Production Ways to Go Green
3. Avoid metallic inks, which, like adhesives, stick to the paper pulp and cause problems in the recycling process.
4. Use inkjet rather than laser printing when adding personalization to a piece, advises Goldsmith. Inkjet ink is water soluble, so it doesn't gum up recycling equipment; the toner used in lasering is not.
5. Avoid polybags. Although they can be recycled, few recycling sites can process them. If you must use poly outers, stress that recipients separate the plastic and paper prior to recycling.
6. Promote recycling by including the DMA's RecyclePlease.org logo on your printed pieces. (Visit www.recycleplease.org to learn more.)
Try, Try Again
The fact is, not every environmental initiative you test is going to succeed, but that's no reason to give up. If you have trouble testing into a more press-friendly trim size, use the excess space on the sheet to print something else, suggests Goldsmith. If you just can't test out of a 12-page letter, printing it double sided will cut the amount of paper you use in half.
Brophy recalls one test where she tried a lower basis weight on a self-mailer, with diminished response. "In that case, I retested with a shorter trim on the heavier stock, and that worked," she asserts. "So one way or another, I was able to save paper on that project."
Something to Talk About
It has been said that talk is cheap, but in this case, nothing is further from the truth. Cultivate organizational support by communicating your goals, motivations, needs and progress internally. Then, develop positive public reaction by sharing your environmental policies and initiatives with consumers, prospects and external stakeholders.
Finally, further the cause within the direct marketing industry by sharing what you've learned and partnering with like-minded vendors, community groups and industry associations. This may be the most important step you can take, because the end result will be much greater than the sum of what you can do alone. As Beem points out, "It's difficult for any one company to grasp the importance of environmental sustainability. But working as a group and using the resources that each company has to offer, we can achieve much more."