Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Green Options - Greening Print Marketing: Is Soy Really Better?

As part of Eco-Libris' ongoing content partnership with Green Options Media, we feature a post that was originally published by Heidi Tolliver-Nigro on September 17 on The Inspired Economist. Today's post is about an important question to anyone interested in green printing: is soy ink really more friendly to the environment?

Many printers these days are promoting their use of soy-based inks as a way for marketers to “green” their print marketing programs. Certainly, any vegetable-based ink—such as cottonseed, linseed, and, most commonly, soy—sounds like it ought to be more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based inks. But is this really the case?

It is true that vegetable-based inks (in this post, we’ll look at soy) have very low levels of VOCs. Many soy proponents also claim that these inks come off the paper more easily than petroleum-based inks, making the paper easier to recycle. (However, evidence on this appears to be mixed.)

While “soy ink” sounds exotic, these inks have become so refined that they are now mainstream. They are readily available for sheetfed and newspapers. Heatset inks are also said to be “soy-based,” but this is really a mischaracterization, since the fast-drying requirements of the heatset process require that “soy inks” still be made primarily of petroleum.

Do You Give Up Anything?

Do marketers give anything up by using soy?

Green book of the week (and a new partner): BUTT UGLY by Lynn Montgomery

The green book we present you this week is triple green: it has a green theme, it's printed on recycled paper (and much more!) and it also collaborates with Eco-Libris!

And did we mention it has a great name? We're happy to present you with:

Let's go over all of the book's green layers:

Firstly, the theme - the book is about a little green runt who needs a home. Here's the description from the book's web page: He's green. He's puny. And nobody wants to give him a home. What happens to the runt of the litter when he's abandoned on a doorstep in a Ding-Dong-Ditch? Mutts of the world unite! This book is for every 4-legged, 2-legged, and even 50-legged creature who has ever felt a little shy, a little alone, or a little butt ugly. And for all the heroes who have opened their homes and their hearts to love them.

Second, the book is printed in a very eco-friendly manner:

- on recycled paper
- with vegetable based inks
- no chlorine bleach
- printed with wind power in the U.S.

And last but not least, we are happy to announce on a collaboration with the book's author, Lynn Montgomery. At the first stage of our collaboration, a tree will be planted for every copy of the book sold this upcoming weekend at the Santa Barbara Book Festival. Readers will also receive our sticker (made of recycled paper), saying "One book planted for this book".

Lynn is one of the featured authors at the Santa Barbara Book Festival this weekend, and she will be speaking on Saturday on the Children's Book Panel from 3-4 in the Townley Room at the Library. It is a FREE event and fun for the whole family! You can find more details on the festival at http://www.sbbookfestival.org.

We will continue working with Lynn to plant trees for the upcoming prints of the book and our logo will be on the book. We are very excited to work with such an eco-friendly book that walks the talk, and we are very also proud to work together with the author, Lynn Montgomery, who is a very talented and creative author and won an Emmy for her writing.

Here are few more details on the book:

Book's name

Author: Lynn Montgomery

Lynn Montgomery won a Los Angeles area Emmy for writing and producing a documentary on Child Abuse. She won a Writer's Guild Award for her Showtime Television adaptation of the beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. She created the NBC and Disney Channel series, The Torkelsons. She has worked for Disney Feature Animation, developing classic children's literature for motion pictures. She has written for television, radio, and newspapers.

Illustrator: Terrie Redding

Publisher: ZuZu Petals Books

Distributor: IPG (Independent Publishers Group)

Publisihing date: Spring 2009 (the book is now available in a limited edition through the publisher's website - http://www.zuzupetalsbooks.com/, selected Santa Barbara venues and personal appearances)

Enjoy the book!
Raz @ Eco-Libris