With the recent increase of energy cost, global warming and other environmental issues, the general public are more conscientious how their consumption and waste impact the earth. Going green has become a buzz word for the millennium and companies large and small are capitalizing on this trend in their marketing and design.
The idea of going green is not new. The recent Environment Act of 1990 aimed at setting a target of 25% for the recycling of household waste by 2000. With the increase of population and consumer waste, more needs to be done to sustain our environment. Fortunately, recyclables and the use of recycled materials in packaging is becoming more popular. Many paper companies are producing lines of recycled paper with high percentage of PCW (post consumer waste). Furthermore, many are using other energy resources such as wind and water power to fuel the manufacturing process and chlorine-free bleaching to further lessen the environmental impact.
Less is also more when going green. The “Incredible Shrinking Packages” article in the New York Times talks about how marketers promote their products as a greener alternative and environmentally conscientious. By using less material in the design, these companies not only save on material costs, but also reduce post-consumer waste and create awareness.
Design with less ink and using vegatable-based inks can also help improve the environment. More printers and designers are in favor of using these inks instead of the traditional petroleum-based ink. Not only are they a renewable resource, they also emit less Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the air — these irritants are dangerous to print shop workers and contribute to accumulation of smog. These traditional inks also contain hazardous heavy metal compound which are released into the environment.
So be green and be proud! Many savvy companies who want to tout the eco-credentials of their work reserve plenty of space for just that. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark certifies that the paper meets the standards of the FSC for responsible forest management. The FSC is an international nonprofit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. The Certified Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) mark insures the premium papers that are manufactured free of chlorine chemistry and from sustainable raw materials.