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Business Cards for Greener Marketing

Business cards are the MOST powerful piece of corporate identity printing you can provide! Here's how to make your business cards greener and more sustainable.

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Sourcing Your Business Card Printing

Sometimes, your regular offset printer is a good source for recycled content and local printing of your business cards. Sometimes they don't offer a variety of recycled stock and sometimes they don't offer green printing processes such as cleaning their presses with non-toxic solvents or using non-polluting transportation.

When you need to order business cards off the Internet or from a regional supplier, here are some tips.

  • Ask for FSC certified paper stock. Forest Stewardship Council certifies that the forest is sustainably managed and that the paper production process has a light footprint.
  • Use the lightest weight cover stock you can tolerate. Less weight for shipping, less paper get the idea.
  • Ask about soy ink (or other green alternatives) and clean printing techniques.
  • Ask for the greenest transportation alternative -- air delivery is the dirtiest! So plan ahead so you can select reasonable shipping. UPS and Fed Ex are greening their fleets...ask about options. Other greener delivery services are cropping up.
  • Select a supplier close to you. Ever mile saved in shipping reduces your green footprint and tire treds!
  • Buy the minimum you will need...but don't reorder too often. Business card inventories often get thrown away...and that's not green. So plan carefully to meet your need.
  • Refrain from special coatings -- they make the post consumer card non-recyclable in most cases.
  • Enjoy the connections that business cards make possible. Use good networking techniques...such as contacting the people you collect business cards from :-)
(Use your favorite search engine to search for "recycled paper business cards" and add your state...)

In California a couple specialized suppliers of recycled business cards and green printing include:

Greenerprinter - Read more about Greenprinter

Wizard Graphics -

And don't forget, networking and connecting with your community is the real, most powerful purpose of business cards. Use them! Don't waste the paper ... or the opportunity to build a sustainable, interwoven community.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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