We believe in the power of letterpress to do good. For a printer to be eco and do good in this day and age, more is required than simply using recycled papers and soy inks for our wedding invitations. Being a green printer means researching and developing and striving and challenging and setting goals. Here is what we do.
- We print sustainably, doing things all responsible printers should do. We use only vegetable-oil based and low-Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) inks, and low-VOC and citrus-based solvents. We recycle our photo chemistry, film, paper offcuts, and photopolymer printing plates. Empty ink cans and old rags are kept out of landfills. We recycle and compost our waste. We use recycled packaging materials and reuse packing materials that our vendors send us. We donate surplus paper and envelopes every year to local art teachers. We reuse paper scraps for office notes. We package our custom work in keepsake boxes made here in Syracuse from 100% post-consumer recycled materials.
- We support environmental causes. As a member of 1% for the Planet, we donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations who do essential work to save the planet. We have partnered with American Forests (the country’s oldest citizens’ non-profit organization) to help slow global warming through the planting of trees.
- We use environmental papers, either tree-free or with a high recycled content. In our print shop, we use 100% tree-free cotton paper and made from reclaimed fibers (this paper is made exclusively for us by a 500 year old European paper mill). We make our envelopes from this paper also. Our liners and belly bands are FSC-certified and made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. For our pocketfolds, we source the most environmental colored papers we can find (FSC-certified or with high recycled content).
- We work to reduce our carbon footprint. We are entirely wind-powered through NativeEnergy. We purchase bus passes for our employees to encourage public transportation usage. Also for our employees, we subsidize 20-week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) memberships with a local organic farm, because we believe our food shouldn’t travel 1,500 miles to reach us.
- We encourage customers to do their part too because the planet is a pretty big place. We encourage you to donate trees when placing your order. If you do, Bella Figura will match your tree donation (so we can build a forest together!). Also, we offer free letterpress favor cards to our customers who forgo the usual candied almonds and instead make donations, in the name of their guests, to good causes.
- And we challenge ourselves to do better.
1% For the Planet Member
1% for the Planet is an alliance of eco-minded businesses that donate at least 1% of annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, helped dream up this group in 2001, and its business members have donated $30 million so far. This organization often quotes David Bower of the Sierra Club: “There is no business to be done on a dead planet. ” It’s true. Businesses and individuals have to work together if we want to save the world.
Green America’s Seal of Approval
Green America’s Green Business Network is the oldest, largest, and most diverse network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses in America. We’re proud that our care for the environment and our eco-way of business has allowed us to be a part of this organization. From Co-Op America: “Green businesses operate in ways that solve, rather than cause, both environmental and social problems. These businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment. ” Our thoughts exactly.
NativeEnergy Wind Powered
NativeEnergy is a Native-American owned business that builds renewable energy projects for Native Americans, Alaska native villages, family farmers and rural communities. For our letterpress shop to be wind powered, we figure how much energy our print shop uses monthly, then we purchase that same amount in green-E certified RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) from NativeEnergy. The amount of energy that we use is then put back into the grid via NativeEnergy’s wind farms and other renewable energy sources.