Category Archives: Eco-freindly

A Brief History of Printing

By Winn Apple   |   Published October, 2013

Gutenberg’s Bible wasn’t first…heresy!

Let’s all take a deep breath. Lower your pitch forks. No need to organize a mob or gather a few choice stones to hurl.

I think we can all agree on one thing- that the invention and subsequent spread of the printing press are among the most influential, if not the single most influential, events in the second millennium AD, revolutionizing the way people conceive and describe the world they live in.

In recent years, Printing has fallen in popularity as a form of communication. With Global Warming and the protection and sustainability of our planet and all her resources being one of the biggest issues we face, many have turned to the digital world for its speedy, chemical and paper free trail -though the electronic world has its own adverse impact on the health of our planet- hazards which are now becoming evident.

As often is the case, that which holds our highest regard is susceptible to the proverbially fall from grace. But before we turn our backs on that which has aptly recorded our worlds’ history, diligently taught our children, provided endless hours of reading pleasure and cushioned the contents of our cardboard boxes marked fragile- crumpled wads of its Sunday best, systematically wedged between wine glasses and porcelain figurines- let’s take a moment to reflect.

Stroll with me along memory lane, revisiting the birth of this incredible tool and uncovering the true identity of the 1st printed book in history.

The printing press, invented in the Holy Roman Empire by the German Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, produced what some authorities have commonly cited as the first printed text –Gutenberg’s Bible. Whether one can say with conviction that this statement is indeed true may depend on whom you ask and what they consider the definition of printing to be.

One may consider the transfer of any characters to paper, clay, fabric and other materials to be a process of printing – a system established thousands of years ago. Taking this position, woodblock printing would certainly make the list of the earliest forms of printing. Many nimble fingers worked arduously to hand carve wood blocks for every page of the Diamond Sutra – which is the oldest surviving example of a printed book containing a verifiable date – dating back to 868 CE.

For those to whom wood block printing does not fulfill their definition, let’s keep trucking along.

Obviously, the more common association to the term implies mass production, involving plates, blocks and moveable type used to transfer ink onto a surface at repetition. Movable type certainly cuts down on the sheer volume of work. With no need to whittle wooden pages, countless fingers are spared the painful affliction of blisters! All of these characters and letters can just be reused and rearranged for the next print.

There is some evidence that the first movable type –which was ceramic–was invented in China by Bi Sheng around 1050 CE. Unfortunately there are no surviving texts, but it is very likely that the oldest printed books are Buddhist texts from the 11th century. It is thought that the ceramic type didn’t have a long shelf life and the Chinese returned to wood block printing as the primary method.

So who brings home the gold? Korea. They can claim the distinguished honor of producing the very first movable metal print book. Printed in 1377, Jikji – a book of Zen Buddhist teachings- passed the finish line a whopping 78 years before Gutenberg’s Bible. The Jikji originally consisted of two volumes totaling 307 chapters. What remains, is safely stored at the National museum of Korea.

In this modern age of speed and technology, take a moment to revisit your own relationship with the printed word and all the wonders and joys that this invention has brought into our lives.

For me, the iPad just doesn’t compare to losing yourself in your favorite second hand book store, leisurely strolling along the isles of previously enjoyed gems -or the anticipation, building as you walk home, debating which of your newly acquired treasures you’ll dive into first.

You curl up with your new paperback, settling into an oversized chair– a few pages in you begin to see the pages dog-eared and well creased from previous readers. You smile. This literary journey has been enjoyed and passed on for you to discover as will the next reader who pulls it from the shelf.

Whether it be electronic or paper, remember that all choices have a cost and benefit. We at Bacchus Press will continue to work towards keeping the option of printing an eco-friendly choice – providing printing you can feel good about.

Until next time, keep it Green!

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free)

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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A Brief History in Color – Part II

By Winn Apple   |   Published September, 2013

“It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works—that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.” – Carl Sagan

Poetic and brilliant Carl – it is indeed part of our very nature to attempt to understand the world around us. The perception of color has stirred many a great mind.

As a follow up to last week’s exploration of man’s creation and use of color, we shall now dive into man’s desire to comprehend the mechanics behind one of nature’s greatest gifts…color.

Aristotle’s early studies of light and color yielded the discovery that by mixing two colors, a third is produced. He achieved this by placing a blue and yellow piece of glass one on top of the other, noticing that as light passed through, a third color green was produced.

In 1666 Isaac Newton made a study of color resulting in the Newton Wheel, a tool devised to illustrate the relationships between primary, secondary and complimentary colors. This chart was conceived from his experiments with sunlight by noticing that white light divides into seven different colors when passing through a prism, an effect he coined as spectrum.

Artists adapted this chart to what they knew empirically – modifying his diagram to create a color wheel consisting of the three primary colors- red, yellow and blue with the complimentary color opposite each.

Because Newton did not understand the difference between additive and subtractive color mixing, his observations were argued to be inaccurate or incomplete.

In 1775, a German printer by the name of Jakob Christoffel Le Blon solved many of the practical problems surrounding Newton’s chart. He invented a way of using three different printing plates to create a color picture. Each plate was inked with one of the primary colors, red, yellow or blue – occasionally adding black.

Le Bon was the first person to clearly state that there is a difference between additive and subtractive colors. His method has become the basis for the tri colored printing we do today.

In the 1920’s, working independently, John Guild and W. David Wright set out to determine how the average person perceives color. Two beams of light, containing the three primary colors, were cast on one side of a box while an observer was situated on the other. Looking through two holes, the observer was instructed to adjust the light of one beam until it matched the color of the other.

They found that the same color could be created by many different combinations of red, green and blue lights. This property of color is called metamerism.

Based on Wright’s and Guild’s work, the International Commission on Illumination or CIE set out to define color mathematically for the first time. The intent was to create a language for color which would accurately communicate each variation exactly. In 1931 the CIE color system came into being – using an abstract mathematical model to describe the way colors can be represented.

The CIE color system became the international standard and is still used today.

It is amazing the multitude of experiments, inquiries and discoveries which have lead up to the way man translates color. Our use of color, in an ever expanding range of medium, was first born out of prehistoric man’s motivation to convey the world around them with merely a chunk of dried earth applied to a cave wall.

We have evolved well beyond the cave wall, and the color range far exceed that available to our ancestors. Achieving this range with precision requires skilled technicians when printing.

When you are considering your next printed piece, look to Bacchus Press. We haven’t been around since the stone age…but we’ve got 31 years under our belts!

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free)

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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What do spam and Green house gas have in common, besides not being delicious!

By Winn Apple   |   Published Feb., 2013

Now let’s just clear one thing up before we get started, Spam the canned meat IS delicious, particularly when you are on a hiking trip. I promise you’ll salivate after a long day of hoofing up them thar hills as a slice’a that is roasted over a roaring camp fire – its unidentifiable juice dripping down the length of that twig you have skewered through it. Yum is right!

Indeed, this satisfying canned substance is not the topic of today’s discussion. The spam I speak of is the sort you find in your email inbox, if not effectively filtered and directed into your trash. These lil buggers are not only annoying, but harmful and costly.

Over 183 billion spam emails are sent hurling through cyber space each day. That’s a lot Carl Sagan!

What in the world does that have to do with Green House gas? Well, it takes energy to generate, screen delete and store these pests. Let’s not even talk about the havoc that could be wreaked upon your operating system after opening an infected one. I know, I know. They call to you like sirens at sea, begging to be opened with tantalizing subject lines such as the following gems I discovered on cracked.com

1. Maintain your weight. amputate.

2. Two days of great sex for under $5

3. Just sign up and understand that your life was suxx before.

4. Hey girl how are things I once was a post man

Enough with the silliness, let’s get back to the topic at hand – the dangers of spam.

Admittedly it is tough to measure the amount of energy consumed by such a tiny lil thing – but it has been estimated to contribute greenhouse gases equivalent to over two billion gallons of gasoline each year. That would be equal to the carbon footprint of driving your car around the globe 1.6 million times.

And those computers we use to receive all these bits of spam often end up in landfills. Less than 20% are recycled. The electronic waste which ends up in our landfills are in danger of leaking toxins – lead, mercury, and cadmium make their way through the soil and into the water we drink and are ingested by the fish we eat. I imagine the fish won’t be too pleased when they catch wind of this. Keep alert on your next fly fishing trip. Those forty pound rainbow trout could be staging a coup.

Let’s talk about storing all those uber important emails we receive. Lots of juicy stuff stored at the data center. These facilities require an enormous amount of energy to heat, cool and power. According to the New York Times, data centers around the world consume more energy in one year than the entire country of Sweden.

In the midst of our rapidly advancing technology, we forget that everything has a cost. Even burning a CD or DVD generates 4 times the amount of CO2 than printing a 100 page four-color report. Those shiny little spheres are very difficult to recycle to boot!

Here’s another fun fact, Swedish researchers found that reading the news online for 30 minutes produces more CO2 per year, per reader than reading a printed news paper. Yes, it actually produces less CO2 to create your news paper each day, all year long. Admit it, you miss sending your four legged, floppy eared pal outside to fetch your paper while you brew your first cup of coffee – your dog, not your significant other. Jeeze you people are twisted!

As responsible folks, we try our darndest to make environmentally sound decisions, but our busy lives require us to take a few shortcuts along the way – shortcuts that Mother Nature doesn’t particularly appreciate. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re doing your best and you should know that you do make a difference with even the smallest of efforts!

Consider this next time you sit down and prepare to craft a heart melting love email or a sexy text promising a rumpus to remember for under $5 – an actual love letter has been averaged to linger for over 65 years, a text or email, 5 seconds. Or worse, your smoldering hot email might just be rerouted to junk where it will wallow in a sea of spam.

Personalized, eco-friendly cards printed at Bacchus Press would never suffer such a tragic fate. They’d be way to sexy to ever toss. Drop us a line, we’ll help ya create something fetching…you smoldering Casanova, you!

Till next time, keep it green!

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A few great sources of information for this blog:

McAfee
 , newyorkgarbageEnvironmental Defense Fund ,ewasteguideNew Page Paper

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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Who shot QR?

By Winn Apple   |   Published January, 2013

Everyone with the decoder installed on their smart phone…that’s who!

If you were hoping I would announce the return of your favorite late night soap opera, I’m sorry to say that I am not. Though I imagine a revival of Dallas is in the pipelines somewhere.

Let’s review a bit of what we know of this nostalgic sounding acronym.

QR Code, aka Quick Response code, is a matrix barcode which is encoded with text, URL or other data. The looks of it are reminiscent of the late 70’s video game, Space Invaders, after a few of the enemy had been successful shot down -with its black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.

The code requires a QR code reader to translate its cryptic message. An application for this mysterious translator can easily be downloaded as an application to your smart phone allowing you to roam about, reading codes on a whim.

Despite its popularity in Japan, the QR code has only recently hit mainstream America. Always at the forefront of technology, Japan began equipping its cell phones with QR code readers over four years ago -most likely in anticipation of its growing popularity.

It’s not uncommon to find QR codes prominently placed in many of GAP Inc.‘s marketing campaigns. Walking into Old Navy, don’t be surprised to find QR printed onto a large poster hanging in the window or colorful flyer displayed at the checkout counter announcing a sweepstakes of some sort – directing you to utilize the code to obtain important information on how to enter for a chance at the grand prize.

Whipping out your smart phone, eager for a chance at Justin Bieber tickets, you swiftly snap a shot of QR and off you go. With speed and ease you are safely delivered to a unique URL. The associated landing page, as promised, delivers all pertinent information. You enter the contest and wait patiently.

All sorts of restaurants and retailers utilize QR code. It can be a real convenience if you are a foodie who frequently passes by restaurants that look interesting. With no time to stop in for a bite, you snap an image of the code conveniently printed onto the menu and off you go. A new URL has been successfully stored with all of your other eatery URL’s. Just thumb through those when you’re hankering for a new place to grub.

Directing individual QR codes to a unique and personalized landing page is another effective marketing strategy for converting direct mail recipients into new clients. With the ability to propagate each page with your potential clients name and information specific to them, you’ll be far more likely to catch their attention.

The uses for QR codes are countless. Its versatility and convenience makes it the perfect marketing tool, offering consumers direct and instant access to everything from movie trailers to nutrition information. You’d be hard-pressed these days to find a catalog not sporting one.

Next time you set out to print up new marketing material or direct mail campaign, consider adding a QR code.  Save yourself some time, money and hassle by using a printer, like Bacchus Press, who can handle the entire project from print to mail.

And when you’re ready to discuss the next night time soap, drop me line.

Till next time, keep it Green!

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free)

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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Green Sheen – tales of a dastardly ne’er-do-well

By Winn Apple   |   Published December, 2012

Green Sheen, more commonly known as Greenwashing, certainly sounds more likely to be the antagonist than the protagonist in a tale of good-vs-evil – using subtle mind control to alter the perception of the unsuspecting public. Oh what a dastardly villain that Green Sheen be!

Though there may very well be a character such as this in the making, comic book villains are not the topic of today’s discussion, but rather a form of green marketing which twist the perception, promoting the impression that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly.

We’ve all seen products, which are undoubtedly toxic, displaying a tree, a flower or some such earthly symbol on the front of its’ packaging. If you didn’t stop to examine the list of contents, you’d never guess the neon green substance could melt your hair. Most folks are likely making a mad dash through the store, and if the price is right, grabbing the items that appear to be earth friendly.

This funny business, with its subtle assurances, pops up everywhere. Hotels offer an Eco-friendly sign to hang on your door, alerting the maid service that you’d prefer to save the environment than have your room cleaned – supposedly the reduction in water usage and toxic cleaning products being the motivation behind the hotels’ intentions.

The examples are numerous; such as car manufacturers taking liberties with the terms “clean” and “environmentally friendly”. Less harmful…possibly, but friendly, well that’s a stretch!

Or how about the EPA renaming sewage sludge to bio-solids, and allowing it to be used as fertilize, despite the fact that it often contains many hazardous materials including PCB’s, dioxin, arsenic, cadmium,lead, and asbestos.

Everything from diapers to bottled water allude to or outright claim being earth friendly. In reality, most of what makes modern society function has a harmful impact. To what degree, is the question.

Printing is no different. There are many components to the process that are quite harmful – everything from the production of paper, to the ink, to the final product which may very well end up in a landfill.  What’s available is the option to choose a printer that is less harmful to the environment. Simply offering paper with a certain percentage of recycled content is not a huge environmental leap.

Certified Green printers alter not only their printing practices but the efficiency of their business as a whole. In addition to offering forest friendly, recycled paper, vegetable based ink & recyclable cartridges; they work with carbon offset companies, reduce waste and minimize energy usage, among other things.

Yet, it is not an endeavor which is earth friendly. All of our contemporary practices have their own impact which needs to be offset.  At Bacchus Press, we make every effort to provide the cleanest product and service possible – minimizing our impact in every step of the process.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free)

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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“It’s not easy being Green!” – Kermit the Frog


By Winn Apple   |   Published April, 2012

“It’s not easy being Green!” – Kermit the Frog

That ole frog said a mouthful. It’s not always easy being Green. Not to mention downright difficult to ascertain the validity of such claims by others.

Even picking up a few basics at the local grocer can cause you to scratch your head. It gets pretty darn confounding perusing the variety of classifications listed on egg cartons alone – neatly displayed on your grocer’s refrigerated shelves. Organic, Cage Free and Free Range, what’s it all mean? Attempting to decipher the multiple distinctions is enough to make even the brightest feel a bit doltish.

I imagine many of you feel equally mystified around the topic of eco-friendly printing.
Manufacturers make all sorts of claims without proper regulations being enforced. Recycled paper is certainly no exception to the rule; the percentage of post consumer waste used in the production is varied. All recycled papers are not created equal.

How does an average Joe like you and I go about verifying the environmentally friendly status of products and services without spending hours of research?

Luckily, there are a quite a few organizations devoted to the protection of our environment – many of whom you can look to when choosing a printer. The high standards required to garner their affiliation and certification can act as a beacon, guiding consumers to the very Greenest of Green.

Many printers claim to be eco-friendly, advertising recycled paper and soy/vegetable based inks. While these steps are important and certainly do make a difference, these alone do not a Green company make.

A Certified Green company, like Bacchus Press, has made significant changes to their business operation in order to pass a stringent set of requirements set forth by Green organizations.

For companies like ours, it can cost as much as $300,000 to become a Green Certified Business. Lighting, plumbing, electrical – these are just a few on a long list of upgrades necessary to ensure the highest conservation of energy and resources– thus reducing waste and carbon emissions.

Ok Rockefeller, what next? Well, let’s take a look at paper.

FSC and Canopy are two prominent organizations who ensure the safety of our ancient forests and responsible forest management. If either of these logos are associated with the paper your printer provides, you can rest assured that they contain a high level of post consumer waste and come from responsible sources. Please note that just because your printer is FSC Certified, it does not mean that all of the paper they offer is FSC Certified. Don’t worry.
You can always ask your printer for advice. We are very helpful!

As if all of that wasn’t enough; let’s take a look as offsetting carbon emissions. Companies like Carbon Fund, offset energy consumption and carbon emissions by supporting third party projects directed at renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. The dollars contributed through Carbon Fund help finance the future of alternative resources.

Next time you’re ready to place your print order, look to Bacchus Press. We take the guess work out of eco-friendly – providing printing you can feel good about.

Until next week, keep it Green!

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free)

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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