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Sustainable Ideas: Rethinking the traditional Business Card.

The business card is an established social building block of meeting new clients and building new relationships. According to Aura Print, 57% of business owners responded that business cards are essential to the promotion of their goods or services, however with 88% of business cards thrown away in less than a week, how sustainable are our traditional printing methods?


The Environmental Impact Of Business Cards

HOW MUCH PAPER DO WE USE PRINTING TRADTIONAL BUSINESS CARDS?

According to Aura Print, around 27 million business cards are printed each day. If we multiply that by just the working days in a year, that would equate to over 7 billion business cards are printed each year at a very low estimate.

Roughly 180 business cards weigh 350 grams or 0.35kg. That means that if 7 billion business cards are printed each year, the weight of all of those business cards equates to 13,611,111kg or 13611 tonnes of paper. That an estimates eyewatering 12000 tonnes of business cards are thrown away each year.

Going deeper down this rabbit hole, Conservatree estimates anywhere between 10 to 20 trees make 1 ton of paper, so that’s anywhere between 120,000 and 240,000 trees hopefully getting recycled each year!


Rethink Your Business Cards.

How can your business adapt a more sustainable approach to tradtional business card printing?

IDEA #1 – VCARD + QR CODE

Simple and cost effective, try this entirely digital way to easily share all contact details, links and social profiles.

  1. – If you don’t require future changes you can create a free VCard and download your personal QR code here. Consider the free and paid options depending on your personal business requirements.
  2. Download the QR code image and save to your digital devices, somewhere you can easily access.
  3. Next time you need to share your details simply have people scan your QR code. They will be able to view and very easily save your contact details directly to their phone.

Tips: If you wear a smart watch, add your QR Code to your watch for faster sharing. If using an apple watch this can be done by adding the QR code image to an album, then choosing to display this album on your apple watch via the watch app.

Add your QR Code to your printed business card designs. Read on for sustainable business card printing ideas.


IDEA #2 – PLANTABLE BUSINESS CARDS

A novel idea introduced to us some years ago when visiting The Lui Bar in Melbourne, business cards you can plant. I’ve never forgotten being handed a business card and advised I plant it to grow a lemon myrtle; genius. Combine with using recycled paper stock and even considered seeds for your target market. Applying this concept to other printed marketing materials can produce some fun and interesting ideas.

For inspiration visit Australian printers Seed Paper Australia and Turquoise Creative , both offering an extensive range of plantable paper printing services.


IDEA #3 – RECYCLED COTTON BUSINESS CARDS

For those needing a more traditional (and border crossing friendly) style of card, MOO has developed a tree-free Cotton paper made from 100% recycled T-shirt offcuts. It’s bright white, subtly textured and 18pt thick – so you can live your values without compromising on your look.  Order your MOO cotton business cards online here.


Is it time reconsider the humble business card? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions on how we can make the everyday practice of sharing details more sustainable.