As a graphic designer (print based), I’m aware of the huge impact commercial printing has on the environment. Luckily, there are great eco-friendly copiers and commercial printing systems out there like Greener Printer in Berkeley, CA who can help reduce the impact of printed materials. You may also use grand format flatbed printers if your project requires printing on a larger canvass.
The 4 areas Greener Printer focuses on are: 1. Water Conservation, 2. Solid Waste Reduction and Recyling, 3. Energy Conservation and 4. Pollution Prevention. In addition, Greener Printer prints on treeless and recycled content papers, exclusively prints with low VOC soy and other vegetable-based inks, uses energy efficient equipment, and offsets 100% of their energy usage with windpower. They are also a certified Green Business.
To give an idea of what they offer, Greener Printers prints business cards, calendars, brochures, postcards, catalogs, posters and many other print communication items. For non-local clients, printing is super easy— just upload files to their site and get the orders shipped (all jobs are shipped “climate cool“).
In short, if you have materials printed for yourself, your organization or your business, make sure to consider printing with environmentally responsible printers. At this point, the costs for eco-friendly printing are reasonable, the finished products are beautiful and the reduced footprint is considerable. Check here and here for info and tips on printing green.