May 2017 Printips

Printing, Paper, and the Environment

Thoughtful use of the earth’s resources and protection of the environment may seem like an odd topic for a newsletter written by a printer. After all, printing requires paper, and the paper industry has been criticized for destruction of forests, water pollution, and other anti-environment actions. Printed advertising mail is portrayed as a nuisance to those who receive it and cited for adding to landfills. Even e-mail messages are critical of print – you may have seen this tag line as part of an e-mail signature: Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

Is printing really the environmental evil its critics assert? Should businesses and individuals adopt a policy of eliminating hard copies of documents and using only e-mail and digital media for sales and marketing outreach? Or are there other considerations that will allow businesses and organizations to continue to use printing and still be good environmental stewards?