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Take Your Paper Greener

Did you know that paper is going green? Actually, paper has been green for some time, but paper manufacturers are making it even more so. Let’s look at some trends in paper manufacturing that will be pleasing to the Earth.

Paper is going lighter. As postal costs have gone up, paper stocks have gotten lighter. While some print projects will always demand a heavier grade of paper, for documents that will end up in the mail stream, lighter paper just makes sense. This translates into less energy used to harvest and process the fiber, less energy used to produce the paper, and less fossil fuel used to distribute the final product.

Paper mills use renewable energy. Much of the energy consumed in paper manufacturing comes from renewable energy sources, including biomass (treetops, limbs, bark and other manufacturing by-products) and water. For some mills, as much as two-thirds of the energy used in their paper production can come from renewable sources.

Paper mills are going carbon-neutral. Non-integrated mills may not be able to produce their own energy, but an increasing number purchase carbon credits instead. Many paper companies now claim to be entirely carbon-neutral.

More 100% postconsumer paper. There are a growing number of recycled papers using 100% postconsumer (PCW) fiber. This used to mean significantly higher prices, but the costs have dropped to be more in line with those of other recycled papers.

More environmental certifications. Most paper mills offer environmentally certified papers these days. With environmental certification, the entire paper manufacturing process, from the harvesting of the trees to the production of the paper, is strictly monitored so you can be sure that it is conducted with the highest levels of environmental integrity.

As the paper industry continues to deepen its environmental commitment, it is becoming easier to take your print marketing green. Combine that with best-in-class mailing practices such as keeping your mailing list clean, de-duped, and up to date, and you’ve got a powerful recipe for environmentally friendly print marketing!