With ever increasing attention being paid to the environment, your direct mail needs to reassure people that you care about the environment too. You can create environmentally friendly direct mail and have some fun with it too! Luckily, direct mail uses paper, and paper is a sustainable resource. There are many options now to convey your commitment to the environment in your direct mail besides asking people to recycle.
Environmentally friendly choices for direct mail:
- Recycled paper – Yes this has been around for a very long time and is used frequently. However, there are always new ones coming to the market that can help you stand out.
- Seed paper – You can get paper that is embedded with plantable seeds. They can be for flowers, plants, trees or vegetables. This is a fun way to encourage reusing your mailer and a great way to promote goodwill.
- Biodegradable window film – This type of film is USPS approved and is a great alternative to a single use plastic window.
- Water soluble paper – This is an advanced paper technology that can dissolve quickly in water.
- Compostable Bags – If you use poly bags consider switching to a compostable bag that is made from 100% compostable materials.
The first concern many people have is about the use of paper. There are a few paper facts you should know:
- Most paper now comes from sustainable forests. These sustainable forests are essentially “tree farms,” where trees are grown as a crop, just like broccoli or wheat. When these trees are harvested, new stocks are planted.
- Overall, one-third of the fiber used to make paper comes from wood chips and sawmill scraps; another third comes from recycled paper.
- Just 11% of the world’s forests are used for paper, and in the U.S. the wood used to produce paper increasingly comes from certified forests. The Forest Steward Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) track fiber content from certified lands through production and manufacturing to the end product.
As you can see, paper is a renewable resource, and the use of paper promotes tree planting and growth. You can select paper based on certifications and the percent it was recycled. Did you know that running a single refrigerator for a year is equivalent to the creation and delivery of 5,000 letters, taking a two-minute shower is equivalent to receiving 40 letters, running an electric water heater for a year is about the same as 20,000 letters received, according to a Pitney Bowes study?
So how can we have some fun with environmentally friendly direct mail?
- Seed paper – I know I mentioned this above, but I really want to emphasize how fun this can be for your prospects and customers. Think of all the possibilities!
- Folds – Creating self-mailers with fun and unique folds does not add to your paper usage and will save you from using envelopes.
- Colors – Spice up your recycled paper with fun colors. Bold colors stand out and draw attention to your mail piece.
- Water soluble paper – You can create fun messages that can be dissolved in water once read.
Make sure to note all the efforts you make to be environmentally friendly and what materials you used so that your prospects and customers know what to do when they are done with your mail piece. After all, you want them to plant the seeds, not recycle the paper. Are you ready to get started?