The downside to a print marketing campaign is that it can require a substantial quantity of paper. This can harm brands trying to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and reduce environmental impact. However, many methods are available to make print marketing materials more eco-friendly.
Some of the following are common practices of reducing environmental impact from printing:
Print on recycled paper
Printing on recycled paper is an excellent way to reduce the environmental impact of direct mail marketing initiatives. Making new paper has a major impact on the environment. Harvesting trees for paper releases carbon in the atmosphere. Also, the tree’s pulp must be turned into paper, a process that requires a significant amount of energy and water.
Producing recycled paper consumes nearly 40 percent less energy than producing paper from virgin wood pulp, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption throughout the entire production process. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycling one ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by one ton, and conserves enough energy to power the average American home for six months.
The supply of recycled paper is steadily increasing, making it an affordable option. In 2007, roughly 37 percent of all raw materials at paper mills in the U.S. were recycled, and that number continues to grow.
Go with recycled print cartridges
There is no need to toss out an ink cartridge once the ink runs out. Ink cartridges can be recycled. In fact, the average laser printer cartridge can be remanufactured at least three times. Each remanufactured or recycled ink cartridge saves roughly two ounces of oil and two pounds of additional waste from piling up in landfills, helping keep hazardous chemicals from leaking into the surrounding soil and water.
Consider using soy or vegetable based inks
Traditional inks are petroleum-based and often contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Soy and vegetable based inks are much better for the environment, as they are free from chemicals and potentially harmful pollutants. Soy ink is gaining popularity thanks to its excellent wetting properties, which improves its ability to carry solid pigment.
Be cognizant of size
Don’t print up fliers if you can convey the same message with a small postcard. Remember, the larger your print marketing materials are, the more resources it takes to print them and mail them out.
If you’ve taken initiatives to make your print marketing materials more eco-friendly, be sure to let your consumers know! Nielsen research reveals that consumers have a more favorable view of brands who strive to be eco-friendly.
With MEDiAHEAD, you have options to print and manage your brand collateral however you want! MEDiAHEAD offers everything you need to fully communicate and measure the impact of your message over print, online, and other new media outlets. We also use eco-friendly inks and love to print on recycled paper to keep our carbon footprint down. See for yourself just how awesome our marketing portal is, and sign up to try our free demo!