Magazines have long-occupied coffee tables, bookstore shelves, and waiting rooms. They spread ideas and shape how we think about our world.
Printing magazines requires a lot of natural resources and creates some waste, but modern technology has made it possible to minimize any negative impact on the environment. Here are a few ways that printing companies can reduce their environmental footprint:
The growing number of environmental catastrophes – from Australia’s bushfires to young whales choking to death on plastic waste in David Attenborough’s Blue Planet – has made people start thinking more about sustainability. With this in mind, membership organizations with print publications need to consider how they can make their production more environmentally conscious.
The use of recycled paper is a great place to start. This paper is sourced from recycled fibers and is ideally suited for print due to its thickness and smooth surface, which allows for high-quality images and text. Recycling is also easy, reusing the paper fibers as new paper. Using recycled paper reduces the new wood fiber needed to produce a magazine, which helps conserve trees and protect our forests.
Additionally, using recycled paper reduces the amount of carbon dioxide produced when printing a magazine. This greenhouse gas is a significant contributor to global warming, so by reducing the amount of paper used for magazines, we are helping to limit the impact on our environment.
The production of a magazine requires lots of energy, from logging for the wood pulp to printing and shipping your publication to distribution and sales locations. The simplest way to minimize the environmental impact of your magazine is to print your issue on recycled paper. If you want to go further, using recycled envelopes is even better. These are biodegradable and contain seeds that can be planted to grow plants when the envelope is discarded.
Magazine printing is a complex process. Editors work with various authors to create and edit pages for the publication, while designers work to produce cover images and other visual components. The printing team must plan what articles will go where and when.
In addition to this, the entire magazine is designed and sized before it goes to print. This design process can be lengthy, but ensuring the final product is as accurate and beautiful as possible is essential.
Many brands use eco-friendly paper for their magazines, but some may not know that their choice of ink significantly impacts the environment. Using recycled inks can help reduce the amount of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) released during printing. These chemicals mainly contribute to ground-level ozone, a lung irritant and the primary ingredient in smog.
Soy and vegetable inks are gaining popularity as eco-conscious alternatives to traditional inks. Both are derived from renewable resources and can be used like conventional inks. Soy inks are derived from soybean oil, while vegetable inks are based on oils such as linseed, safflower, and canola.
In addition to soy and vegetable inks, many printers offer energy-curable inks and recyclable coatings. These inks are cured under UV, EB, or UV LED light and don’t require harsh solvents. They also contain no heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, chromium, and mercury, which are toxic in large doses.
Energy Efficient Equipment
With global climate change a growing concern, the sight of young whales choking on plastic in David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, and rising energy prices, consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing choices. This includes choosing eco-friendly print services.
One of the most critical steps when printing magazines is choosing energy-efficient equipment. Whether offset or digital printing, modern, state-of-the-art machines can help to reduce overall energy consumption, leading to less pollution and waste.
Once the editorial content has been compiled and edited, it will be passed to the design team to create the magazine’s visual style. This will involve selecting fonts, colors, and layouts that suit the content. It will also be possible to add specific photography and illustrations.
Once the design is complete, it will be sent to the printer to replicate the magazine. This will either be an in-house department or a professional printing company that uses digital and offset presses. The number of copies required will determine which method is used. For larger print runs, using an offset press will usually be cost-effective. However, a digital machine may be more suitable for smaller print runs as there is no set-up charge. The equipment used should be labeled with the Energy Star logo to demonstrate that it has been designed with lower electricity consumption in mind.
Rerouted HVAC Systems
Regarding the environmental impact of print production, commercial printing may not be the first industry that springs to mind, but enormous strides have been made in reducing energy consumption. In addition to minimizing the use of paper and ink, printers have also taken steps to reduce their electrical energy consumption. These energy-saving systems are not only more environmentally responsible, but they also help to cut down on costs and emissions that are passed down to the consumer.
For example, one manufacturer has been using a variable-speed system to match fan and compressor speeds with load demands, which results in a 20% reduction in energy consumption. Additionally, the company has switched to LED lighting throughout its warehouse and used a low ammonia emission aqueous coating on all its products to reduce water pollution.
HVAC systems are another significant source of energy consumption and waste in the built environment, and there are also ways that they can be more environmentally responsible as well. For instance, a power-efficient system can incorporate heat pumps that run at lower capacity and capture the energy of wind or sunlight to offset heating requirements. In addition, the power electronics for these motors can be optimized with IGBT and SiC switches to avoid unnecessary voltage conversions.
If you want to learn more about how the HVAC industry is reducing its impact, read the online and printed editions of Contractor Magazine. This publication offers clean-looking webpages and straightforward navigation links that cover every aspect of mechanical contracting, from green technology to tools and trucks to management topics. It is also great for researching HVAC education webinars and best practices.