4 Tips For Designing Green Business Cards

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Business owners want their business cards to reflect their business ideology and branding theme. So it comes as no surprise that when designing a business card, eco and social entrepreneurs want something that reflects their mindset – low-impact, eco-friendly and effective.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, paper is one (along with metals, plastics and glass) of the four materials which consume over 30% of the energy used for over all US manufacturing industry. So your choice has a direct impact on our environment, people and business practices. Why not making green printing the norm? Why not make it just – printing? If more business owners opt for cleaner options, suddenly the false – premium on being responsible is gone and you are looking at a disrupted way of doing things – for the better.

How do you choose a green online printer for your business cards?

Here are a few criteria to look out for when ordering eco-friendly business cards.

Recycled Paper and Content:

Virgin paper has a big footprint and should be avoided as far as possible. Ecocycle.org reports that 12 to 24 trees are cut just to make one ton of paper. One of the most important criteria for business cards is paper and its recycled content. Look out for the recycled content in the paper as a percentage. Also, post-consumer recycled content is better than pre-consumer recycled content. Post-consumer means reusing a product that has gone through its first intended use before being reintroduced into the product cycle, which indicates wastes diverted from landfill. Pre-consumer recycled content could still mean virgin paper, as these products have not gone out to consumers but are scraps from manufacturing processes.

Non Petroleum Inks:

Know that new card smell? The smell that makes it seem like you are sitting at a gas station. Something that we are all too familiar with. These VOCs are emitted from petroleum-based inks that are harmful to users, employees and the environment. Choose vegetable and soy-based inks instead that have lower levels of VOCs than traditional petroleum-based inks. These also reduce harmful carbon emissions and is better for everybody.

Environmental Certifications:

Look out for reputed seals and certifications like 1)Environmental Protection Agency’s requirement that uncoated papers must contain at least 30-percent post-consumer content while a minimum of 10 percent content for coated ones. 2)SoySeal grants certification to printing companies which use inks that contain a certain percentage of soybean oil. 3)Chlorine Free Products Association promote chlorine-free policies in the production of paper.

Design Services:

Another useful criteria to consider (nothing to do with green printing) is an online design tool where you can use your company logo and design cards yourself. Uprinting Business Cards has a great design tool that is easy to use and intuitive. This option is definitely helpful to business owners who are trying to save a buck and want to design their cards themselves.

This is a card I designed for myself and the site, using Uprinting’s design tool. Check it out! 

Disclaimer: This post is made possible by Uprinting and I was offered free business cards for the site, but the opinions on the design tool are 100% mine.


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