Posts Tagged ‘environmentally-friendly’

Environmentally-responsible printers

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Mix Creative has relationships with several environmentally responsible printers that participate in the Printing Industry of Minnesota’s Great Printer Environmental Initiative, a voluntary effort by printers to demonstrate their commitment to minimize their company’s impact on human health and the environment while producing quality printed products for their customers. According to the Printing Industry of Minnesota’s website, Great Printers go beyond what is required by government regulatory agencies in environmental, health and safety compliance. Great Printers are green printers, and must meet the following criteria:

1) Sign the PIM Great Printer Environmental Initiative Principles.
This commits the company to:complying with all applicable environmental, health and safety requirements; going beyond compliance by minimizing wastes, reusing or recycling waste that cannot be prevented and maximizing energy efficiency; and pursuing continuous environmental, health and safety improvements.

2) Complete an Environmental, Health & Safety Compliance Audit annually or once every 36 months if they have a written and effective environmental management system ( EMS) in place that meets the PIM Great Printer Environmental Initiative EMS Plan Requirements.

3) Pursue Beyond Compliance Projects:
The company must have completed at least one beyond compliance project within the last five years and must currently be working on at least two other beyond compliance projects, one beyond compliance project if a company is renewing their participation in the initiative.  Beyond compliance projects are those projects that a company undertakes that have either an environmental
or an employee health or safety benefit to them.

To read more about the Great Printer Environmental Initiative, and to find additional printers not listed here, please visit the Printing Industry of Minnesota’s website:

Mix Creative recommends the following printers, all of which are FSC certified and voluntary members of the Great Printer Environmental Initiative:

Bolger Vision Beyond Print
Minneapolis, MN
Rep: Tammy Sly, 651.334.0739

Shapco Printing
Minneapolis, MN
Rep: Dana Hackett, 612.278.1534

Visions Print Communications
Plymouth, MN
Rep: Stuart Weeldryer, 612.701.7769

We also recommend:
Upfront Printing
In addition to being FSC certified, UpFront is innovative in finding ways to reduce waste throughout the printing process, while also using sustainable fibers and inks.
Minneapolis, MN
Rep: Mark Toskey, 612.884.0204

An addendum:

Yay! Since I wrote this post, I received an e-newsletter from—one of my go-to sites for inexpensive printing—saying they are now a green printer. You can read more about it on their website. This is great news to me, because it means that environmentally-friendly printing doesn’t just need to be for premium press jobs.

Going Green: 5 Easy Things For Small Businesses To Try

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Last night I attended a teach-in called “Making Your Business Greener”, hosted by MetroIBA. I have to admit, as a small business owner, being “green” often takes a back-burner to thinking about other aspects of owning a business: marketing, meeting deadlines, accounting. . . well, you get the idea. But this seminar made me think about how going green could benefit my business—really! Here are some ways they mentioned that your business can save some money, improve company morale, and get some great PR:

1) Take a close look at your energy consumption. As it turns out, there are some easy ways to reduce consumption that result in significant annual savings, such as:

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or retrofit LEDs. HUGE energy savings!
  • Put your computers to sleep at night (or when you’re not using them). Would you believe that 60% of computers are left on all night? A “sleeping” computer uses only 4% of the energy of a powered-up computer.
  • Replace old-fashioned CRT monitors with LCDs. Not only do they look cooler and take up less space, they’re WAY more energy efficient!
  • Get some Smart Powerstrips. Appliances that are plugged right into the wall continue to suck energy, even when they’re off. Smart Powerstrips put a stop to that, directing energy to computers and more only when they’re turned on—saving you money on electricity! The marketing folks who make the things say it pays for itself in 6 weeks.
  • Get a free energy audit. Power companies like Xcel Energy offer this service for free. Contact your local power company for info.

2) Evaluate your company’s resource procurement. Hmm. . .this is a fancy way of saying you should set criteria for what you purchase. Should you buy “green” energy? Consider paying $4/month extra for wind power from your power company. Should you only buy non-toxic cleansers? Consider purchasing Restore brand cleaners. Maybe you buy a certain amount of recycled materials, or give preference to organically-grown products. You decide, it’s your company. But be intentional about it. Then let your clients know your efforts. It’s a good marketing tool, too.

3) Reduce your company’s consumption. There’s a number of ways to go about it: duplex copying and printing (saves 25% of paper consumption), teleconferencing vs. travel, electronic memos and pay stubs, and more! Get creative: what do you NEED, and what can you do without?

4) Make “Green” your company culture. Companies that sucessfully build a culture of sustainability do it by enlisting the talent and creativity of their employees to come up with ideas and carry them out. A lot of companies are finding that going green is helping them to recruit high-quality employees and improve company morale.

5) Recycle. While recycling at home has become second nature, recycling at work is not as wide spread. Recycling batteries and refilling printer ink cartridges saves money and Mother Earth. You can also recycle your office paper, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (crucial, since they contain a small amount of mercury), cell phones, computers, and electronics. If you’re in the Twin Cities area, check out for recycling old office furniture and more.

Overwhelmed? Don’t be! The one take-away message from this seminar was that small changes add up. So, if you try only one thing this month, it’ll have an effect. Don’t know where to start? Get an energy assessment from the Alliance for Sustainability or a SCORE test from

STILL want more resources? Here are some sites for getting up to date on going green:

OK, so you do this stuff. . .now what? Let your clients know that you’re making an effort to be sustainable! If you have an office, hold an open house and let them see your plans in work. Give tips in your e-newsletter or share a new employee-designed initiative to save energy, reduce, or recycle. Demonstrate your green-ness by printing with Soy Inks, using recycled-content papers, and using e-alternatives for advertising.

A footnote: thanks to Dan Marshall of (a Mix client!) for conceiving of and moderating the event.