How many green printing practices you can embrace will depend on your commitment, your budget and the availability of environmentally friendly materials.
Three areas you can consider are:
Selecting green paper involves more than requesting stock made from recycled elements. Environmentally concerned direct marketers also are looking at papers made with alternatives like sugar cane, whether the paper mill uses a renewable energy source and whether the manufacturing process is chemical free.
Talk to your printer about the percentage of post-consumer recycled content (material that has served its original purpose) contained in your mailing’s proposed paper options. Ask whether the paper is Forest Stewardship Council certified, a process that helps ensure forestry practices reduce their environmental impact.
While some inks are toxic, others can be hard to strip from paper in the recycling process. Many printers now offer soy and other agri-based inks that are more easily removed during paper recycling and add fewer pollutants to the environment.
Talk to your printer about the options, but also ask to see samples of alternative inks printed on the green paper you’ve selected to make certain the quality meets your standards.
Those used on address labels or to seal envelopes are hard to remove from paper as it’s recycled, so bits often make it into the recycled paper. These “stickies” can cause printing problems. Avoid contributing to the problem by exploring designs that use fewer adhesives. For example, use response cards instead of envelopes or address the mailer without labels.
Ask us here at A Business Printing & Promotions:
You can achieve your green goals by collaborating with your printer and paper supplier.
- What is the highest amount of recycled and post-consumer content available in a paper stock that is suited for this campaign?
- Can we adjust elements of this mailing to use paper with a higher level of recycled content?
- What is the lightest-weight paper that will serve this campaign’s purpose?
- Will we pay a premium for recycled paper?
Some content provided by the USPS.