Sustainable Print and Direct Mail
We are all constantly made aware of how our actions continue to impact upon the environment. That does not mean that we should stop using paper, as contrary to some beliefs, producing paper does not have a negative effect on the environment. However, there are many ways in which we can all help.
Ensuring that your mailing lists are clean, free of duplicates, up-to-date, and highly targeted, will save you money, and will help the environment. Incorrectly addressed mailings will only end up in the bin, and so will those that are not being sent to the right audience.
What does this mean? Apart from the obvious misconception of only using recycled paper, there are many factors involved in ensuring print is sustainable; and that the industry continues to provide a responsible approach to the environment for the future, such as:
When placing an order with your printer, you too can help by reducing waste resulting from over-estimated print quantities. This will also help reduce your waste disposal costs. How about donating any surplus paper to local schools?
- Paper sourced for the production of truly sustainable print must adhere to every stage of forest management. Forests help to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere - the paper stores the carbon, thus helping to reduce the dangerous effects of climate change.
- Reducing chemicals used in the printing process by using low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) where possible.
- Using vegetable or soy-based ink rather than traditional printing inks, which are much kinder to our planet as they are not toxic and are easier to dispose of, without sacrificing any quality.
- Reducing chemical waste products and printer parts, disposing of them with minimum risk to the environment, and recycling where possible.
For news and fascinating articles on sustainable print, I recommend "GreenPrint" magazine - published by Earth Island. It's a thoroughly engaging read packed with vibrant images and inspirational news on the print industry - case studies that motivate and demonstrate that we can all strive to cherish our planet, without losing the greatest method of communication.
The latest issue includes news on developments within the industry that show how outstanding quality, and maintaining awareness of our environment, can go hand in hand, for example:
- Paper manufacturers using water or wind power to produce their paper.
- A flatbed printer with features that minimise effects on the environment, such as LED UV lamps which use less electricity and last longer than standard UV lamps; Greenguard inks, etc.
- A paper and packaging company that has launched a lightweight range of their paperboard product, without any loss of thickness - resulting in lowered costs for their customers and lowered impact on the environment.
- A print company that has been educating their customers about the benefits of using recycled papers, and has installed solar panels to power their print machines.
- A paperboard manufacturer that has invested in a new biofuel boiler, enabling the mill to switch from running on fossil natural gas, to biomass.
- A paper supplier that teamed up with a designer who created handcrafted prints that were printed onto Bamboo paper using vegetable based inks, to raise awareness of endangered mountain gorillas. What a beautiful project!
- A print company that has created a wild flower meadow with beehives, supported by print orders, with the honey being given to local charities. Not only that, but they are planting trees for customers in a location of their choosing. I love the idea that they even make bird boxes from their old pallets.
Saving money by conserving our natural resources, reducing waste, using lightweight materials for packaging etc, can only be good news for their customers.
Sustainable printing is smart business practice
This is all brilliant news for the ever-evolving world of print and direct mail, and its committed journey, together with its customers, to help to restore our world, Enjoy the journey.