We'd like to give a quick nod to Big Ink. We know the printing world isn't always very green, and we appreciate their efforts to improve their operations and spread the word to their clients and others within their industry.
The Green Plan
They created an internal Green Team to work on a plan, and found a lot of small things that they could do. It all added up: “From the onset we started recycling over 2400 pounds of scrap waste each month along with 600 pounds of office paper. [...] In order to educate the industry about the initiatives they took, [we] wrote an article entitled Kermit Was Wrong! It Is Easy Being Green(er) that was published in Digital Graphics magazine, encouraging other printers to adopt the easy practices that make a difference." They launched a Zero-Waste Recycling Program and now take back anything they produce to recycle it (a lot of trade show graphics are used for a short time and then thrown out).
Their "ECO-Green" page on their website is already getting 4 times more traffic than all the other pages on the site, so there's definitely demand for green(er) printing. They also have a small fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids to meet clients, and they created green-inspired graphics ("Little Things Make a BIG Difference" + the URL of their green-printing page).
Ripples in the Pond
Big Ink alone is probably not big enough to make a huge difference, but when their clients and competitors take notice and start green programs of their own, the industry as a whole will move.
So most importantly: Don't rest on your laurels, keep improving things (non-toxic inks? More recycled content? Buy "green power" from local utility? Incentives for employes to take transit or carpool to work? Become part of the Responsible Print Program? Or maybe alternatives to traditional paper, such as hemp?
How to Green Your Book (for Publishers)
Green Publishers: Turning Over a New Leaf
Ecover First Company to use Responsible Print Program for their Watercare Info Leaflet
More on Big Ink
Big Ink Eco-Green Page