a company, have a good and solid brand, and I want to green it up —where do I start? What do I do? Can you please share with us some of the insights on how it's done?

The first thing you’ll need to do is have a green product! Then be sure to communicate about the ways you are changing your business and business practices—for instance one of my green clients is a large construction management company and they have committed to recycling 98% of all of the waste that they generate on a construction site.

Letting their clients know about this commitment and showing how they are doing it has had a tremendous impact on building their “green” brand awareness and increasing customer retention and loyalty.

Many companies who already have sustainable business practices need to make those practices more transparent to their customers. Target is a great example of “greening” an existing power brand. They have a link devoted exclusively to the environment and where their recycling efforts are catalogued. One such example is the 385 million garment hangers that are reused each year (instead of being put into landfills). These kinds of numbers help bring home the idea that a major brand can have a huge impact on the environment and by extension, reinforces that we as consumers, by shopping at Target, are a part of a global effort to reduce waste.

How can the Internet and social media be used to enhance green brand identity?
The Internet is a great tool because it’s so immediate and can motivate us in a way that print cannot. And as consumers worldwide begin to expect and demand green practices from their favorite brands, social media will play an increasingly larger role.

Bloggers already keep tabs on household brands to make sure they are providing what they say they will and alerting consumers when they do not. In the sustainable community, green washing is a big concern so having a truly green brand identity is going to be an important way for brands to distinguish themselves.

With a growing number of companies that try to position themselves as “green companies” what would be the best way to differentiate their brand?
Show me, the consumer, what you, as a green company, is doing that directly effects positive change and makes it easier for me to do my part in creating a sustainable environment. A key to successfully positioning a green brand is to be the brand that’s not only doing good and using sustainable business practices, but helps consumers take an active part while still offering value at a price they can afford.

A great example of this is Method, a company that makes it fun to clean with biodegradable products while being in the same price point as toxic products. Method has been hugely successful while at the same time, has changed what big cleaning brands (who before Method, would never have considered green) are now doing. One such example is Clorox—a brand that made its reputation on toxic bleach products—launched GreenWorks, a line of “eco friendly” cleaning products about a year ago. Because of its power brand status GreenWorks has already captured 42% of the natural cleaning industry—something that would be impossible to achieve if they were a new company.

What's the best strategy to avoid greenwashing accusations?
Make your business operations transparent to consumers so they can see what you are doing that is “green.” Many people have a negative impression of public relations but if done properly it can be a great tool to spread your green message. For instance, getting on the calendar of a sustainable publication and talking about what your company is doing to help reduce its carbon footprint will go a long way to show that you “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk.”

What do you think about big companies, like Frito Lay, that try to adopt successful green images, such as "local"? Can it work for them? Is it worthwhile to get into it at all?
Eat local is a movement that has taken hold in recent years. It’s not only about eating what grows in your area and supporting your local farmers but about reducing a company’s carbon footprint. It’s something that energy conscious consumers are beginning to pay closer attention to and a brand like
Frito-Lay can have a large impact there. So to answer your question, I think it’s a very good idea. And economically, it makes sense since lower energy costs benefit the company’s bottom line and keep costs to consumers from going up.

What do you think about the efforts to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the U.S. by 2015? Do you have any branding advice to Mayor Nutter?
I’ve been a member of the Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network (SBN) for five years so I’m happy to see Philadelphia take such an active and positive role in the sustainable movement. I credit people like Leanne Krueger-Braneky, the executive director of SBN a key person in “green,” in being a motivator in forwarding a green platform in this city.

I believe that Phila
delphia is positioned to be a leader in how aging eastern cities can transform themselves into profitable centers of green jobs and green initiatives. It’s an exciting time to be a Philadelphian. The one piece of advice I would offer Mayor Nutter is to be clear and consistent in his green messages. Don’t assume that Philadelphians know that what you are doing. From a branding perspective, this is critical. I would advise him to focus on 2-3 key messages such as: how is green helping me—a resident of Philadelphia—live better, work smarter, be part of a proud legacy, etc.

These are the kinds of messages that we as citizens need to hear. People don’t respond well to scare tactics. We want to do good but not if it’s going to be cost-prohibitive or impossible to carry out. Most people are happy to recycle but until a comprehensive recycling program was put into place, how many people drove to a recycling center every week?

Do you think the recession is good or bad for green branding?
I think the recession is one of the best things that could have happened for green branding. With every company looking to cut costs and consumers scrambling to keep energy bills manageable, green is emerging as a way to live that is not only responsible from a global standpoint but helps us live more economically. I believe that within a short period of time, green will no longer be a catchphrase, but simply the way every company operates and the way our children will view the world.

Thanks Orly!

To read more about Orly Zeewy: http://www.zeewy.com/

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing