By now, you have probably at least heard something about "going green." This increasingly popular term is used to describe changing the way you do things to have less of a negative impact on the environment. Whether you are new to this idea or a dedicated tree-hugger, finding ways to go green in business can save you money, improve your image, potentially attract more clients and, of course, help save the environment.
Consumers are growing more and more concerned with the environmental practices of companies. If you can show them that you're doing your part to save the earth's resources, they might be impressed enough to choose your business over your less-green competitor. Going green could be as complicated as converting your entire company to wind energy or as simple as using recycled paper for your printing needs. This article will focus on going green with your printed promotional materials, including brochures and postcards.
Use recycled paper
First and foremost, of the best and easiest way to go green in printing is to use recycled paper for your brochures, business cards, postcards, booklets and more. Companies such as PsPrint offer recycled matte paper stock, which is a great choice for green paper that doesn't detract from printing quality. You can also choose recycled paper for everyday printing in the office such as for newsletters, memos, reports and other documents. If you do use recycled paper, be sure to print a line about it right on your brochure, postcard or business card, so clients are aware of your efforts. If you are doing a lot more to be sustainable, consider making an announcement about your new green program to your clients, vendors and employees through a newsletter issue - printed on recycled paper, of course.
Try soy-based inks
Additionally, some printers such as PsPrint offer soy-based inks. Soy-based inks are environmentally friendly, because they emit fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) during the printing process than traditional petroleum-based inks.
Another way to print green is to print on both sides of the document. Most brochures are printed on both sides anyway, but using a smaller brochure on both sides would use less paper than a larger, one-sided brochure.
Once the brochures and postcards are printed, perhaps you can start to think about how you are distributing them. Will mailing them use more fuel than handing them out, leaving them in display racks or hanging them on doors? Be more specific about who you give them to. If you choose the most receptive audience (a smart marketing strategy anyway), it will be less likely to get thrown away; this is also the case if you make it useful, such as including professional tips or a how-to guide.
Recycle the leftovers
Once you have printed and distributed your brochures and postcards, you can still go green with the leftover materials. Obviously, you can keep using the extras until they run out, but if for some reason they become irrelevant or unusable, you should recycle the materials instead of just throwing them in the trash. You should also recycle as much of your other paper as you can, including office materials.
Every industry can benefit from green practices, but there are certain industries that really need to keep up with what they represent and walk the talk. A conservation group, for example, should look at ways to utilize green printing or they will risk appearing hypocritical. Other businesses such as alternative fuel companies and hybrid auto manufacturers will want to stay consistent with their products' green image by being able to say that their promotional materials are printed on green paper.
Whether you decide to switch to just one of these green printing practices such as using 100 percent recycled paper, or go as far as developing a company-wide recycling program, you will be helping the environment, creating a more responsible image and potentially attracting clients who want to give their money to a greener company.