How to eco letterpress (hint: join a CSA!)

Boxcar Press subsidized a CSA organic farm subscription for Boxcar employees this year. It was an amazing experience (and really yummy too!), and we loved feeling connected to our community in this very real way. The growing season in CNY finally ended, and so our 20 weeks of organic vegetable delivery came to an end. Carrie, our officer manager who found a way to make our CSA dream work, has these thoughts.

“Besides yummy veggies and fruits, what did Boxcar Press take away from our first annual CSA participation? This is the question I asked myself more than once over the past 20 week growing season. Sure, the veggies are good, but was it worth the hard work organizing, maintaining, safeguarding and cooking 20 shares of veggies (well, we each cooked our own shares, but it was still lots more cooking than I’m used to!)? The short answer is a resounding yes!”

“Being involved with the CSA was a direct opportunity for Boxcar Press to become involved in our local environment. It allowed us to use our spending power to support local farms that practice farming techniques which take a stewardship of our land and create hope for a safe planet for our children and their children, too. For some of us, it introduced us to vegetables we had never experienced before and for others it reminded us of the wonders of nature and the bounty our very own upstate New York land can provide. Best of all, it allowed Boxcar Press to enrich the community by providing Syracuse with its first every downtown POD (Point of Delivery), which made veggie pickups convenient enough to attract 13 new CSA members this year! When it is all said and done, bringing goodness to many is what we’re all about. Now go eat your veggies! (P.S. If anyone out there wants to know how to organize something like this, I’d be happy to share)”

Boxcar donates paper to local public school art teachers

This is one of our favorite days of the year…..
Letterpress paper donation
A few times a year, public school art teachers come to Boxcar Press to pick up our overstocked paper, offcuts, excess envelopes, cool boxes, and other odds and ends that can be transformed by students into art. The supplies we donate are met with such enthusiasm from the art teachers….though art budgets vary from school to school, we’re told by some teachers that they only have about $.70 to spend per student on art supplies for the year(!). We love our little community of Syracuse, and we love doing things like this that help us feel connected to where we work and live. Also, though recycling is good, reusing materials is even better…..we hope this will spark some good donation ideas for other letterpress shops. If you have other cool ideas about how to re-use your extra letterpress Stuff, we’d love to hear about it! (Our great neighbors Partners for Arts Education help organize all of this….thanks, Partners!) (photos by Carol, our operations manager. Thanks, Carol!)

Recycle your letterpress plates at CBA (NYC)

Last month, Boxcar Press launched BPPPPRP, a photopolymer plate recycling program to help keep letterpress plates out of landfills. We’re now working to set up drop boxes at several book arts centers across the country, so plates used by the centers’ students & members can be collected and recycled. Thank you to Sarah Nichols, the program manager at Center for Book Arts (CBA), for setting up a box for photopolymer plate recycling last week at CBA. The box is in the vicinity of CBA’s presses, and plates will be collected and sent to Boxcar Press every so often for recycling. Way to go, CBA!

Bye bye old plates. Hello recycler.

We had to say goodbye to a whole lot of polymer when our recycling guys came for pick-up. We sent away two 40 x 48 x 48 containers: one for steel-backed plates, and one for plastic-backed. That’s a whole lot of polymer! Our recyclers also picked up a large container of film negatives to recycle. We would have been sad to say farewell if these plates and negatives weren’t going on to a good and resourceful second life. Want to recycle your plates too? Read about our photopolymer recycling program.

photopolymer plate recyclingfilm negatives get recycled

Boxcar Press becomes a Co-op America Green Business!

We’ve just received the Co-op America’s Business Seal of Approval. Hooray! The businesses that are part of this organization are truly cutting-edge green, and we’re proud that our care for the environment and our eco-way of business has allowed us to be a part of this cool organization. We were impressed by the lengthy and thoughtful application process that really inspired us to become more green (for instance — we’re working on developing some kind of screening process for vendors, with the goal of working with companies that have a social & environmental consciousness too). From Co-Op America: “Green businesses operate in ways that solve, rather than cause, both environmental and social problems. These businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment.” Our thoughts exactly.

Organic-fed letterpress!

Asparagus excitement

Earlier this year, Debbie and I were wondering how our company’s benefits could help our local community as well as our employees. It just so happened this conversation took place in our kitchen while I was hungry and Debbie was cookin’ up a homemade meal of organic greens. “Food!” was the only thing I could think of. We laughed and thought, why not have a benefit of organic food? Crazy as it sounded, it made more sense the more we talked about it. We’d be bringing fresh, healthy produce to our employees; helping local farmers who care about their environmental impact; and eating well. Thanks to a very positive reception from our employees (who made this idea happen), we started this program earlier this week. I’ll let Carrie Reagan explain:

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We are tree crazy here.

It’s hard to forget about global warming when it’s record-breaking heat over here in Syracuse, NY. Heck, it was hard to forget about it when it was (our very mild) winter too. So when our new web site launched, we made a commitment to plant a tree for every platemaking order over $100 for all of 2008. At last tally, we’ve planted more than 350 trees via our friends at American Forests. Way to go!

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