Eight Days a Week says printing can be green

Local printers invest in environment -- even in a queasy economy

| Oct 9, 2010

GREEN PUMPKINS: A sample of a latex printing job from Eight Days using new, greener printing methods. (Source: Eight Days a Week)
You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at a bright new banner printed at the Eight Days a Week digital imaging center, but they’ve made a major addition to their oversized color printing capacity for the good of the environment.

Sam and Cheryl Sussman, co-owners of Eight Days, recently purchased latex-based printing technology for signs and banners. By doing so, the family-owned firm became the first in Boulder County (an area that happens to be a national environmental hotbed) to go to the most environmentally sound printing system.

“Between the clean inks, the energy-efficient hardware and the recyclable materials, latex printing delivers the greenest printing technology available. By giving environmentally-conscious clients a clean choice, I also think it will increase my customer base over time,” said Sam Sussman.

In brief, the Sussmans recently obtained a Hewlett-Packard printing system that offers several significant environmental benefits. The latex inks are water-based, as opposed to petroleum-based solvent inks that release high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The printers are ENERGY STAR rated, and printed products come out dry – so shops don’t need energy-using external dryers. Ink cartridges, printheads, and even parts of printers are recyclable (if done through approved programs), which will divert solid waste from landfills.

Air pollution a factor

Also, the latex inks emit no Hazardous Air Pollutants, which protects the health of workers in print shops. Specialized ventilation systems aren’t necessary in areas where only latex inks are used – which can’t be said of solvent inks.

Sussman said he learned about the latex technology at a trade show in Las Vegas, and he was instantly impressed.

“I knew right away that this was the technology of the future,” said Sussman.

While it’s a little early to judge the impacts on the Sussmans’ business activity, there is evidence of a demand for the latex products – including from large corporations such as Nike and Sony. For the past few years, the Nike Women’s Marathon has “greened” its event with latex printed banners. At the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference, the World Wide Fund for Nature turned to latex printing to reduce its environmental footprint.

Boulder’s Homebrewers Association used latex printing from Eight Days a Week on signage for podiums at their 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

“Using signs that were printed with non-toxic inks and recyclable materials fits in with the environmental efforts we are making with our event. And the finished product had the same great quality that we always receive from Eight Days,” concluded the Homebrewers Association.

Green printing still must be high-quality

Yes, quality is still essential in the world of visual marketing – even in today’s ever-greening world – and the Eight Days banners deliver. The bright colors and outstanding image quality come from a printer that is capable of resolutions up to 1200 dpi. Also, the prints have durability and display permanence comparable to eco-solvent and low-solvent inks, which is important for banners and signs that will be used in Colorado’s challenging outdoor elements.

The Sussmans have invested in new equipment and new technology – during one of the most difficult economic periods that most Americans have ever experienced. In return, Sam Sussman believes they’re bringing local and regional residents a “win-win” combination of great signage and green values.

“There are lots of challenges in today’s business world, but I’m excited to take them on, and I’m proud to be on the leading edge,” said Sussman. “We’re sensible environmentalists, and we want to leave a cleaner world for future generations.”