Just as architects and builders are moving toward more sustainable materials to create environmentally-friendly living and work spaces, graphic designers are progressively finding ways to make their work more impactful by hitting the triple bottom line.
Printing with low-VOC or soy inks and choosing production vendors who use renewable energy are just a few of the many small changes that make a huge difference.
Finding new ways to make compelling, purposeful and environmentally-conscious products reach a broader audience while maintaining optimum functionality is a welcomed challenge and begs the questions:
- If “making the world a better place” was a party, how would the invitations look?
- If Mother Earth will be the keynote speaker at a conference, what would be in her SWAG bag? Imagine.
With sustainability as the primary goal, the push to create more visually captivating digital information is stronger than ever before.
The Internet doesn’t need paper, ink, or bioplastics that run the risk of being thrown in the wrong waste bin. Not that beautifully packaged takeaways aren’t totally cool when reusable and made of at least 80% post-consumer content, but digital collateral is quickly at your fingertips. The impact is measurable.
Pearls of sustainable wisdom and advocacy are easily sharable with your network of friends, neighbors and colleagues with the tap of a button. It’s always with you… And who doesn’t want proof of their contribution to saving the environment on their phone next to their favorite selfie app or e-book?
It’s a nasty habit we’re all trying to break. The paper habit, that is. We’re all looking to trim our consumption, both at home, and on the job.
But in the marketing and communications world, sometimes it’s not that easy. We build websites and e-books, but sometimes the takeaway that makes the biggest impression is the one that comes printed on paper.
USGBC has worked diligently to curb its use of paper, moving to digital distribution (like our web-based reference guide), our email subscriptions and e-books. But when we do need to go the paper route, we follow some simple guidelines for making smarter decisions. Not only do these tweaks save trees, they also save money.
We always select paper that’s 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer, and FSC-certified. Some paper products we’ve used for our favorite collateral pieces includes Enviro100 (Rolland), Mohawk Options (Mohawk), New Leaf Imagination 100, New Leaf Everest (New Leaf Paper), Environment PC 100 (Neenah Paper), Evergreen 100 PC (Fox River Paper Company), and Monadnock Astrolite PC 100 (Monadnock).
When project require heavier paper stock, we look for the highest available percentage of recycled post-consumer waste paper.
Don’t forget about the ink! Our standard ink must be at least 90% vegetable oil based with only trace amounts of metal content (2% or lower).
When it comes to sourcing a print vendor, we go for those who are certified! We look for printers with FSC chain-of-custody certification, or SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certification. Vendors that operate off of the grid, like on wind power, and those that participate in a carbon offset program are always a top pick.
How is your organization being smart about paper usage? Let us know in the comments.
Ahoy, it is us. The “elusive” marketing team. Way yonder on the 5th floor, “other side of the elevators.” We’d call it the Bat Cave, but let’s be honest, we save more days than Batman. It is truly an honor to be here and with great dignity assume the charge of developing and implementing USGBC’s brand. We’ve decided to give our team a name. Since “The Almighty Creators” is taken, we are going with USGBC STUDIO. Not quite as celestially romp-kicking, but it has a ring to it.
USGBC STUDIO offers hands-on involvement in every aspect of developing your project. Our team specializes in branding, collateral marketing, illustration, digital media, copywriting, and good ol’ creative advice. This is where it all goes down and the gang’s all here. Get to know the marketing team. While you’re at it, check out what inspires us and browse some of our recent work.