I felt like I greatly benefited from the presentation provided by Amy Burkett and Jay Lindbeck from Independent Printing last Thursday. I learned a lot about sustainable printing, which will be helpful in my interview of Consolidated Printing. I never realized how many different factors that need to be considered in order to determine whether a printing company is considered sustainable. But I think it is very admirable of Independent Printing (along with other companies) to strive to reduce their overall environmental impact in all areas of operation. I did not realize that there are inks (hyrbrid UV-cured ink) that do not contain any volatile organic compounds… very cool! I also liked that they are mainly using packaging material that is 100% post consumer waste because I think it is absolutely absurd how much waste is produced from shipping materials alone. I was very intrigued by their packaging peanuts… I had never heard of or seen any biodegradable packaging peanuts and was really pleased to see that they do exist and are being used… It probably made such an impact on me because of a recent Chris Jordan photo I came across: it depicts 166,000 packing peanuts, equal to the number of overnight packages shipped by air in the U.S. every hour. And all I could think about is how many packaging peanuts each of those packages contain and how all of them will end up in a landfill where they will remain forever… Just made me so angry and frustrated… SO I really liked the idea of biodegradable packaging peanuts. I was also impressed by their responsibility in disposing wastes and learned what fuel blending is (which I think is a really cool/interesting/innovative process). Lastly, I did not know much about the Forest Stewardship Council beforehand, but I think it is a great system and I am very impressed by any company that works with/is FSC certified because it is really important for us (producers and consumers) to support responsible forestry practices.
I feel more confident in my knowledge concerning sustainable printing, allowing me to be more efficient and professional when I conduct my green audit. So I appreciate their thorough, yet easy to understand presentation.