At EazyPrint, we know that the ever-present zeitgeist of environmentalism can be something of a challenge. On the one hand, we all want to do our bit to ensure we protect our fantastic world from climate change, global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, running a business sustainably can be expensive and complicated. This is especially prevalent with print materials - which may on the surface seem inherently detrimental to the green ethos. However, fear not! We have created a comprehensive guide for how to keep your print materials sustainable; so you can do good, and do good advertising, at the same time!
How to keep your print material sustainable - a guide
Follow these simple steps to ensure your printed materials are up to date with eco-conscious policies and green ethos.
1/ Create recyclable paper products
Whether it’s leaflets, flyers or brochures (unsure of the difference - we’ve got you covered. Check out our article on the difference between these printed paper products), it’s important that any printed paper products are recyclable after use. Certain types of laminate make it more difficult to recycle the paper, as the surface of the product will be bonded securely to plastic. To make sure, we’d recommend going for uncoated papers, to provide ease of recycling.
If you’re really keen to promote recyclable print materials, you can also choose to print your designs onto already recycled paper. For one step further in the green direction, choose unbleached kraft paper. Not only is this recycled and unbleached (meaning less energy was used in its creation) it also provides a pleasing rustic feel - ideal for artisan businesses, the eco-conscious and gifts!
2/ Choose FSC approved printers and stockists
FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC ensures that any paper production is sustainable and preserves the natural forest and its biodiversity, as well as making sure that the lives of local people and workers are protected in their socio-economic values.
An easy way to ensure the sustainability of your paper products is to only use printers and suppliers that are FSC members. EazyPrint and our sister company, Roller Banners UK, are fully certified members.
3/ Reuse and recycle
The main issue with any industry is the idea of a fast fix. Fast fashion in particular, has been getting a lot of press recently. Fast fashion describes the purchases and subsequent short term use of poorly made clothes, some of which are not ethically produced. Because of the nature of the clothing, whether it breaks or simply becomes out of style, the items are discarded in favour of newer styles and end up in landfill. The same principle applies to the print industry.
With more and more products and more and more individually targeted advertising, it’s easy to throw away old campaigns. Don’t! Find ways to reuse, recycle and upcycle in order to prevent throwing printed products into the bin. Here are a few ideas on how you can upcycle printed products:
For old magazines - offer them to care homes, hairdressers, doctors surgeries and hospitals.
For old brochures - remove the pages and use them as wrapping paper for that particular establishment.
For old leaflets - donate to an arts and crafts centre, school or playgroup.
4/ Create marketing materials with longevity
In a similar vein to point 3, avoid unnecessary waste by creating printed materials that have longevity in their design. For example, create designs that can be applicable to many products, your umbrella company as a whole or for any season.
Creating specific designs may offer you more specific advertising, but it also means a lot of waste. For example, if you create a large bulk of leaflets that are only usable for one specific, time sensitive product or promotion, when this is over you can no longer use these. Instead, try to create slightly more generic designs. Alternatively, if you want to create limited run print material, ensure you order conservatively to avoid waste.