You may have heard about The Green Box: a pizza carton with a lid that turns into serving plates and a tray that folds up to make a container for storing leftover slices in the fridge. Another clever idea in the same eco-friendly vein is the Globe Guard Reusable Box from Salazar Packaging. As the video demonstrates, it's a corrugated shipping carton that, once received and emptied, can be reassembled to expose the blank inner walls and hide shipping labels, felt-tip pen marks, etc., on the inside. That lets the box make a second trip, extending its useful life and correspondingly reducing its environmental impact. Made of 100% post-consumer waste, the Globe Guard Reusable Box is the result of two years of research and testing by husband-and-wife partners Dennis and Leona Salazar, who also publish a blog about sustainable packaging. (They’ve also talked about the development of the box at WhatTheyThink’s Going Green.) Printers deliver a good deal of finished product in corrugated cartons. Wouldn’t shipping in a reversible, reusable box send the customer a subtle but unmistakable message about the printer’s commitment to sustainability? Cincinnati.com, the web site of the Cincinnati Enquirer, has profiled local printing entrepreneur Steve Kapuscinksi in an article that recounts his acquisition of four printing businesses starting with a company he converted into an Allegra Print & Imaging franchise in 2005. According to the story, Kapuscinski, a chemical engineer and a former manufacturing plant manager, had been out of work for three years when he moved from Tennessee with his family to the Cincinnati area. “The move was risky because I had no connections or safety net in Cincinnati,” he is quoted as saying. Nor did he have any print industry experience, a gap he partially filled by hiring the owner of one of the companies he acquired. Today his sales are in excess of $1 million, and the story says that his plans include acquiring more businesses and moving to larger quarters. The story also features a quote from James Cunningham, president of Printing Industries Association Inc., the PIA affiliate for the region. Going Green has already recognized the environmental activism of Marilyn Jones, owner of Consolidated Printing in Chicago. Now The New York Times has acknowledged her leadership in sustainability as well. Jones is the subject of this post at “You’re the Boss,” NYT’s blog on the art of running a small business. Jones, writes blogger and speaker Jay Goltz, has been called “the mother of the green printing movement” by the Printer’s National Environmental Assistance Center (PNEAC). Goltz’s main focus, however, is on management issues at the 12-person company, which he has agreed to mentor through an arrangement with the Clinton Foundation. Goltz says that in her quest to take Consolidated Printing to the next level, Jones is confronting issues of authority, family dynamics, and standard-setting that will be familiar to many other owners of small, closely held print firms. He promises to follow the company’s progress. (Note: be sure to read the comment by Dominick Celentano, a professor of small and family business management at Fairleigh Dickinson University.) There was more good publicity for Allegra franchisees in this article from The Coeur d' Alene Press about the local impact of the Allegra Print & Imaging FootPRINT Fund, a network-wide source of donations to non-profit organizations in the form of printing services. The story says that in this northwestern Idaho city, the fund will award $20,000 annually to non-profits and associations needing financial help to produce their printed communications. Each qualifying applicant can receive up to $1,000 worth of printing services. In Couer d’Alene, the Allegra providers are co-owners Bill and Becky Ellefloot, who will be distributing applications at their plant until July 1. Qualifying applicants will be notified on August 1. “This program is a way for us to make a difference in our community, one step at a time,” Becky Ellefloot is quoted as saying. “We feel that it is extremely important to reach out to those in need and help our local organizations and associations leave their ‘footprints' in the community.” Craft brewing is known not only for the wide range of its beermaking styles but for the high creativity of its packaging graphics. Oak Printing of Strongsville, OH, has found a niche in the craft brewing market, and its success as a provider of design-intensive labels to craft brewers is the subject of a feature in The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. A specialist in labels for paint cans since 1922, Oak Printing began producing beer labels eight years ago. UV and aqueous coating, hot foil stamping and embossing, and custom diecutting are among the techniques that bring the intricate designs to life. Today, says the article, beer labels for products with names like Big Hoppy Monster, In-Heat Wheat Ale, Dirty Bastard Ale, and Busted Knuckle Beer account for about 25% of annual sales. “I would never say anything to hurt the feelings of our paint clients," Jim Helms, president of Oak Printing, is quoted as saying. “We value their business. But I've never had a meeting with them where they offer me a six-pack.” SHORT TAKES: According to the York Daily Record, the duplicate print shops of the House Democratic and House Republican caucuses are among “wasteful and corrupt practices in the General Assembly” uncovered by Pennsylvania’s so-called “Bonusgate” grand jury investigation...In Iowa, The Sioux City Journal reports that Woolverton Printing Co., a 110-year-old firm based in Cedar Falls, has acquired the backlog, accounts receivable, and book of business of Standard Printing, a foreclosed company that had done business in eastern Iowa since the 1930s...Digital Leather, a Sarasota, FL, company that specializes in printing (more precisely, laminating) on leather, got a writeup in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for the leather tapestries it produced for the recently released adventure film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.