Think Before You Ink: 6 Tips for Printing the Planet-Friendly Way

epson-ink-cartridgeYou want to run that next print and drive customers to your store. At the same time, you should stop and think about the types of inks you use for the print job as well as how much you use in materials. Want to “greenify” your next printing? [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]Here’s how[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]Here’s how[/tp].

Incorporate A Digital and Print Balance

Don’t rely solely on print media. Incorporate digital advertising into your marketing materials. So, for example, you could use special bar codes that people can scan and get additional information from via their smartphone or tablet. You could also use QR codes to move the sales process online.

Use Recycled Paper and Ink Refills

Use recycled paper, and then buy ink refills from websites like [tp lang=”en” only=”y”][/tp][tp not_in=”en”][/tp]. This saves on the cost of new materials and lets you reuse old ink cartridges (or recycle the ones you have). Most of the time, recycled cartridges work at least as well as new ones. Recycled paper can be a bit dodgy. Make sure you go with a decent weight and verify that it will look good with your print job before you commit to a large order.

Use Soy and Vegetable-Based Inks

Use inks that are soy or vegetable-based. Not using oil-based inks means that you’re using less oil and the cost may be comparable to the traditional stuff. Stick with the usual colour schemes and don’t go crazy with it. You only really need maybe 2 or 3 colours in your printing, maximum.

Use PDF Files

Use PDF files instead of running a print job. PDFs are digital-based documents that can be emails to just about anyone. Since Adobe makes a free reader for these types of documents, just about anyone can read them too.
They are formatted specifically for documents, so there should be little or no problems with layout, styling, or fonts. It basically creates a digital version of the paper document you want to print.

These can be used for interoffice or client promotions. If you’re going to circulate PDF files for the general public, it might also be a good idea to include a link to Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. While most people do probably already have the reader, some might not and you don’t want them fishing around for it.

Avoid Foils

While they look cool they’re also pretty wasteful. They also are difficult to recycle, and many municipalities have recycling programs, so this makes the job a lot more difficult. When possible, minimise the use of foils and opt for another material.

Use Smaller Documents

By printing smaller documents, using post cards and other smaller mediums, you save paper, which will cut down on the costs of your project, reduce waste, and keep the paper out of landfills. Of course, don’t sacrifice the message to save space and paper, integrate your smaller printings with QR codes or other ways for people to find you online so that you can deliver a more comprehensive message.

Guest article written by: John Sollars has one foot in the printing industry and the other in the recycling effort. When he finds something helpful, he likes to share it with others online. Look for his articles mainly on technology, business and marketing websites. If you liked John’s post, follow him on Twitter.

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