GreenFest Wrap-Up: Thank you D.C.!

Green Books N Binders exhibited this year at Green Festival D.C. 2010 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Setting up shop at Booth 429 for the weekend of October 23-24th, we got a chance to meet some really great people who are just as passionate about doing the “right” thing as we are. In fact, we were so excited to exhibit we forgot to pack our cameras! Luckily we had our cell phone cameras on hand. That being said, forgive us for any sub par photos, we tried our best!

Overall, the show was an undeniable success and it really reminded us why we’re doing what we’re doing. Being surrounded by so many like-minded people, it ignited a new spark in us to urge the world to Go Vinyl-Free.

We’d like to thank all of the attendees, staff and our fellow exhibitors for making it all happen. We look forward to seeing you all next year!

View all of our show photos on Flickr.

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GBB’s Green Guide for the Eco-web

With the ever rising popularity of eco-initiatives there are tons of informational sites available on the World Wide Web. However, a lot of these sites can be misleading or may contain conflicting information, at times confusing more than informing. In an effort to keep you on the right path, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite “green” resources. Check them out below, we promise you won’t be disappointed!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/green/         
Let’s face it, who hasn’t heard of the Huffington Post? For breaking news on everything eco, this site is our go-to area to stay updated on green happenings.

http://inspiredeconomist.com
This blog focuses on people, places and ideas that promote positive change. With tons of informational posts on CSR, conservation and sustainable printing (just to name a few) you can stay busy for hours on this site.

Visit http://inspiredeconomist.com/tag/sustainable-printing/ to see all posts on sustainable printing.

http://www.treehugger.com
Treehugger is one of the best places to visit if you want to know what’s happening in the eco-community right now. Dedicated to being a “one-stop shop for green news, solutions and product info,” this site is definitely top notch in the eco-community.

http://www.greenamerica.org
Green America is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in all aspects. If you want to learn how you can take action and make a difference, this site needs to be your first stop.

Also, visit http://greenfestivals.org to learn about (and see if you can attend) Green America’s joint effort with Global Exchange to produce sustainable conventions. Green Books N Binders will be exhibiting at the D.C. Show, October 23-24th at Booth 429 so you don’t want to miss it!

http://blogs.whattheythink.com/going-green/
Read Managing Editor, Peter Nowack’s blogs to stay on top of the green wave. With over 15 years experience in environmental marketing, you can trust he knows what he’s talking about. With frequent posts, Peter does a great job keeping his readers informed and knowledgeable.

http://printgrowstrees.com/
Created by the PGAMA, “Print Grows Trees” is more than just a website. It’s an educational campaign filled with fun facts about how print really does help grow trees and encouraging everyone to promote the fact that print is good!

Since there are so many great sites out there, it is inevitable that we may have left some out. So if you know of a great green site we forgot, leave a comment and let us know the URL and what makes it YOUR pick.

Eco-friendly, Recycled Tabs: The better choice

Want to go green, but not sure where to start? Check out the recycled tabs  from Green Books N Binders. They’re a subtle switch that can reduce your company’s carbon footprint with no added implementation cost.

Made from 100% recycled material and mylar-free, Green Books N Binders’ tabs are also fully recyclable. You can customize them however you want – either on your inkjet printer or send us your artwork and we can print it for you.

The print area ranges from tab to full bleed and the tabs can be printed in black and white or color. Our recycled tabs come in standard banks of 5, but again that can be customized for your specific project needs.

Our recycled tabs are not only good for the environment but they look good too! Adding custom recycled tabs to your binders is a great way to ease into a more sustainable way of doing business and stay organized (and they look even better when added to a Low-Carb Binder!) With prices comparable to other tabs, the choice is obvious – Choose eco-friendly tabs from Green Books N Binders.

Get more information about recycled tabs.

Plant your Print

Twitter has been abuzz the past few days with multiple tweets and re-tweets (and re-re-tweets?) of the newest trend in sustainable publishing: a book you can plant. Yes, you read right, plantable print.

Novelist James Kaelan’s first book, We’re Getting On, is making the rounds (and quite a stir) in the eco-community. What is so remarkable is that the cover is manufactured with birch seed paper, allowing the reader to plant the cover back into the earth when they are done with it. Pretty neat.

This takes sustainability and recycling a step further than ever before, where the novel is not simply recycled and made into new paper, but is actually offsetting its own carbon footprint and helping the earth to grow stronger – from the ground up. Could you imagine the ecological impact if every book was made like this?

To add to this inherently eco-friendly message, TreeHugger reports that the author is doing his book tour by bicycle – yes you read that right too. Appropriately naming it the “Zero Emissions Tour”, Kaelan is going to ride a bike through 22 towns (1900 miles) in 40 days from Los Angeles to Vancouver.  His reasoning for this unusual promotion?

“…he recognises that it is difficult to be carbon free in the manufacturing of the book, no matter how hard one tries. So he wants to make the promotional part as emission free as he can. He will be staying at organic farms and eating vegan power bars…”

So the big question remains: do you keep the book on the shelf or plant the cover? Only time will tell…

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Sustainability Pays Off

There is a widespread belief that ‘green’ products must cost more. In many cases this is true and recycled products are often priced higher than their more environmentally harmful counterparts.

So why is this? It is not always because a recycled product costs more to produce (in fact, in some cases it is the opposite). The reason is because ‘green’ products are touted as a more responsible choice (in essence, a better offer), and with this perception of value comes the ideology that it must cost more.

Since an eco-friendly product contains this perceived added value, many companies know that consumers will be willing to pay a premium for these “better” products – which they do.

However, when talking about print, this is just the opposite. Printing sustainably is often more affordable and reduces costs, usage and energy, thereby allowing for more competitive pricing. 

Herein lies the problem: How does one change the broad misperception that ‘green’ products always cost more? Education through advertising is one way. Competitive pricing is another. At Green Books N Binders, we do both. We always compare our prices to non-recycled counterparts and have found that in some instances, our costs are typically the same (if not lower!) than these products.

It is always a struggle to get consumers to believe that you can go green, and save green at the same time – but it is actually true – just take a look at our product lines!

Green Your Recycling

Recycling is important and helps ensure a long-lasting, healthy environment for years to come. And we should all do our part to recycle our products, whatever they may be, after we’re done using them. But what about considering recyclability from the top down – before we purchase these items?

Here are 5 things to look for to “green” your recycling:

1. Buy Recycled!

Try to buy products that are already recycled or contain some content of Post Consumer Waste. It’s not as hard as it may seem, many products you already buy (such as Low-Carb binders, cereal boxes or aluminum cans) likely contain some percent of recycled material.

2. Decipher between pre- and post-consumer waste. 

Both are good, but choosing the product with the highest post-consumer waste content best supports recycling efforts and programs.

3. Differentiate Recycled from Recyclable.

A recycled product is made from recycled material; a recyclable product is one that can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle. Purchasing something that is recycled already helps the environment, whereas a recyclable product is only meaningful if you actually intend to recycle it properly.

4. Get the Numbers.

For plastics, check the resin number to ensure they can be thrown in your basic curbside recycling bin before you buy.

5. Evaluate ease of recyclability.

Can all the pieces of the product be recycled together, or will you have to take it apart and recycle the pieces separately? (If you will need to take it apart, make sure it’s something you’re willing to do!)

Keeping these simple tips in mind during your next shopping trip is a great way to help the environment and even “green” your purchases. As you can see it takes little extra effort to do what’s right for the environment – and yourself!

Fiber: Recycled vs. Virgin

There is an ongoing debate about the usage of recycled fibers as opposed to virgin fibers. More than one-third of the fibers used by the paper industry come from recycled fiber. Compared to other industries, the amount of Post Consumer Waste used in the paper production process is significant.

The content of recycled material is even greater when you take into account pre-consumer waste (paper waste that never reached consumers) and the usage of mill broke. Broke is the waste generated in the process of making paper. It is re-introduced in the process of making pulp, decreasing the need for virgin fibers. Even though recycled paper requires water and energy, the level of pollution created in the process uses one-third less water and two-thirds less air when compared to virgin fiber (EPA).

Pre-Consumer Waste, recycled broke, and Post Consumer Waste (PCW) are all used in the process of making recycled paper.

The opposite line of thought is that using virgin fibers from responsibly managed forests promotes reforestation which is a critical factor in fighting greenhouse gas effects. Major forest certification programs like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiatives) are leading forces behind responsible and environmentally managed forests.

So what does all of this mean? Using paper is good and using recycled (or paper from managed forests) is better. When printing anything, try to use paper that has some content of PCW (look for at least 10% and the higher the better!) or is FSC or SFI certified.

And whichever paper you choose to use, always remember to recycle it at the end of the lifecycle. Recycling paper uses less energy and produces much less waste than just tossing it in your trash can. In fact, each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water.

This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution1.

The impacts are clear and the first step begins with you!

 Sources:
1 http://www.pacebutler.com/blog/recycling-facts/