Paper is everywhere. It’s in our homes, our offices, our cars. Most of the time it’s even in our pockets. According the WWF, Western Europe produces 91 million tonnes of paper every year. Which counts for 23% of global paper production.

For businesses both small and large, paper is important. And it counts for a large portion of our marketing efforts. 

This presents a problem: how to lower your environmental impact without compromising on your marketing output.

The good news: there are ways of using paper and being environmentally responsible.

So, let’s take a look at some simple and easy steps to reducing our paper trail.

Cut the fluff

Most of the time, we don’t need to say as much as we say. How many times can you recall leafing through oversized sales documents? Scanning endless amounts of irrelevant information just to get to the good stuff?

By simply reducing the amount of content you produce, you’re automatically reducing your carbon footprint.

Some ways to cut down on material:

  • Use shorter words. No one likes to be confused by vocabulary. As George Orwell put it,Never use a long word where a short one will do.”
  • Replace text with images. A picture doesn’t always say a thousand words. But it says enough. Swap out big blocks of text with images for a more succinct look.
  • Edit. Truman Capote once said,  “I’m all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” After writing, cut as much as you can. Because it can always be shorter!

Remember the old adage, quality beats quantity. It’s not how much you write, but how well you write. Blaise Pascal summed this up perfectly when, in a letter, he famously said,“If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.”

Go recycled  

When it comes to printing, it’s much easier these days to go recycled. All good printers will provide an option of recycled paper. And you can look for paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure that it’s coming from a sustainable source.

According to survey, 53% of consumers prefer buying from companies with a green reputation. This means that using recycled material for marketing will reflect positively on your business. All you need is a little bubble saying, “This brochure was printed on recycled paper”. 

If you’re uncertain about your options, talk to your printer. If they’re good, they’ll tell you all you need to know.

Be a green advocate

It’s one thing to make the green leap. But being a constant advocate of green practises will further increase your public image.

Some tips on how to be an eco-advocate:

  • Blog about environmentally conscious practices. Go one step further and make it specific to your industry. If you’re a builder, talk about green building methods.
  • Share industry progress. If you catch wind of new eco-friendly policies within your sector. Or read an inspiring story of how a similar business is lowering their carbon footprint. Share it on social media!
  • Label the green stuff. Just like the brochure example above. You can label everything from products and packaging to services on your website. If it’s green, let your customers know.

One of the biggest advantages to becoming a green advocate is its domino effect. Once your customers start responding to your green habits, other companies will notice. And once they notice, there’s a good chance they’ll start adopting the same habits for themselves. So, in a sense, you could start a revolution.

Adopting green marketing practices is a fantastic way to do something good whilst earning your living. It’s good for both the environment and PR! If you’d like more information on how to go green for your next campaign, send us an email and we can have a chat.