6 Ways To Make Your Next Brochure More Eco-Friendly
You can text and email to reach existing customers, but nothing beats a printed brochure for introducing strangers to your brand. Before ordering the first brochure package you find from a printing company, take the time to consider how your marketing materials can go green. Try these six eco-friendly printing tips to get more attention for your company just by appealing to consumers concerned about the environment.
Take a look at your brochure artwork and text first. Obviously those glossy, full bleed brochures where every inch of paper is covered in ink use far more resources than a simple and stripped down design. Don't be afraid to leave white space and consider ink-saving tricks like:
- De-saturating your colour scheme, since pastel colours require less pigment than the bright shades
- Picking a thin font designed to save ink
- Replacing hard-to-read tables with convenient QR codes
- Limiting yourself to just a few full colour photos instead of dozens of illustrations and decorations
In the long run, any kind of 100 percent recycled paper will make your brochures less wasteful and more attractive to eco-conscious shoppers. Post-consumer waste is considered the best by some people because it's paper that was actually used before recycling, but using pre-consumer waste still helps the environment because paper production scraps end up in landfills too.
If you decide to skip the recycled materials, at least make sure your paper comes from a sustainable source. There are dozens of paper suppliers offering complete control of the supply chain so that you can be sure the trees cut down to make your brochures are replaced. Consider skipping paper cut from trees and try sheets made from leftover sugar cane fibers, hemp, soybeans or cotton.
All these plants grow faster than trees and make less of an impact on the environment when harvested from the fields. Why cut down 50 or 60 year old mature trees when you can use crops that reach maturity within one or two growing seasons?
Don't forget about inks. Most inks used for printing brochures are based on unsustainable petroleum bases, and many formulas still rely on heavy metals as pigments. Ask your printing company about vegetable oil and soy-based alternatives instead. This not only protects the environment during printing, it also allows the person who picks up the brochure to compost it without contaminating their soil.
Go beyond just catching the eye with a stamp showing your brochure is made with recycled paper. Order paper with flower, herb, or vegetable seeds embedded right into the paper to take your eco-friendly brochure to a new level. As long as environmentally friendly inks are used on the surface, someone can toss your brochure in a pot of soil when they're done reading it and the seedlings will pop up shortly. Imagine how long your brand image will remain in the person's mind when they transform your advertising materials into a patch of beautiful sunflowers.
Finally, find out what kind of improvements your printing company has made to limit waste. Waterless printing is one of the newest techniques for reducing the water wasted in traditional lithographic printing. The ink dries faster with fewer chemical additives, while providing clearer results with designs featuring fine lines.
An eco-friendly brochure succeeds even if no one reads it because it won't damage the environment during printing or decomposition. Since even the best brochures that produce plenty of sales still end up in the trash eventually, consider how your printed materials effect the world around you before ordering them. Don't forget to make it clear how you're focusing on green initiatives with your printed materials to get the point across to concerned consumers.