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“Green” Yearbooks? We’re Getting There!

In my daughter’s backpack this morning, I discovered a note about school pictures, soon to be delivered. That brings to mind the topic of yearbooks. Here’s a product that has everything wrong with it from an environmental standpoint — coated paper (making the paper difficult to recycle), tons of ink, lots of unnecessary pages, and never recycled.

As schools and other educational institutions plan for next year’s yearbook process, is there a way to make it more environmentally friendly?

Yes! TreeRing is a Silicon Valley, CA-based technology company that uses the efficiency of digital printing (one of my favorite subjects) to create personalized yearbooks that commemorate each child’s unique school experience. Parents create the yearbooks online (like online scrapbooking!), so the only yearbooks printed are the yearbooks wanted. No unwanted yearbooks cluttering up landfills.

Not only does this reduce the cost to schools, but as I look at it, by personalizing the content to only that of interest to each student, this not also reduces the size of each yearbook — further reducing the environmental impact.

In addition, the company has partnered with Trees for the Future (which has already planted over 50 million trees around the world) to plant a tree for every yearbook printed.

Not a bad way to green your yearbook program for next year!

Like this post? See all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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