The Green Paper Making Process

25 06 2014

Paper has been a part of the human culture for generations since the Chinese invented it in 105 AD. Paper became a highly demanded commodity in 1453 with the invention of the printing press. The materials used to create it included linen and old cotton. These soon fell out of style as there were not enough raw materials to sustain the growing demand. It was not until 1719 that paper was first made out of wood pulp. Then, with the invention of a machine that created sheets of paper in 1806, modern paper-making finally came into existence. Being unsatisfied with the constant need to abuse natural resources, a recycled paper making process was created. The following steps is how Green Printer describes this process.

Step 1: Collect the Paper
Clean paper (free from food and other contaminates) is collected by a recycling company and transported to the local recycling center. Once there, the paper is sorted, wrapped tightly in large bales, and shipped to a paper mill where it can be processed and turned into new paper. When it arrives, the paper is sorted into stacks of the types of things in can make (such as cardboard or newspaper). 

Step 2: Pulp the Paper
When it is time to process the paper, it is loaded onto a conveyor belt that moves it to a machine known as a pulper. This pulper cuts the paper into tiny pieces, mixes it with a combination of water and chemicals, and heats the mixture in order to break down the solid matter into bits known as fiber. This mixture is called pulp. The pulp is filtered through screens to remove tiny bits of contaminants like glue.

Step 3: Wash the Paper
Now that pulp is fully processed, the recycling center washes or deinks the paper. This generally involves spinning the pulp in a cylinder to separate out staples and other debris. The pulp is then rinsed with water to wash out the final pieces of unwanted material.

Step 4: Beat the Paper
Final refinement happens when the pulp undergoes beating to cause the fibers to swell, making them ideal for the final step in making paper. If the paper needs to be white or colored, the bleach or dye is added during this step.

Step 5: Produce the Paper
The now clean pulp mixture is sprayed onto a large screen and moved through machines that press out all water, leaving nothing but new sheets of recycled paper.



EcoCalculator: A Tool to Identify Environmental Impact When Printing Green

21 05 2014

Organizations that adopt eco-friendly business practices are highly valued in today’s society. Many companies enforce different activities to highlight their desire to be green. Although this is a great step forward, most businesses are unaware of the actual impact of their changes. To address this issue, Green Printer uses an EcoCalculator. This tool measures the impact that every green order has on the environment.

The general drive behind green printing is the idea of saving trees. However, there are other essential details that are often overlooked when choosing a printing company. The other positive environmental changes that take place when printing green are denoted below.

Each order’s environmental savings are measured and added to the client’s previous orders by Green Printer through the EcoCalculator. This calculations are done automatically and are readily available for clients to download for their own records.

 



Decreasing Carbon Footprints

15 05 2014

May is one of the most exciting months of the year for environmental enthusiasts in North America. During this time, many Canadians and Americans commit to riding their bicycles to work. Last year alone, 19,860 individuals participated in the bike to work week event in Canada. This stopped 170,516 kilograms of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. If this took place within one week alone, imagine the changes that could result from implementing alternatives to driving on a daily basis. To continue with this momentum, Green Printer explored some of the opportunities available for other fellow environmental enthusiasts who want to really change the world.

  • Go for a walk: Walking is only applicable when going shorter distances. This is an enjoyable method of getting from point A to point B with minimal energy required. It is great for the environment, health, and mind. The monetary costs to walking are zero dollars which also makes the best option financial speaking.
  • Ride a bike: This is a no-brainer for people who live in urban cities within close proximity of their jobs. Riding a bicycle is the most green alternative to getting around town because it reduces pollution, oil, and gas usage. These are not only environmental benefits but also financial benefits. Aside from this, abid bikers gain numerous health benefits from the exercise of the activity.
  • Take public transportation: Transiting to work has several benefits over driving. A full bus is responsible for taking 40 cars off the road. This is the equivalent of 70,000 litres of fuel and 175 tonnes of emission per year. From a financial point of view, riding the bus is much more inexpensive than driving a car. Having said that, it is easier to opt for public transportation in larger cities that support this medium versus smaller cities with less transportation resources.
  • Carpool: If the options above are not feasible, carpooling is the next best thing. This decreases the emissions produced individually while also reducing fuel costs. The ideal scenario would include more than two individuals per car ride. The bonus point of carpooling is getting to know co-workers outside of work which could potentially turn into lifelong friendships.
  • Carshare: This is a great alternative to combine with the methods mentioned above. In this scenario, a car is rented for a certain amount of hours to accommodate traveling for longer distances. Carsharing is a better option than owning a car when using the services only a few times per week.

 



Corporate Social Responsibility: How Far Does Your Business Go?

13 05 2014

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a trending topic for many organizations. As mentioned in an earlier posts, most businesses practice some form of CSR activity. This has not only created a tighter gap for differentiation, but it has also made consumers question the transparency of companies’ claims. It is crucial for business owners to understand the different responsibilities that compose CSR and promote their activities accordingly to avoid misconceptions of their efforts.

Mandatory Responsibilities

Mandatory responsibilities are the main reason for which CSR has gained popularity. These are responsibilities that companies must fulfill in order to survive as business entities. There are two specific responsibilities under this section: Economic and Legal.

Economic Responsibilities

Prior to looking at the outside world, organizations must address their financial standings. Profitability should be top-of-mind for all businesses. Companies that are profitable create job opportunities for their communities. Aside from this, these businesses can invest in activities to participate in other responsibilities.

Legal Responsibilities

This section of CSR pertains to legal acts companies must fulfill. Similarly to economic responsibilities, legal responsibilities are requirements for organizations to engage in business practices. Some legalities that businesses must enforce are security labour laws, environmental laws, criminal laws, and many others. In order to successfully execute this responsibility, organizations must be strongly aware of the laws that apply to them.

Company-Imposed Responsibilities

Unlike the mandatory responsibilities, self-imposed responsibilities are undertaken by businesses due to the owners and/ or employees’ desires to have a positive impact within their environment. These responsibilities can be described as Ethical and Philanthropic.

Ethical Responsibilities

Ethical responsibilities pertain to the duty of following a morally correct path. This is not an obligation for organizations but rather a self-imposed mandate. Some activities that fall under this umbrella are practicing honesty with all stakeholders, being respectful to customers, and ensuring that all promises made are fulfilled.

Philanthropic Responsibilities

The philanthropic responsibilities are those responsibilities taken on by companies that want to go above and beyond their call of duty. This section is highly denoted by organizations’ charitable actions such as service or monetary donations for specific community events and the implementation of processes to engage in environmentally friendly business practices. These are the responsibilities that truly differentiate businesses amongst their competitors while building a strong rapport with consumers.



Gifting Green on Mother’s Day

6 05 2014

First and foremost, happy mother’s day to all the amazing mothers of the world. Motherhood is well known for being a very difficult job with no financial reward. A woman that has entered motherhood gives everything and asks for nothing in exchange. This act of kindness is celebrated in North America on the second Sunday of May. During this time, all moms are showered with gifts, poems, and unique art pieces created specially for them by their precious children. As sons and daughters grow up, the idea of gift giving on mother’s day becomes much more centered around a high priced tag. However, since moms are the most selfless of all beings, they often prefer Do-It-Yourself (DIY) crafts that reflect the effort put into creating the gift.

There are many DIY projects that can be developed for this special occasion. Most of these projects can be created using recyclable materials. As you might have guessed, the team at Green Printer is highly engaged in promoting these ideas. As an enthusiast of environmental friendliness, the office took on the challenge of creating a newspapers flower for all those special moms out there. Below are some snapshots of the team’s masterpiece.

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Although it is nice to have a specific day to celebrate motherhood, it is important to remember that a mother’s love is unconditional. As such, the celebration of this love should be an ongoing act. This does not have to correlate with high expenditure but rather with creativity and environmental friendliness. After all, moms are the pioneers of green living and recycling.

 



Should ‘Sustainability’ Be Banned?

29 08 2013

Green Printer Online Dispatch

Is the oft-used term “sustainability” now just an empty buzz word? The Guardian seems to think so. Or at least one of the contributors to the site’s Green Blog does.

Blog writer Doug King argues that because companies now use the idea of sustainability as “just another tick-box” to show they are no worse than any of their competitors, the term has lost its efficacy.

“As with many aspects of business, the innovators and early adopters have a clear understanding of what they are doing and why. However, by the time that new practice features in business handbooks, it has become a fad that must be followed in order to maintain market share,” he says.

And because the term is so closely associated with the trendy concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the word is not only ineffective but actually doing harm to the cause.

In King’s mind, the idea of CSR was that companies considered their actions, what sort of impact they would have on the world around them and made decisions based on that analysis. But because CSR has become a fad, companies aren’t truly concerned about creating a positive impact—instead, their goal is to meet just another minimum set of requirements to keep them competitive.

And while that’s a decent point, does intention matter all that much as long as some progress is being made?

 



 



First Driverless Car Hits the Road

27 08 2013


Green Printer Online Dispatch

While vehicles with hybrid or fully electric engines are nothing new, one Asian nation now holds an interesting new auto-related title: The first to have a completely driverless vehicle hit the road.

The shuttle carts passengers between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and JTC Corporation’s (JTC) CleanTech Park in Singapore. And on top of not needing anyone behind the wheel, the vehicle is also entirely electric and doesn’t burn an ounce of fuel on its two-kilometre trek between the two institutions.

The shuttle, named NAVIA, was borne from a partnership between NTU, JTC and Induct Technologies, and will be tested by the university’s Energy Research Institute. The institute will optimize the vehicle over the next two years, work out any potential bugs the shuttle might have with navigating through traffic and will be implemented as an entirely autonomous mode of transportation. The presence of the shuttle on Singapore’s streets could be the harbinger of many more green-energy, driverless vehicles to come.

 



How To Buy a Green Home Printer

22 08 2013

Green Printer Online Dispatch

A number of appliance manufacturers have been quick to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. But there’s a room in the typical Canadian home that many don’t consider when looking to go green: the home office.

Particularly in heavy-duty home offices, appliances can eat up energy (consider all the scanners, fax machines, printers and computers). But it’s possible to cut your energy consumption by simply investing in a printer that gets the green seal of approval.

Here are some recommendations about what to look for when printer shopping:

Look for labels

When comparing brands and models, check to see if the printer you’re eyeing is certified as being energy efficient. Is it EnergyStar certified, for example? Does it have EPEAT certification? There are a number of “green” labels to watch for, and such certifications will ensure the appliance won’t eat up excess electricity.

Go for All-In-One

Although you may only be in the market for a printer, consider condensing a few of your office appliances into a single machine. Most major brands now carry numerous models of printers that also scan, copy, fax and perform other functions. Not only does going for the all-in-one option save energy, but also space.

Find Additional Eco Functions

Many newer models of printers now feature an ink-saving mode, which will prevent changing those pesky cartridges too often. Some models also have a “sleep” mode, which cuts back on wasting electricity should the printer be left on.



Customer Spotlight: Green Banana Cards

20 08 2013

A love of postcards and graphic design is what originally inspired Virginie St-Jean, owner of Green Banana Cards, to attempt to turn her two passions into a business.

During her planning process, she decided to be realistic about the fact that Joe Schmo on the street isn’t necessarily interested in buying packs of beautifully designed postcards. However, if she differentiated her cards in a very unique (and Canadian way), her idea might just be viable.

“Since postcards are not as popular as they used to be with the general public, I thought that the only way to be successful selling postcards was to create a novelty product,” she says.

So, she began by designing a moose into her first product. Customers who receive the card can cut out the various parts and assemble them into a three-dimensional paper moose. And as the popularity of the product grew, she added on other animal designs, including a puffin, wolf and mammoth. St-Jean is currently up to 14 designs total, and has plans to add animals from Down Under to her line of cards in the spring.

Her designs are ordered wholesale for gift shops all over the U.S. and Canada, and she also offers smaller custom orders through her Etsy store.

Another aspect of her business that sets her apart is her commitment to using sustainable papers and inks for her products. Green Printer Online‘s line of eco-friendly paper and the ability to order directly online is why St-Jean chose to work with us exclusively.

“I get a quality product and it often ships faster than expected, which is great.”

 



10 Canadian Companies Make List of Most Sustainable in World

16 08 2013

Green Printer Online Dispatch

Canadian companies are often known for their efforts to be “green.” And 10 Canuck companies have been recognized for taking the concept of corporate social responsibility seriously.

Media and research company Corporate Knights compiles an annual list of the Global 100 companies that are the most sustainable in the world. And 10 of those just happen to be Canadian. And that’s something to both celebrate and a new standard to hold other companies to.

And surprisingly, many of the Canadian firms are mining corporation or major power players in industry. The top Canadian company to make the list at No. 21 was B.C.-based miner Teck Resources. Next up was Barrick Gold Corp. at No. 40, and Canadian National Railway at No. 57.

The report bases the rankings on a variety of statistics, including “green” factors such as energy and water consumption, and equality issues including the relative number of women on their board and CEO compensation.