Understanding 'Green' Solutions and Its Terminology
“Practicing ‘Green’ is a frame of mind…”It is a resolve to make a meaningful effort to minimize waste and contamination.A meaningful effort is the key to understanding ‘Green’.Our intent is to follow ‘Green’ practices, and it is becoming progressively easier, however, we continue to be somewhat restricted in our purchasing decisions because all components required in the manufacturing process are not always available as a green product / component.Making that meaningful effort ensures that we are contributing to the best of our ability.
Some points to remember when making your purchasing decisions:
1. ‘Poly’ materials – polyethylene and polypropylene are available in recycled format. Both are durable, however, polyethylene is the more durable of the two ‘polys’. For lasting durability make certain the spine is a heat-scored spine. Recycled polyethylene Guest Services Directory covers and Menu covers are popular and economically priced.
2. Farmed Woods – products manufactured from solid woods harvested from Verified Sustainable Forests are the most environmentally responsible products. Solid wood accessory items are durable, recyclable, reusable, decompose quickly, and contain no contaminants. All of Impact’s solid wood products are harvested from Verified Sustainable Forests, forests that are certified by Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®).
3. Bonded Leather – this recycled smooth finish leather is durable and contains natural materials. Before purchasing verify that the polymers used for bonding are non-toxic.
4. Genuine Leather – make certain that the hide is a by-product.
5. Chipboard Presentation Products – this is a recycled product that decomposes quickly when disposed of. It is usually used as a base (support) for other materials. However, chipboard by itself creates a unique and durable product. Why cover this eco-friendly material with a vinyl or laminate. Use eco-friendly soy inks for decoration.
6. Wire Binding – Request wire binding instead of plastic coils because it can be recycled.
7. Recycled Boards and Paper – use 100% recycled binder boards and paper to make covers and do not forget about the many sheets inside. 100% post-consumer papers choices are available.
8. Eco-Friendly Inks and Coatings – lots of eco-friendly ink choices. Good options are soy ink, and UV screening inks that contain no solvents. Solvents contaminate landfills.
9. Fabrics:Request fabrics and other cover materials that are aqueous coated.This is a water-based coating.No solvents in the coating.Impact offers a nice selection of aqueous coated materials in a wide selection of colors.
10. Urethane Faux Leathers:Request faux leathers that do not contain solvents in their coatings.Radiation-cured, and a relatively new water-based UV cured coatings are environmentally responsible.Impact is currently researching the development of reasonably priced eco-friendly top quality urethane faux leathers.If you are required to use a solvent-based faux leather, ask about the level of solvent concentration.Impact currently employs faux leathers that have minimal solvent residual after heat-treated drying.
11. Verified Sustainable Forests – make sure wood products are certified by a reputable forest certification program such as Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) that was also adopted by the American Forest & Paper Association. This ensures that we will have forests and wildlife for the future generations.
12. Metal – copper, brass, and aluminum are available in recycled format. These metals create durable products, can be recycled several times, and are available in a wide selection of natural (organic) patina finishes. Impact is the first manufacturer of copper, brass and brushed aluminum binder covers, menu covers, and other presentation products. All of our metals are recycled, and have an international following.
13. Ring Mechanisms – request that the ring mechanisms used in binder covers and guest services directory covers be installed with screws, nuts and bolts, or custom clips. These will then be easily removed for reuse or recycling. If riveted, these mechanisms will just end up in landfills.