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Choosing and Using Recyled Paper

Fun paper mobiles made by Gosh and Golly // http://www.etsy.com/shop/goshandgolly
Fun paper mobiles made by Gosh and Golly // Source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/goshandgolly

Here at Dowitcher Designs we aren’t printing nearly as many marketing materials anymore, especially with so many easier online marketing options. But there are still items that are necessary to have in paper — like business cards — so when you have to print, why not choose a recycled option?

Many printers now regularly carry (or can easily order) recycled stock and printing on recycled stock doesn’t usually cost much more. Check with your preferred vendor for a price quote.

One of my favorite go-to paper choices is Mohawk Options. I like that it is offered in a 100% post-consumer waste recycled option and I love the look and feel. It’s available in both lightweight and heavier card stock and prints very well even on a digital press. We use this paper almost exclusively for any of our print materials.

Post-consumer waste content isn’t the only factor to consider when it comes to recycled paper, however. The manufacturing process behind the paper is just as important. Look for companies that use wind power and/or purchase carbon offsets. This helps to reduce their overall environmental footprints. Mohawk, Wausau, Ecosource, Cascades Paper, and Greenfield are among the companies that practice greener manufacturing processes.

If this all sounds confusing, fortunately there are some tools out there to help you get started.

Mohawk’s Environmental Caculator

A fun feature that Mohawk includes on their website is an Environmental Calculator. You can simply type in the number of sheets you will use on a project and the recycled content of the paper and it will not only calculate the number of trees saved, but the water saved, solid waste not created, green house gases prevented, whether it’s carbon neutral, and several options. Check it out!

Re-nourish.com

Re-nourish has a number of great resources, including a Project Calculator similar to Mohawk’s, plus a Paper Finder Tool that helps you narrow down your paper options and a Greener Printer Tool that helps you locate local printers with better environmental practices. If you’re interested in “going green” outside of paper, explore their Green Your Studio Tool for tips on how you can conserve energy and resources in your office.

Being advocates for the environment is a huge part of our philosophy. Our love of nature (a “dowitcher” is a shorebird found on California’s coast) is in our name! I hope these tips have been useful, and let us know if we can help you find more sustainable options for your projects.

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