Florida printer says his industry can go green for not a dime more

Like his father and grandfather before him, Gus Casamayor has earned his livelihood in the printing business.

It all started in 1941 when grandfather Augusto Casamayor opened Editorial Guerrero in Cuba. Gus' father, also an Augusto, eventually took over the business and tried to hold onto it despite Fidel Castro's confiscation of the presses in the mid-'60s. Through various twists and turns, the family eventually ended up in Hialeah, opening AC Graphics in the mid-'70s. Gus made his son, Tico, a partner in the business, which employs 18 and prints about 900,000 pounds of material a year.

Then a couple years ago, after a health crisis, Casamayor took a trip to his wife's hometown in Montañita, Ecuador. What ensued carries the tones of magical realism from a Gabriel García Márquez novel: meeting a shaman, seeing the forest more clearly after using eyedrops the healer gave him and promising to watch Al Gore's movie and consider how his own way of life might be destroying the health of the planet.

He cleaned up his own shop, learned the differences between recycled and certified paper, converted from petroleum- to vegetable-based inks, became the first triple-certified printer in Florida and made it his mission to educate others. His message to printers: Being green does not have to cost a dime more.

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