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Green is Good

(March 2011) posted on Tue Mar 08, 2011

Print providers turn to sustainable production because it's "the right thing to do" for the enviornment and for their business.

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By Jake Widman

As far as her customers go, Krinsky says their attitudes are "all over the map."
"There are plenty of people who completely understand what I'm saying," she says, "and other people who understand what I'm saying and reject it. A lot of the sustainable materials might have a rough edge. You can show it to some people and they say, 'Oh my, that looks fabulous.' And another 50 percent will go, 'Will you look at that edge? I can't have that in my store.'

"Other people are stubborn because a directive comes from above. Maybe they were told to use Sintra. We show them something that's stiff like Sintra, prints beautifully, and is completely recyclable, but because someone else specified it, they can't make the move."

Still, Krinsky has no doubts that she's on the right path. She even sees a political upside to print shops' embrace of sustainable printing: "I am of the mind that if we all don't do it and have organizations that are third-party certifiers, then the government is going to start telling us what to do. The farther we get down this road ourselves, though, the government will probably follow along. I would rather be ahead of the curve."

Sentinel Printing: Building a community
Founded in 1858, Sentinel Printing ( in Hempstead, New York, is one of Long Island's oldest companies, "perhaps the oldest company that's still in the original business," says company president Glen Boehmer. Sentinel had its beginnings as a town newspaper, but in 1950,when the paper folded, the company re-branded itself as a commercial printer. Boehmer's family, printers for generations themselves, bought the business in 1983.

Today the company employs 12 people and occupies four buildings. Two of the buildings are devoted to digital or hybrid printing: one contains a Heidelberg DI, and the other holds two Xerox DocuColor 5000s. "We use the DI for short-run nonvariable color work, says Boehmer. "Business cards, brochures, fliers – anything that fits in a 12.5 x 18-inch footprint. The Xerox footprint is 13 x 19 inches, but it allows us to do even shorter-run color work plus variable data. Personalized newsletters and postcards are a big part of what we run through them, plus small jobs like PowerPoint presentations and seminar materials.”