For many shops, the idea of transitioning to an eco-friendly environment can feel overwhelming, both financially and logistically. Without committing to a complete overhaul, implementing some simple changes can get your shop going in more of a green direction. Small changes make big differences to our environment and improve the health of everyone in the shop, including your customers.
Adhesives & solvents
Instead of using spray adhesives, look into a liquid, water-based alternative. This will greatly reduce airborne particles, and in turn, fewer spray particles on your machines. These adhesives are offered in several levels of adhesions. One for normal use like T-shirts. The other is a thicker bond for fabrics requiring stronger adhesion to the platen, such as fleece.
These liquid, water-based adhesives can be drizzled directly onto the platen and spread with something flexible like a plastic card. You’ll want to dry the adhesive on the platen by quickly hitting it under the flash unit or heat gun for one or two cycles. If it loses tack, simply use a moist sponge to reactivate it.
Consider adding a solvent tank to your shop filled with eco water-based solvent. Fewer fumes, less waste. Use this by soaking your aluminum squeegees between jobs.
This makes for quick and easy cleanup and can be used over and over until needing replenishment. A Google search for “parts washer” should bring up various options. Check with your screen printing supply company for eco water-based solvents.
Reducing toxins in the air should be a priority for your staff and the environment. Look into eco-friendly options, such as soy-based sprays or wipes. Try using a spray screen opener as a last-ditch effort. Storing cans away from easy access can drastically reduce their use.
Recycle films and boxes
Just like paper, films can be recycled. Instead of throwing them into the regular trash bins, toss them in the recycling bin. You would not believe how scraps or old, out-of-circulation films can add up. Check with your local sanitation department if you’re unsure if they can be included in the recycle bin.
Got extra boxes? Keep them around for shipping purposes. Often enough, you’ll need to condense an order to a smaller box to ship out, reducing shipping prices. This also translates into better efficient shipping and less fuel needed with your shipper. The little things add up to the bigger picture when going green.
If you’re purchasing blanks from various sources, receiving paper invoices via mail can create a lot of waste. Go green by choosing paperless invoices. Simply log into your account preferences or check with your customer service representative and look into alternative methods. This will reduce landfills and carbon footprint. You will be surprised how this simple step can prevent you from drowning in paperwork around your desk and file cabinets.
Implementing simple green practices into your shop doesn’t require too much effort. Small, alternative choices are a step in the right direction.