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You are currently viewing archive for January 2008
Posted by: Buzz

Printing Green and A Few Facts

Many times customers have opinions that are based on old facts. Being a Green Printer many times customers are concerned about using recycled paper. They think it is more expensive and not as high of quality. Many times printing companies that aren't as current will discourage their customers and are doing their customers and the environment a disservice.

Recycled paper and paper manufacturers started off struggling with recycled paper quality and cost but that was quite a few years ago. As demand increased, costs came down and quality improved. At this point, recycled paper gives you many quality options. Many times the quality will exceed virgin fiber paper and runs fine on both offset and digital printing. Paper manufacturing has also reduced or eliminated in some cases their use of chlorine which is very bad for the environment. As industries, printing and paper manufacturing are very heavy users of electricity and production of greenhouse gases.

Printing is the 3rd largest user of energy behind automobiles and steel. Paper manufacturing is 5th. Most conscious companies in both industries are making great strides from reducing energy use to conservation. Green printing companies can now be carbon neutral and can use recycled post consumer waste paper (PCW) and renewable energy to greatly reduce their environmental impact. For every ton of 100% PCW paper used by green printers 20,000 gallons of water is conserved. Recycling paper is not hard to do and saves considerable trees and water.

We got into the green printing arena by being introduced to a beautiful Venture West Ranches and wanting to do our part to insure such beautiful places continue to exist.

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company
Posted by: Buzz

Top Ten Green Printing Practices

Green printing
or eco-friendly printing is something that all print producers should consider being a part of their daily job. Here are some of the top green printing practices.

1.Recycle, Recycle, Recycle-Paper, ink and press solutions that are not used in the final product should be recycled as part of the daily process.
2.Vegetable Based Inks-Inks have historically been petroleum based which emit VOC's and harm the environment. Inks can be vegetable based thus not emitting VOC's. This also includes considering using less metallic inks or a substitute metallic without the heavy metals associated.
3.Press Solutions-These should be alcohol free.
4.Paper-Use recycled or PCW(post consumer waste) paper. There are certifications such as FSC or SFI that support sustainable forestry practices.
5.Consider Alternative Substrates-Not all paper is made from pulp from trees. Papers can be made from Cotton, Hemp and other more renewable plant sources or fibers.
6.Conservation-Reduction of energy used to produce the product. For instance, replacing lighting to higher efficiency low wattage or LED lighting.
7.Renewable Energy-Use of wind, solar, thermal sources from the utility supplier.
8.Energy Efficient Equipment-Replacing equipment that consumes more electricity.
9.Inventory Control-Reduction of waste to landfill on paper, ink, etc.
10.Digital Printing-Instituting smaller quantity orders so obsolescence and waste are reduced.

These are our top 10 ways we at The Odee Company are improving our footprint on the environment.

Top Ten Green Practices
Written by Buzz Tatom

Recommended sites that are eco-friendly with our world:
- Venture West Ranches ( People at VWR believe that land holds a mystical, spiritual place in our souls. The possibility of shaping, improving and protecting what Mother Nature has provided us intrigues and drives them. Visit Venture West Ranches to see why VWR understand Land!

- Tatom Design ( Do you like discuss making a beautiful Montana home? Please, call us! We are specialists in Montana interior design, and are located in Big Sky.
Posted by: Buzz

Printing Green-A Few Things You Need to Know

The definition of "printing green" is up for debate. You are going to see a lot of printers talking about their green printing capabilities. There are several things to consider when talking to a printer to decide what they are doing to reduce their footprint on the environment. Here are a few thoughts:

Terms-Here is a list of terms you may need to know about:
VOC's-Volatile Organic Compounds
Virgin Fiber-100% pulp or fiber from new trees
PCW-Post Consumer Waste paper that the fiber is recycled from previously used paper. This is expressed as a %. Usually, 30%, 50% or 100%.
PCF-Processed Chlorine Free
TCF-Totally Chlorine Free
ECF-Elemental Chlorine Free
FSC-Forest Stewardship Council
SFI-Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Ink-do they use soy or vegetable based inks? Most inks used in the printing industry are still petroleum based. Those emit VOC's and are harmful to the environment as they are being used and afterwards in our landfills. Vegetable inks use the oil from plants to create inks. These are much more eco-friendly both in use and clean up. They should be able to supply a MSDS sheet that shows this. Are they recycling all of their waste ink and press solutions?

Alcohol Free
-Are there press solutions alcohol free? Again, if needed they should be able to supply a MSDS sheet to show you that.

-Do they preserve and conserve? As a printing company they should be recycling all paper waste from the production process. Can they supply you with recycled paper? Are they FSC or SFI certified? If not do they have plans in being. What does FSC & SFI stand for? If I want to print those symbols on my job, what is the process? Can they do it?

Carbon Neutral
-Is the company carbon neutral? This can be done by reducing utilities purchased that aren't created by renewable energy. Carbon credits can also be purchased to offset greenhouse gases that are produced by the production process.

Renewable Energy-More and more utilities provide an option to purchase a % of clean energy.

Digital Printing
-Is this job something that would be produced better in smaller quantities and produced using digital inks or toner? Digital inks and toners can be even better than vegetable based inks.

These are just a few questions you can ask printing companies to decide how they are helping to make our world sustainable for future generations. None of us have all the answers but all of us should be making an effort.

Printing Green - A few things you need to know
Written by Buzz Tatom
Posted by: Buzz

Sustainable Printing

Sustainable is defined by one source as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

Can it be achieved in Printing? Printing as an industry is a heavy user of natural resources such as timber and electricity to produce our final product. I don't see any way we entirely eliminate as an industry 100% use of both of these resources but we can certainly contribute to sustainability by conservation, use of renewable energy and recycling.

Here is the way The Odee Company is going about reducing its uses of these resources and helping to become a sustainable printer.

Our first step was in conservation to reduce our use of these resources. We recycle all of our paper waste that is not included in the final product. On the electricity end, we are changing all of our lighting to high efficiency low wattage lighting that cuts our lighting electricity use by 40%. We have installed time control devices on all of our HVAC units. Our delivery truck was replaced with a high efficiency diesel truck that gets 24 mpg. We recycle all ink and press waste not used in the final product and use vegetable based inks.

Our next step was in promoting and supporting the use of eco-friendly products. We use as much recycled paper as possible in our daily print jobs and are becoming certified in Chain of Custody for reforestation of paper. Our utility provider buys an undetermined % of electricity from renewable sources. We are in a contract with them and have expressed that we will need to see over 50% of the electricity coming from renewable to renew. We purchase carbon credits to offset 100% of our greenhouse gases from the As said above our ink is vegetable based.

So while The Odee Company still uses these resources by offsetting our carbon credits we are creating a sustainable environment. The use of trees and forests in printing will continue to some degree but by recycling as an industry we can increase the amount of recycled pulp in paper from the present level of 35% to a much higher number.

Leave the World better than you found it. That creates a sustainable environment for future generations.

Written by Buzz Tatom

PD: if you have questions about sustainable printing services, please, contact us!.
Posted by: Buzz

Why is The Odee Company Going Green?

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Why is The Odee Company Going Green?" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments).Yellow Border
We have written several articles and produced some videos that you may have seen on The Odee Company and green printing. Some that read this will have a healthy skepticism of whether we have done this for the right reasons.

My name is Buzz Tatom and I own The Odee Company and I'm going to attempt to tell you why we are making such a effort. First of all, I'm now the father of three children and I have a real concern for what the world will be like for future generations. The present generation(Baby Boomers) and the previous generation(The Great Generation) have done a pretty good job of laying our waste at the foot of future generations. They will either have to clean up our mess at great cost to themselves or continue on until at some point there will be collapse of society as we know it. Disclaimer: These are my opinions.

Our government(USA) and politicians do not have the courage to correct this either from a budget standpoint or a environmental standpoint. This is however true of most governments and politicians in the world. They are looking out for themselves and their fiefdoms instead of doing what is right.
Again, my opinions.

Having our children has changed me the most. Now, I care for their future and their childrens future. This has led us to change how we are running our business. We are in the printing business located in Dallas, Tx and are carbon neutral through cutting energy use and the purchase of carbon credits. We are also becoming certified Chain of Custody certified printers for certified friendly forest paper suppliers.

The second thing that changed me was that we own a ranch north of Dallas that we and the kids retreat to when we can. It is a pretty place with draws, trees and three lakes which we actually built. We do not own the mineral rights to this property and so we have been invaded by the oil & gas people in search of the Barnett Shale. They are trying to destroy the property by drilling wells, knocking down trees and laying pipelines. We,of course, are fighting them. They don't have to develop the property the way they are but have no concern for trees and the beauty of the place.

Then on the other side we have been approached by a wind company that wants to put wind turbines up to capture the wind that blows in our area. They approached several in our area and the area decided as a whole to not put them up. I don't know the right or wrong of this but as a generation we are going to be faced with many tough decisions.

This is why I felt that The Odee Company needed to do its part. I don't know if we will make a difference but I thought for future generations sake I could not continue to waste what realistically is not mine to waste. Again, these are all my opinions.

Written by Buzz Tatom

Other sites that take care of our environment:
- ( Montana Farms and Ranches. Offices in Bozeman and Three Forks.
- Tatom Design ( is a full service interior design firm located in Big Sky, MT.
Posted by: Buzz

Green Printing-Soft Proofing and Hard Proofing

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Green Printing-Soft Proofing and Hard Proofing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments).Yellow Border
Green printing is not always perfect. Let's take the proofing of a job. Ideally, from a green approach we would like to show a proof online(soft proof) and save the transportation of a hard proof from us to the customer and back. If there are changes you could be saving a lot of time, money and reducing the impact of the transportation of the proof.

There are some drawbacks to showing hard proofs at times, although, systems are improving all the time and have made dramatic improvements in the last few years. The problem occurs that you may not see accurate color on a soft proof. Most computer monitors are not calibrated and even if they are the translation of RGB(Red, Green, Blue) on a computer monitor to CMYK(Cyan, Magenta,Yellow & BlacK) inks can make this a challenging and possible problem area.

Most good printing companies are interested in coming as close to the end product that you want and that a hard proof should reasonably predict. The problem is if you are judging your color from a monitor most times you are using very different platforms to judge final color. That being said we recommend on more critical color jobs such as skintones, jewelry and fabric swatches that a customer see a hard proof. A hard proof is a proof produced on a paper substrate that is produced by equipment calibrated to the rip(raster image processor)that will be burning the plates and the press.

In digital printing you are actually seeing a press proof off of the actual press that will be running the job. Soft proofs are ideal for pleasing color jobs or very quick turn where the color is not absolute match color. As an industry, well over half the print jobs produced are pleasing color jobs that a soft proof would suffice.

Our recommendation at The Odee Company is if you are trying to match something very closely you need a hard proof. If you get a soft proof there is a real possibility of not having exact color. You are definitely helping to save the environment more by accepting a soft proof because it is all done over the internet and there are no transportation costs involved.

There are systems that give you more accurate color soft proofs but for the conventional mass majority of printing customers the cost does not warrant the end result. These systems will continue to evolve and improve and over the next few years soft proofing will gain more and more acceptance as it continues to become more accurate and costs are driven lower. Monitor calibration will be one of the biggest challenges so that all the monitors in the proofing change see color the same. A daunting challenge to do at a reasonable cost.

If you have some question about green printing soft or hard proofing, please contact us!

Written by Buzz Tatom
A printing company that cares about our world
Posted by: Buzz

Digital Printing can be Green!

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Digital Printing can be Green!" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments).Yellow Border
Digital printing was invented for smaller quantity runs at lower costs but does a pretty good job of being eco-friendly. One of the reasons for the substantial growth in digital printing was the need for people to print smaller quantities due to information changing on their printed literature. This reduction in obsolescence has reduced the amount of old literature not deemed useful anymore being thrown away. While this was not necessarily by design this has saved a massive amount of trees by doing more relevant Just-In-Time printing.

Our digital press that we use is the HP Indigo 3050 press. This digital press does not have the variables and compounds that are used in Offset Printing that can result in higher waste and waste disposal. The Indigo 3050 does generate some wastes but none of these are categorized as hazardous according to Federal Regulation 40 CFR 261. All waste ink and imaging oil is disposed of with a recycler. Our ink is liquid Electro Ink that has no Air Pollutants as listed under Section112 of the Federal Clean Air Act.

The only Volatile Organic Compound(VOC's) that is produced by the Indigo 3050 is from the Imaging Oil and the emission level is lower than levels associated with a typical offset printing press. HP has stated that emission levels from a very similar press emits approximately 0.23 lb per hour when operated within manufacturers normal tolerances.

The Odee Company also purchases carbon credits from the Carbon Fund so that it is a Carbon Neutral Printing Company.

If you have the need for a eco-friendly digital printer please contact us.

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company
Posted by: Buzz

Printing Goes Green!

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Printing Goes Green!" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
The printing industry like many other industries is starting to pick up steam in going "Green". From recycling paper to using soy ink, smart printing companies are starting to realize the benefits of going "Green".

A printing company can reduce it's emissions of greenhouse gases by buying carbon credits supporting reforestation or renewable energy. One such fund is This fund gives you choices of how your credits will be used. There are 3 choices: Reforestation, Renewable Energy, or Energy Conservation.

Recycling of paper
or being certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council(FSC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SFI) gives you the ability to control the fiber that is being used to make your certified paper. This is usually going to be the largest waste component of a printing job. By using recycled post consumer waste paper you are directly saving trees and if you use FSC or SFI certified papers and certified printing companies you can also display the FSC & SFI logos on your printed product.

Recycling of all ink or using soy based inks is another way to be "green" with your printing. You can and should recycle all press solutions and plates used in the printing process. This can and should be done.

Energy conservation by using lower wattage lighting or actually purchasing renewable energy is another good idea that printing companies can do to reduce there environmental footprint on our planet.

All of these are ideas that are taking hold in the printing industry. Make sure the companies you are using to print for you are doing their part to help keep our environment clean. If you need a printing company that has gone green please contact The Odee Company. We are located in Dallas, Tx and have been in existence since 1923.

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas

Other sites that take care of our environment:
- ( Montana Farm and Ranch land broker. Since 2005. Offices in Bozeman and Three Forks, farms and ranches throughout Montana.
- Tatom Design ( is a full service interior design firm located in Big Sky, MT.

Posted by: Buzz

Environmentally Friendly Printing

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Environmentally Friendly Printing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments).Yellow Border
We all have a responsibility to future generations to help insure that we are taking care of our planet so they have the same opportunities as we do. Printing as an industry is a heavy user of electricity and natural resources such as trees to make paper. There are ways that printing companies can participate in helping to reduce their impact on the environment. Here are the main ways although they certainly don't encompass everything.

-Using Recycled papers. Over 50% of the paper used in the US is recycled. This means that 35% of the fiber used to make paper in the US is from recycled paper. While we may not be able to totally alleviate the use of new trees being logged for fiber a small % increase in the above numbers can translate to millions of trees being spared and the corresponding increase in greenhouse gases associated with the logging and manufacturing of virgin fiber papers. Printing companies at the very least can recycle all waste not used in their final product.
At The Odee Company we recycle all of our waste paper and have for well over 10 years. There are also a couple of organizations that give a chain of custody for recycled papers being used in a customer's end job. These organizations give training and annually audit the companies processes to insure customers are printing there product on certified environmentally sustainable paper. One is the Forestry Stewardship Council(FSC) and the other is Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SFI). These organizations promote the use of paper that passes from certified forests all the way through certified printing companies. This also helps the end customer promote this initiative by displaying the FSC & SFI logo on their printed pieces by using certified paper and printer.

-Renewable Energy used by a printing company can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Odee Company purchases from a utility that purchases an unspecified % of wind power. While we are unhappy about the unspecified part at this juncture we at least have made them aware of our concern for more accountability and that it will require 50% renewable energy for us to renew our contract when up.

-Carbon Credits can be purchased through organizations that work to offset the greenhouse gases a company produces. The Odee Company purchases carbon credits from Carbon Fund to make it carbon neutral. We support the reforestation project but there is also Renewable Energy or Energy Conservation. By being a Carbon Neutral printing company we offset all greenhouse gases from the manufacturing of printed product we produce.

-Recycling of All ink, plates and Press Solutions. A printing company should also dispose of all ink waste, press solutions and recycle all plates. These services are available to all printers to insure that these materials do not get in our groundwater or fill our landfills.

-Energy Conservation is also something that makes sense for all companies to do. We are replacing our fluorescent lighting with lower wattage lighting as bulbs are being replaced. This reduces our lighting energy usage by 20-25%. We look forward to being able to use LED lighting as it becomes more economically viable as it is touting energy use savings of 70-80% over normal incandescent lighting.

The point is to get started on the path. If you are looking for a printing company that is striving to be an environmentally friendly printing company please feel free to contact us to see how we can help you reduce your companies environmental footprint from its printing.

Written by Buzz Tatom
Posted by: Buzz

Eco-Friendly Printing

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Eco-Friendly Printing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border

Definitions of "Going Green" are many these days and I don't know if there will ever be a definitive answer to what a Green Printing Company does to make it eco-friendly. In many ways, whatever steps are taken are good for the planet and for future generations. Here are a few questions you can ask printing companies when deciding how eco-friendly they actually are.

Are they "carbon neutral" or "carbon friendly"? This would mean do they have offsets to the greenhouse gases they are producing to manufacture your printed product? Carbon credits can be purchased that are then used to offset by reforestation, renewable energy or energy conservation. They can also attain this by using a utility company that uses renewable energy(hydro, wind, solar, thermal). Most utility companies publish what % of renewable energy they purchase.

Do they recycle all waste not used in the final print product. The most common would be paper but ink, press solutions and plates would also be important. This can be done to where the printing company has a zero effect for producing your printed product. It is being done now so don't buy that it is something happening in the future.

The paper part is the largest waste product of printing and by using recycled paper and then recycling all waste you can save a considerable amount of trees in even one project. The added cost for the most part is usually minimal for recycled post consumer waste. There are also eco-friendly printers out there that are certified by organizations to having a minimal impact when it comes to using paper. Ask your printing company if they are certified FSC(Forestry Stewardship Council) or SFI(Sustainable Forestry Initiative). This insures that the paper being used on certified jobs is coming from a certified forest and being manufactured by a certified paper merchant and that the product is being produced by a certified printer. This gives you a Chain of Custody that is being verified by an audit process and dealt with by trained personnel. This also allows you to put the FSC or SFI logo on your printed piece to show and encourage our sustainable resources.

The manufacturing of paper and the printed product uses a great deal of electricity but if you choose to use eco-friendly printing companies you can decrease the footprint of a printed product to almost nothing. Over 50% of the paper in the United States gets recovered for recycling. The goal is to increase that to 55% by 2012. The paper pulp that is used to manufacture paper today is almost 35% of recycled fiber.

These are just a few thoughts for everyone to consider that reads this article to help sustain our planet for future generations. While global warming can be argued back and forth the needs for alternative energy and conservation of energy are just starting to impact our society with the high costs of fossil fuels these days. All, in my humble opinion.

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company
Posted by: Buzz

Green Printing - Carbon Neutral Printer

Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Green Printing - Carbon Neutral Printer" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border

The printing industry is a heavy user of resources to produce printed products. There are a number of terms and definitions being thrown around about green printing. There is no set standards by a set organization that will define a printing company as being "Green". One of the standards being used for being environmentally friendly is being Carbon Neutral. Printing companies can become 100% Carbon Neutral. Our company based upon our partnership with the is a 100% Carbon neutral printing company. We have chosen to support the reforestation branch of the fund due to us being a commercial printing company but there are other projects that support Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Their "Your Carbon, Your Choice" campaign gives you the ability to split your credits between the project you deem most important.

Carbon Neutral describes the end products, and the manufacturing that have carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions reduced and offset through purchased credits that fund renewable energy sources with no emissions. By supporting the reforestation, we are actually helping turn CO2 back into oxygen.

We also have worked to reduce our greenhouse emissions by replacing lighting with high efficiency low watt usage lighting. This is being done as lighting needs to be replaced and we look forward to testing and using LED lighting as it becomes commercially viable.

Our utility provider that we use purchases a undefined % of wind power and as our renewal comes up we will push to increase, define and report the % amount provided by renewable energy sources.

We also are working on becoming FSC and SFI certified in paper and all our paper waste is recycled unless requested not to be by our customers due to sensitive or proprietary information. We also recycle all plates, ink and waste press solutions.

If you're interested in viewing a video on Green Printing-Carbon Neutral try here.

Written by Buzz Tatom