Business

Published on September 18th, 2008 | by John Simonetta

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What If Clients Expect a Card? Can You Do It Green? – Recycled Holiday Cards

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of ProformaGreen, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

It is September and in the promotional products industry that means it is time to start talking about holiday cards.

Most companies find holiday cards a great way to show appreciation to their best clients or to send a special thank you to their employees.

Most Ecopreneurists will likely say skip the card, save a tree and send email instead. The problem is that a lot of clients expect cards.

So what to do?

Well industry leaders like Carlson Craft and DFS are stepping into the breach with cards printed on recycled paper. Often this includes a recycled envelope as well and a number of items can be printed with soy or vegetable based inks.

And there is a lot of choice this year. A key word search for recycled on our greeting card website returns over 150 cards to choose from with 30% post-consumer fibers or better.

If you’re in the industry, you might also choose to contact a green printer like Jim Fairbairn at www.independentprinting.com and have a card or even shipping materials built from scratch of 100% post-consumer and/or Forest Stewardship Council certified paper – Jim’s email is JFairbairn@independentprinting.com. Heck I suspect independent could even run 100% recycled custom wrapping paper if you were so inclined.

But seriously, the first step is to be creative and cut your client mailing list down as much as possible. Email and e-cards are likely fine for many clients. But if you do need to send a real card please think about a recycled product.

I would like to see some comments on this post of other ideas green companies can use during the holidays to say thank you to their clients while keeping with their eco-friendly philiospohy.

Related Posts:

Itty Bitty Business Cards – An Eco Alternative to the Traditional B Card

10 Business Practices that Reduce Your Footprint

Conscious Correspondence: Fun, Fresh And Fabulous Recycled Greeting Cards

Conscious Correspondence: Fun, Fresh And Fabulous Recycled Greeting Cards





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About the Author

As the owner of the promotional items consultancy Proforma Green Marketing, I have confronted the truth that the world sometimes perceives marketing as a wasteful practice, often rightly so. However, marketing is still essential in every business. At Proforma Green Marketing we try to teach businesses that from uniforms to printing needs, to promotional products to packaging, the industry is changing and there is likely a green solution out there to fit every audience and budget. Learn more at http://adventuresingreenmarketing.com/ Friend us at http://www.facebook.com/proformagreen



  • http://www.maranda.com Laura

    I work in a print shop in Calgary, Alberta.

    Last year, we produced a Christmas “card” that was 4″ x 9″ and perforated in 4 places to make gift tags that people could use.

    It showed off our printing capabilities (one side was 5 color letterpress and the other side was 4-color process) and gave people a re-usable “gift” at the same time.

  • http://www.mokugift.com hans

    Hi John,

    Fellow ecopreneurist here. You are right that most of us would say send an ecard.

    mokugift ecards are unique. For every ecard sent, a tree is planted in one of twelve countries fighting deforestation. It is more meaningful than sending a paper card. Furthermore, the ecard can be displayed by the recipient on social networks….this gets your brand out there a lot more than a paper card.

    Regards,
    Hans

  • http://www.writehook.com Dan Zaitz

    http://www.Write Hook.com is a newly launched greeting card company – All cards are FSC certified and are made from 100% post consumer recycled paper (as are their envelopes). A customer can create and customize a card from the comfort of his/her computer and then that card is mailed directly to a recipient or to the purchaser. Five cents from every card purchased is donated to designated non-profits from which the customer can choose. Write Hook “soft launched” in November, 2008 in order to receive feed back on the functionality of the site. Within the next two weeks, the new functionality should replace the current card creation process. The site is fully functional as is, but will be a bit more streamlined and intuitive with its new changes. Write Hook cards range from the traditional categories, to the non-traditional, such as cancer, divorce, menopause, and what they call, “sent-a-mentals” – cards with a bit of sizzle and zing. Write Hook has created what they call a “Half-Note” – a flat card that uses half the amount of paper as a traditional greeting card but still has all of the art, message, and impact of a traditional greet. All art and the majority of all copy is original to Write Hook. With Write Hook, a customer can upload/create an address book, set up email reminders for dates, and create cards up to a year in advance and choose future mail out dates. Write Hook is able to do business to business as well. The company was started by two Milwaukee women who wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people and in the community at large. The video on the home page of the site explains their philosophy and why they began the company.

  • http://www.writehook.com Lori Palay

    Thank you for posting info about Write Hook! We are very excited about our company, and look forward to other greeting card (and paper-based) companies going green. Artistic cards and environmental care CAN go hand in hand. We are interested in feedback from consumers about what their needs are as card-consumers, both in terms of the product itself and the functionality of our site. We are still tweaking the new functionality of the site. Hopefully all changes will be migrated over within the next couple of days.

    Thank you again for posting information about Write Hook. Thank you to this site for educating people about companies out there that really do care! We are grateful –

    Sincerely,

    Lori Palay
    co-founder – Write Hook

  • Eliana Berkoff

    I have sent Write Hook cards. They are really beautiful and there are a plethora of great copy lines to choose from along with terrific images that run the gamut from serene to spicy. It seems like there would be something for everyone. They truly are a green company and have information on their site about the different aspects of being green. Their model is a little different than other online greeting card companies, in that you are able to use the same image in multiple categories with sentiments that directly relate to that category. I can also leave my card blank if I don’t want to use one of the pre-written lines of copy. I find I like this model, as “my” cards become instantly recognized when I send them out;I tend to send my favorite images with different text to people. I would highly recommend checking out Write Hook, particularly once their site tweaks are complete. I have seen their dev site, and the new changes are really wonderful. They care a lot about making their site user friendly and easy to navigate.

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