In this day and age, business cards are still one of the easiest and most effective ways for businesses and professionals to grow and establish relationships, but the truth is most business cards end up in the trash can. And that trash will end up in a landfill.
To those with a “green” conscience, this waste may send you on a long, fossil-fueled guilt trip. But is green marketing possible? If the answer is yes, how do you promote your business while maintaining environmentally friendly policies?
Here are some tips to minimize waste and keep your business card exchange going.
Step 1. Mini cards.
Mini cards can condense all the greatness of classic cards in a smaller package. As they are roughly half the size of a normal card, less paper and ink need to be used to create them.
Some online printers have a mini business card option you can check out. Among them are Moo and Zazzle.
Step 2. Recycled materials.
Selecting recycled paper to print on is another way to make an eco-friendly card. A number of online printers can print on recycled paper upon request.
However, you will have to specify your preferred type of paper when sending them your order. Other printers, like GreenPrinter, offer exclusively recycled paper.
Step 3. Chlorine-free paper.
In paper manufacturing, chlorine is used as bleach to make the final paper stock whiter. However, chlorine produces toxic pollutants.
Many manufacturers these days use alternative and less harmful methods for whitening the paper. Choosing chlorine-free paper for business cards will make a difference.
Step 4. Soy-based inks.
Differently from petroleum-based inks, which are the standard in printing, soy-based inks use soybean oil and are considered more environmentally friendly.
Soy inks are very good for accurate color rendition. Some printers offer options in which they specify the use of soy ink, so look for this or ask your printer if it’s available
Step 5. Make your own.
If you have the time to take it on yourself, you can make your own business cards at home. By doing it yourself, you will be able to reuse materials and produce only what you actually need.
If you aren’t the crafty type, making your own may not be the best in terms of environmental compliance, as eliminating unnecessary waste requires some familiarity with the process.
Recycle your card, not your message.
Even with all the technological advancements, we’re still far from being able to benefit from 100 percent green marketing. However, options are expanding day by day, and starting with the small things can have a large impact.
Photos by Julie Saraceno, Christian Guthier and Emma Paperclip.