Water Saving in Print Design
- Recycled paper takes much less water to produce than virgin pulp, saving 7000 gallons for every ton of recycled paper produced.
- Use water-free stone paper like Fiberstone or TerraSkin. This paper is make for 80% stone and 20% HDPE plastic, is fully recyclable, and is naturally water and grease resistant making it perfect for labels, posters, maps, book jackets, etc. Best of all, no water is used to produce it, saving 14000 gallons of water per ton of paper.
- Try waterless printing, a process that uses silicone rubber plates and UV exposure instead of the typical offset process that uses water and isopropyl alcohol. The Waterless Printing Association even has an international search tool to find a printer near you.
- Find a printer with a closed-loop water system where they collect and recycle their own waste water. Virtually every print process uses tons of water to wash off printing plates. Those printers that recycle their gray water can have a massive reduction in their water usage.
There are also some obvious steps you can take to reduce water use, such as only printing what you need and using as much of the press sheet as possible, but we're assuming you already know that. If you have any other water-saving design tips, please share them below! We're always wanting new ideas.