Green Doesn’t Mean Don’t Use Paper

Posted on September 20, 2010

At Create-A-Card, we are very aware of the concerns surrounding the environmental impact of print advertising and understand why our clients are reluctant at times to include printed media in their media outreach campaigns. Our experience in public relations has taught us the value of having “hard copy” versions of text, graphics and design are crucial to success, so we have become dedicated to helping our clients design print advertising campaigns that implement strategies that honor the three “R’s” — reduce, reuse and recycle. We have discovered that by making eco-friendly advertising the basis of the campaign, our clients can actually save money while attracting new customers and helping to conserve our precious natural resources.

Eco-Friendly Paper Products

The most obvious place to start is with the paper that is chosen for all posters, envelopes, business cards, flyers, presentations and stationary. Thanks to the vigorous paper and cardboard recycling campaigns implemented over the past 25 years, modern paper mills have access to a large quantity of “gently used” paper that can be easily recycled into new products using a fraction of the energy required to harvest a living tree and turn it into paper pulp. To further make a good impression on your clients, ensure that your company engages in strict recycling practices that are obvious to even the casual observer.

The familiar recycle logo of the three revolving arrows thereby becomes an integral part of a “green” advertising campaign and all paper selected for projects should have this symbol as their baseline. Not only is recycled paper cheaper, it also has more “character” to make your materials look more “organic” and less phony and manufactured. When you choose this kind of paper you can proudly display the recycle logo on all of your printed materials to show your company has a progressive and ecologically-minded attitude, a quality that can become a deciding factor in a customers’ decision-making process.

In fact, there are many clever recycled paper products, especially for a items that are only going to be used once — like coasters and invitations — that integrate wildflower seeds into a paper stock that dissolves easily, encouraging the consumer to continue the recycling process by planting it. There is also the option of using “tree-free” paper products that are made from bamboo, hemp or organic waste generated by coffee production and mango orchards.

Eco-Friendly Inks

Because of the heavy metals and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) created by traditional ink production, many innovative printers have devised inks appropriate for digital reproduction that are durable, rich and quick-drying. Soy-based inks are made from renewable resources and use a solvent called ethyl lactate which is considered to be the “greenest” solvent-based ink currently available. There are even companies that recycle pencil stubs into eco-friendly ink! The choice to use environmentally conscious ink also means your final product is much easier to recycle because it requires less heat to break down.

Eco-Friendly Printers

Just because your materials are green does not necessarily mean that your final product is going to be green unless consideration is taken about the practices of the print shop. Proper disposal of harmful solvents and energy-reduction techniques such as computer-controlled automation to eliminate paper waste are features that any reputable “green” print shop should include. Digital offset presses are considered superior because they are able to best utilize eco-friendly products to produce high-quality material that resists scratching and fading.

Eco-Friendly Campaigns

The final step is to integrate your environmentally-conscious attitude into the copy, graphics and overall design of your print media. Create a warm, friendly campaign for your print and internet advertising that emphasizes your commitment to sustainable practices so your target audience naturally associates your company with the green movement. Such strategies greatly increase the effectiveness of the all forms of media, not just the print aspect, and are integral to a modern, successful advertising campaign.

Comments are closed.