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How to be Eco-friendly with Print Marketing

If you are striving to be an environmentally friendly business it would seem that using online strategies for marketing would be the right way to go. (Although back in 2014 an article in The Guardian suggested more research was needed to explore the impact of digital media because it requires the manufacture of electronic goods that in turn need power, leave a carbon footprint and generate waste when they are disposed of).

However there are ways to use print advertising and be eco-friendly:


Paper is in fact one of the most recycled items in the world, over 72% of it in Europe.   If you use paper that has an FSC label (Forest Stewardship Council) it means it is paper from a sustainable forest. Or when possible use recycled paper. There is even paper with embedded seeds that can be planted on, a great way to produce brochures that will grab attention! Avoid using gloss paper or lamination for those brochures as this can’t be recycled and stops the paper inside from breaking down.


First consider the design of your product. Make more use of white space so as to not use so much ink. Can you use fewer photos? What about the colour scheme? Pastel colours need less ink.  Can the design include an address to save using an envelope?

There is a range of eco-friendly inks available including: soy based ink, which can be composited, or water based inks which have a biodegradable pigment and don’t need chemicals to clean up.

Don’t forget to dispose of ink cartridges properly. Many manufacturers allow you to send them back to them or take them to an office supply retailer or local recycling centre.


If you do your own printing consider an eco-friendly printer. That’s a printer that focuses on minimising waste. Ideally you want the printer to have an energy saving mode, to print more pages per cartridge and one that allows printing on both sides of the page. Inkjet printers use less ink than laser.

And Finally

Make sure your mailing list is up to date to avoid too many undeliverable items being sent out.

How is your printed material distributed? Could you use a company that has electric vehicles?