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.

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.


The Petermann Glacier

4 09 2011

Petermann Glacier After the Break

A true sign of the precarious environmental times we live in comes in the form of the Petermann Glacier, which lost a very large chunk last year and stands to lose more in the near future. If anyone ever needed proof of the damage that has been done (and is still being done) to our planet, this is a perfect example.

The Huffington Post‘s Green section reports:

When a 100 square mile chunk — an area four times the size of Manhattan — broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in the summer of 2010, scientists knew that it was a historic event. After all, it was the largest known calving in Greenland’s history, and the largest to occur in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.

Over the last year, scientists have only been able to view the extent of the breakup via satellite imagery. Until now.

Photographs taken in July and released on Wednesday offer a new perspective on the August 2010 break, showing before and after images of different areas of Petermann Glacier.

“Although I knew what to expect in terms of ice loss from satellite imagery, I was still completely unprepared for the gob-smacking scale of the breakup, which rendered me speechless,” Alan Hubbard, the scientist from Aberystwyth University in Wales who took the most recent photograph, said in a statement.

And we can expect more. Hubbard told that another sheet, about half the size of the 2010 chunk, is poised to break away.

Jason Box, a scientist with the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University and photographer of the 2009 image, told HuffPost that the summer of 2010 was Greenland’s warmest on record, and records have been kept since 1873.

“We’re bearing witness to abrupt climate change,” Box told HuffPost. “This isn’t of in the future. It’s very much now.”

, The Huffington Post

Unfortunately, at this point it seems there is not a great deal that can be done to change the course of this glacier’s future. The damage is there, but we need to look forward to the future and what we can do to prevent more incidents like this.

Crazy Weather Week for the East Coast

28 08 2011

Image via The New Yorker

Between earthquakes, tornado warnings, and a hurricane-turned-tropical storm, the US’s east coast has had a tough week in weather. A common question associated with major weather events is whether or not they are caused, or exacerbated, by global warming.

Take a look at this excerpt from The New Yorker for a preliminary answer:

Are more events like Irene what you would expect in a warming world? Here the answer is a straightforward “yes.” In fact, experts have been warning for years that New York will become increasingly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding as the planet heats up. In 2009, the New York City Panel on Climate Change, appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, concluded that, as a result of global warming, “more frequent and enhanced coastal flooding” was “very likely” and that “shortened 100-year flood recurrence period” was also “very likely.” Much of the problem simply has to do with sea levels—as these rise, any storm or storm surge becomes more dangerous. Marcus Bowman, an oceanography professor at Stony Brook University, has warned that the city could one day have “flood days,” the way it now has snow days.

Meanwhile, rising temperatures make other risks worse as well. Warm air holds more moisture, so as temperatures rise there is more water available to the system. And warmer ocean temperatures mean there is more energy available to fuel severe storms like Irene. As Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, explained recently on the blog Climate Progress, “Owing to higher SSTs [sea surface temperatures] from human activities, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere leads to 5 to 10% more rainfall and increases the risk of flooding.” Also, “because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense and bigger as well.”

When we add all of these risk factors together, we can say with a great deal of confidence that in the future, there will be more and more events like Irene. We can comfort ourselves by saying that this particular storm was not necessarily caused by global warming. Or we can acknowledge the truth, which is that we are making the world a more dangerous place and, what’s more, that we know it.

, The New Yorker

We hope you all had a safe and happy weekend, with or without these weather occurrences!

Genghis Khan Environmentalist?

22 02 2011
The Khan dynasty, and the huge slaughters that came at the hand of the terrible Genghis Khan, are widely known. Khan lead the invasions of many areas throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, and it is estimated that possibly 40 million people died due to his conquests. History books have always taught that he was an incredibly cruel leader, and the high death rates of the people he slaughtered are devastating and horrible. Now, environmentalists have conducted recent studies that show Genghis Khan may have had one of the most positive effects on the environment in history, and are even praising his conquests for their positive impact on the environment, though this praise is a bit much for many people to handle.

For a long time, it was assumed that the major carbon pollution problems that have been hurting the environment started when technology advances led to the wide burning of fossil fuels for energy. Since we’ve started using fossil fuels, burned coal and oil has led to extremely heightened pollution levels, levels that have deeply concerned many environmental groups. However, a lesser known fact that environmental groups have known for a while is that fossil fuels were not the beginning of carbon pollution in our history.

For years before fossil fuels were used, the increasing use of agriculture meant serious carbon pollution for the world. As humans expanded across the world, into new territory, they began preparing the new land they found for agriculture. To do so they had to clear the current environment of forests and other natural vegetation, to prepare the land for growing crops. Countless acres of forest and plains were burned, to clear the way for the oncoming groups of people. These massive fires and burnings lead to huge carbon pollution in the world, and this pollution has been going on for hundreds of years, as humans continued to expand.

Obviously this brings into question how Genghis Khan is related. Environmentalists have noted that as humans expanded and burned forests, the carbon emissions always lowered during times of great devastation to humanity. During times of great death in the human population, more plants and vegetation was allowed to grow again, which removed some of the carbon dioxide in the air and got rid of the pollution.

Genghis Khan’s reign killed millions and millions of people. This also meant that the expansion of different groups of people was severely limited, and fewer farms and crops were planted and attended to. Forests were allowed to overgrow the existing farms and got rid of a great deal of the carbon dioxide that had previously been heavily polluting the air due to clearing the land and burning forests.

Other historical events that have lead to great human death, such as the Black Death, have also been studied to see what their impact on carbon emissions was. It was found that the impact of Genghis Khan was by far the largest impact, likely due to the fact that his reign was long and extensive. The other historical events were much shorter, and had a significantly smaller impact, so their impact on carbon emission was significantly lower.

Of course, it’s not easy for everyone to agree that the work of such a murderer was a good thing. Many are criticizing environmentalists for praising Genghis Khan’s killing sprees, and insist it is wrong to consider such extensive death a good thing. However, the findings still have a significant impact on understanding environmental implications dealing with pollution and finding solutions to current problems that the world is facing in dealing with our pollution.

Let’s Get Digital: From YouTube Ads to Mighty Pixel Productions

16 06 2009

A dispatch.

Think back to the ads you actually remember. The infamous Mac versus PC ones. The award-winning Mr. W ad with a touching twist. More than likely, the videos were made by former professionals in the film industry. Not convinced?

Just check out the list of credits behind the two to three minute YouTube teasers on GreenWorldAds. Many hail from a history of doing independent film work or music videos. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Printer interviews entrepreneur Carmon Spagnola of m

10 06 2009

A Green Printer interview with Carmen Spagnola, entrepreneur and owner of m.

1. What made you want to start m?
I started m because I was a frustrated consumer.  I decided that  if I want to have access to smarter, more beautifully designed, more  responsible products and amenities for my home and family, I was going to have to create more demand.  Markets are a bit of a chicken-and-egg  relationship.  Many retailers will tell you that they only provide  what their customers want.  That is only part of my modus operandi. I want to showcase the possibility of a better performing future, so  much of what I sell and promote is currently considered ahead of the market.  But how will the market know what it wants if we don’t inspire it to want more?
Read the rest of this entry »

Ads Made of Sea Water: Three reasons to re-imagine your design

3 06 2009

A dispatch.

This week, we scoured Google, we marveled and finally chose three design resources, trends and case studies from around the globe that inspire in their boundary pushing work. You’ll probably re-think using the colour green in your branding palette. And that’s a good thing.

1. Did you ever wonder what all those old marketing posters for saving the endangered spotted owls could be made out of? In 1980s, you could have conjured nasty words like ‘subterranean chemicals’ or ‘volatile organic compounds‘ (VOCs). Read the rest of this entry »

Green designers take heed: ‘Sharing’ a tidalwave 2009 trend

28 05 2009

A dispatch.

Here and there in 2007, I saw the idea of the ‘share economy’ pop up.  In 2009, car sharing, bike sharing, vacation sharing and even, clothing sharing seem to have more clout as tidalwave trends as opposed to mere passing trends.

From conference keynote titles like “Is the Share Economy the New New Economy?” at the May 5-7 Next09 Conference to the hit $40 annual fee Smart Bike Program in Washington, D.C., sharing is on the rise amongst even ‘mainstream’ consumers.

Sure, when times were high, the idea of car-pooling with the guy next door who grows petunias seemed like a nuisance best avoided (“I have to get to my superimportantmeetingnow!”). Read the rest of this entry »

Core Industry’s MacMurray on ‘Garden Electric’ and making the invisible visible

25 05 2009

Thank you to Daniel Schutzsmith for this fabulous tip.

Green Printer has interviewed rockstar interactive and strategic marketing, design and development firm Core Industries before (who clients include Live Earth, Pepsi and 1% for the Planet) and has been in touch with Megan MacMurray, Production Designer at the agency.

So, we were excited to learn that the Brooklyn-based MacMurray, along with fellow artist Angela Pablo, showcased her Garden Electric exhibit at the Futuresonic Festival and Conference in Manchester, England. Read the rest of this entry »