We used to do everything in person, or at least by post. Networking, business cards, Christmas cards and marketing materials. But we live in an online world now. Doing your marketing and networking online is cheaper, quicker and all-around more efficient. It’s also much more environmentally friendly to do things digitally, instead of in print. Although some people still carry business cards, it’s just as easy to look someone up on LinkedIn or put their details in your smartphone. With deforestation a huge problem across the globe, many businesses are looking for non-paper solutions, whether online or not.
1. Papers That Aren’t Paper
Thanks to Shirle
for the picture
One way to get around using paper materials is to use paper that isn’t really paper. There are a variety of paper alternatives, that look and act like paper but don’t need any trees. Some of the materials used include hemp, cotton, tobacco, bamboo and even banana and beer mash (the stuff left over from brewing). You might also have seen paper alternatives made from things like elephant dung. If you want something that’s almost paper, but not quite, there’s definitely a paper alternative out there for you. Recycled paper is also an option. It still requires paper to exist, but at least it’s reusing a product instead of creating a demand for more trees.
Thanks to OpenClips for the image
Where companies once would have sent a physical card to their Christmas list, they are now turning to ecards. Several services, such as Ecard Shack, allow you to personalize your own card and send it to everyone on your list at the click of a button. This method of sending holiday cards is much more environmentally friendly than the traditional one. There’s no paper or card involved, so there’s nothing to deliver and no delivery vans required. There are also no printing costs, or waits for anything to print. It’s a faster, cheaper way of sending out hundreds of cards.
3. Inventive Marketing Materials
Thanks to Tokugawapants for the image
Another way to avoid paper is using marketing materials that have nothing to do with paper, and aren’t trying to be paper. Marketing materials such as pens, badges, stickers and the like have been around for a while. But you can get even more creative than that. It will depend on your business whether creative marketing materials are suitable. You can produce anything from t-shirts and hats to frisbees and umbrellas. The modern equivalent of a pen is perhaps the USB flash drive. Of course, if you are trying to be environmentally friendly you’ll need to pay attention to what these are made of too. Swapping paper out for a plastic, that will take hundreds of years to biodegrade, is merely swapping one environmental problem for another.
Although almost all companies use online marketing now, most companies carry out both online and print advertising. Moving all your business activity to a more environmentally responsible medium might not be easy, but it is possible.