Ambika Anand Prokop is the creator of Greenfeet Guides, a rising collection of journey guides for fogeys who need to assist their kids extra deeply and emotionally have interaction with cultures and landscapes world wide. She has additionally been on a sustainability journey that has led her to know the worth of evaluating printers based mostly not simply on their web site claims, however on in-person conversations.

Not each consumer is as involved about sustainable printing as Ambika Anand Prokop, creator of the Greenfeet Guides, however she isn’t alone. As sustainability turns into more and more necessary to clients, each within the B2C and B2B worlds, it’s price taking a peek into her perspective.

Greenfeet Guides is a rising collection of journey guides for fogeys who need to assist their kids extra deeply and emotionally have interaction with cultures and landscapes world wide. However because the collection title suggests, environmental sustainability is a vital facet of Anand Prokop’s mission, too. 

As a mom, public college instructor, and former stream biologist, Anand Prokop has a ardour for instructing youngsters, not solely about tradition, however about taking good care of the pure world round them. Her first two books, “Cambodia Youngsters” and “Dubai—UAE Youngsters,” mix journey tales with interactive actions to encourage studying and emotional connection. 

Ambika Anand Prokop exhibits off a web page from considered one of her Greenfeet Guides, “Cambodia Youngsters.”

To be absolutely constant along with her mission, Anand Prokop prints her books with as small an environmental footprint as doable. However learn how to inform which printers are really sustainable and that are simply giving lip service? “There may be a number of greenwashing on the market, with printers saying that they provide sustainable options with out backing it up,” says Anand Prokop. “It’s exhausting to inform who’s who from their web sites, since they’re all claiming the identical factor.”

This problem was notably acute when she lived in locations similar to Dubai and Singapore, the place the provision of sustainable printing options had been typically restricted. Anand Prokop was relieved to be again in the US the place extra printers embrace that mission, but it surely was nonetheless a problem to seek out one whose dedication matched her personal. 

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Then Anand Prokop’s neighbor launched her to EcoPrint (Alexandria, Va.). She related with Bobby Firestein, the corporate’s president and CEO, and shortly observed the distinction within the sustainability printing dialog. “For instance, the printers in Dubai instructed me they had been eco-friendly as a result of they supplied paper with recycled content material,” she says. “So I used to be stunned to be taught that the majority paper these days accommodates some recycled content material. This meant that what some printers had been billing as ‘ecofriendly’ was truly simply customary apply within the business.”

She was additionally impressed that Firestein took the time to show her in regards to the environmental impacts of various printing processes and workflows, in addition to the various different elements that go into sustainable printing. “For instance, partnering with a bigger guardian company that makes use of renewable power sources was not one thing that I might have thought to ask a printer about once I was residing in Dubai,” says Anand Prokop. “It’s simply not a part of the business parameters there but.”

[Note: EcoPrint is owned by MoreVang, which has been using 100% wind energy since 2003.]

However whereas printing Greenfeet Guides in the US offers necessary environmental advantages (together with eliminating the carbon footprint of transport the books from abroad), it will increase her manufacturing prices. The books have a labor-intensive design, and with labor prices considerably increased in the US than in Asia, sustaining the design and high quality customary considerably elevated the price of manufacturing.

“I’m a small enterprise,” she says. “I don’t produce 1000’s of copies of those books at a time, so it’s costly to provide them in small volumes and in an environmentally pleasant means.”

She appreciated Firestein working along with her not solely to decrease the environmental footprint of her books, however to scale back their manufacturing prices, too. For instance, as a result of the books are designed to be dealt with and written in—primarily changing into recreation boards for youths—the covers should be additional thick. Initially, that was achieved by laminating two covers collectively, however in the US, this grew to become cost-prohibitive. So Firestein beneficial a design change. As an alternative of gluing two covers collectively, he instructed utilizing a fold-over construction. This eradicated the labor-intensive gluing process whereas offering the durability Anand Prokop wanted. It additionally allowed her so as to add a component of shock. When opened, the inside fold of the duvet now transforms into treasure map. Initially, the books had been additionally designed to incorporate a glued-on folder for stickers used within the interactive video games. Firestein beneficial changing this with a bound-in sticker web page, additional decreasing each the environmental influence and her prices.

“The workforce at EcoPrint has been bringing me concepts I’d by no means have considered by myself,” says Anand Prokop.

That is the place making an in-person go to to the store to have these conversations and see the manufacturing amenities was important to serving to Anand Prokop make the choice to work with EcoPrint within the first place. From sustaining its personal FSC certification, to investing in a wide range of group applications that promote sustainable values (together with planting a container backyard in its firm car parking zone!), Anand Prokop discovered that sustainability is a part of the corporate’s tradition. “That’s why I at all times attempt to go go to the printing amenities in individual,” she says. “You see issues that you don’t at all times see on the net web page.”

So how about you? If a sustainability-minded consumer came over your organization in individual, what would they discover? A printer that appears like each different printer with a sustainability internet web page? Or would they discover one thing extra?

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