Eco Friendly Design Practices

The environment has been under more threat today than it has ever been. Natural resources are steadily declining and the ecosystems are under scrutiny. Establishing more eco-friendly practices is actually often less costly than many assume; it just takes a little creativity and thinking outside the box. Here are some innovative ways for business owners to get the desired designs and the marketing results at an affordable price, that represent your brands commitment to a responsible cause.

 

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A great 1st step your business can take toward becoming more eco-friendly marketing, is to use digital branding and advertising campaigns.  Examples of this include websites, digital business directories, evites, and the use of social media for building communities. These options have international reach, and in the current electronic age, have proven to be more effective than direct mail campaigns. Direct mailers have lower response rates and have higher cost due to printing and rising mailing expenses. Online readership is increasing year by year, and your tweets and posts are free. So design digital campaigns for the online communities.

During the design process, there may be many rounds of proofs and revisions before you approve your finals. With an environmentally conscious mindset, your graphic designers can present preliminary proofs in digital or paperless forms, and when deciding on how to present the final ideas that same designer should present you with options that are less burdensome on the environment. Using recycled papers or biodegradable materials is an easy alternative, especially when combined with cost reducing options and techniques.

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A great example of this: Given a typically tight budget to produce a catalog, two University of Illinois design students assumed that recycled paper would be cost prohibitive. But using innovative techniques, they discovered that if they trimmed just 1″ off the book height they would save around 1,000 press sheets. This saved them $3,000, allowing them to specify a high quality, 100% recycled, FSC-certified paper. With a little design thinking, they saved 9,717 gallons of water, 13 million BTUs of energy, 942 pounds of solid waste and avoided 2,255 pounds of greenhouse gases. (source: http://re-nourish.com/?l=resources_printdesign)

Some best practices for greener print design includes these positive steps:

  1. Reduce the amount of paper and other materials used overall by designing smaller pieces.
  2. Reduce wasted paper and other materials through clear decision-making during production.
  3. Replace wood fiber papers with agri-fiber papers when doing so is regionally and environmentally preferable.
  4. Aim for 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content paper.
  5. Use vegetable-based, low-VOC inks on press.
  6. Stick to digital printing for shorter runs.
  7. Avoid additives or excess finishing like foil stamps, varnishes, and laminates.
  8. Design the piece for extended use, or intentional reuse.
  9. Let others know about the eco-friendly aspects of the product. This increases awareness while your product is organically being valued and promoted.

To create a greener printed piece, use your socially and environmentally responsible Ashalla designer and preferred local print vendors.

 

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