Printing that pleases the planet

Flower power shower.

Flower power shower.

I am opening a new business and soon will be printing my business cards and other collateral. What do I need to ask my printer for to ensure I’m getting the most environmentally friendly end products?

There are a couple of simple requests your local printer can easily accommodate. Ask for your materials to be printed with soy or vegetable ink on recycled paper that uses post-consumer waste. You can also send your files electronically or deliver them to your printer on a USB flash drive, rather than burning to a non-rewriteable CD that has to be tossed.

Also, you can advocate for the following environmentally friendly trends in the printing industry. Encourage your local printer to use computer-to-plate processing, which eliminates the use of film and chemicals to create the “plates” required to print your materials. Also, consider asking the owner to purchase a portion of the energy required to run his or her shop from renewable resources.

Every time I take a shower, it takes an incredibly long time for my water to heat up. In fact, I can turn on the water and hit my snooze button before its warm. I cringe at the amount of water I’m wasting, but I don’t know what else to do. Please help!

If you’re dedicated, the summer months are a great time to collect the water you’d otherwise waste as a means to water your garden during the driest months. Take it from another couple of Green Days readers who had the same problem. They invested in a sealed rain barrel designed just for the purpose of watering their garden with collected water from sources other than their hose. They keep a couple of buckets under the bathroom sink, whip them out when the shower water is warming, and turn the potentially wasted water into gallons of thirst-quenching irrigation for their lavish garden.