Friday, April 10, 2009

A Note About "Greenwashing"

One thing about "green" that makes me see red is the tendency many marketers have to label their products as "green" when they really are not green at all... or, in more instances, only a "little bit green," (more like a pale shade of ochre). Let's set the record straight. No manufactured product is absolutely, purely green. The acts of sourcing, packaging and transporting products use resources, energy and "chemicals." Driving a delivery to the post office uses fuel. The 100% recycled packaging we use contains papers that may have been printed on before with solvent inks. Even though we have an ultra-efficient radiant heating system it still requires fuel.

What we do though is constantly strive to find the most green solution available. Pure, post-industrial cotton based papers, for instance. The absolute smallest, most fuel-efficient delivery truck we can afford. Inks with no VOCs.

The fact is that in today's world, 10% recycled, 20% recycled, 30% recycled papers are not good enough when 100% recycled products are available - especially when their quality is equal or better and their cost is comparable. Inks that contain solvents are not acceptable when aqueous VOC-free inks can do as good a job with better gamut, color and saturation. Petroleum based "foamcore" doesn't cut it when bio-based materials are available.

The reason you see the word "virtually" in our 100% green description is that even though we have worked hard to find the absolute most green solutions, we still need to do a better job. That's why we welcome your comments, suggestions and advice. Please let us know what you think!


  1. I love that you started this company. Years ago I asked Shutterfly if they were going to offer photo products on paper with recycled content, and their response was "No because we've tried them all and they don't offer the quality we want." I knew that was BS from paper samples I'd gotten from and other places too. I've been hoping for a green photo printing company online for a long time now!! :) Good luck! I'll spread the word.

  2. Thank you for the comment!

    Rick Colson