Thursday, September 11, 2008

Making your business greeting cards earth friendly

Many businesses send greeting cards as a part of their marketing plan. And a growing number honor their employees with birthday cards, job anniversary cards and even job-well-done cards. Business greeting cards are a wonderful, and relatively inexpensive tool for keeping in touch with the people who keep your business working.

But all those cards can add up to a lot of paper. And a lot of potentially toxic inks and dyes. So is there a way to maintain the marketing power of an annual company Christmas card or the morale boosting power of wishing an employee happy birthday, and not create a mountain of wasted paper?

Look for cards that are made from recycled paper

This may seem like an obvious first step, but in reality many people shy away from the idea of recycled holiday cards because they remember the way recycled cards used to look. But the days of brown cards with poorly printed images on rough paper are long gone. Today's recycled papers are available in colors from white to pastels to deep jewel tones.

Be sure to check the percentage of recycled material used in the cards...and the envelopes.

Recycled paper can range from as low as 10% to 100% recycled content. Look for cards that utilize at least 20% post consumer waste. At this level, you'll be making a significant difference in the use of virgin paper.

Choose soy inks and avoid foil embellishments

The type of ink you choose and the embellishments use on the cards makes a big difference in whether the cards can be recycled after your clients or employees have finished with them. Soy inks and cards free from foil trim or printing can be added to recycling bins and make another trip around, reducing both paper use and landfill volumes.