Steps to Green-Friendly Yearbook Production October 03 2011

Choosing environmentally responsible products and vendors is a practical way that schools and students can help to preserve natural resources and protect the environment. Many schools have switched to recycled paper products in order to minimize their impact on the environment. Teachers and students can work together to ensure that they follow green-friendly best practices. Here are five ways in which yearbook staff can reduce their carbon footprint and energy use during the yearbook production process.

1. Perform layout tasks digitally.

By using a computer or online service to create layouts for year books, students can reduce the amount of paper and energy required to perform editing and revision tasks. Rather than starting over each time a revision is necessary, students can simply cut and paste items on the computer screen, allowing them to visualize the finished product much more easily and accurately.

2. Use digital photography.

Taking and maintaining photos in digital media formats rather than printing them and manually placing them on layout sheets can reduce the amount of paper and chemicals required to develop and print these shots multiple times and in multiple sizes. This can have a significant effect on the environment by reducing waste and conserving natural resources.

3. Publish on demand.

By taking orders for school year books and then producing only the number needed to meet demand, yearbook staff and administrators can minimize wasted effort and resources and provide yearbooks to those who want them in a green-friendly and efficient way. Many yearbook publishers will produce another run if the demand warrants it as well, making this an elegant and environmentally responsible solution to yearbook overruns and waste.

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4. Deal with green-friendly companies.

Many school yearbook companies have instituted environmental policies that are intended to reduce their impact on the natural environment and to promote green-friendly practices throughout the industry. Some yearbook companies provide funding for replanting forests in order to offset their use of trees for paper, while others practice responsible recycling habits and avoid the use of harsh chemicals in printing and finishing their yearbook orders for customers.

5. Put it all together.

The best environmental plan is one that incorporates elements of all of these green-friendly initiatives and integrates new ideas as they become practical. By performing most of the layout and editing tasks online, students can minimize the amount of paper used in producing the yearbooks, while working with green-friendly companies can help to encourage environmental responsibility throughout the yearbook publishing industry.

Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about books. You can learn more about Year books at