Despite the advent of bluetooth-enabled blackberries and other modern technologies, the ritual of handing out business cards remains an integral part of establishing business relationships. When I was working on TreeHugger.com, Graham Hill designed a sexy card which used half the paper of a regular business card, and (but of course) was printed on 100% post consumer paper with soy based ink. To top it off, all the cards were generic – you had to manually write your name in a box on the card.
The latter bit proved to be a bit laborious, but added a nice personal touch which, coupled with the cute size of the card, made them hard to forget.
Getting creative and making a ‘green’ statement may cost extra money, but can be well worth it.
The simplest, and cheapest move you can make with your cards is to make them smaller. Many printers offer smaller sized cards as a standard course now that cost the same or less than regular sized cards. With no other environmental consideration, reducing the amount of content in the card is an easy green choice.
Considering more carefully the type of paper and the type of ink used on the card is the obvious next step – this ensure you can have some bragging rights and a way to justify your use of paper: “Well, by buying this card, I’m stimulating markets for post consumer material”. GreenerPrinter.com is a great place to start, but your local printing shop probably has options.
If you really want to go crazy, you can follow Jamie Wieck’s example of the “bloomin’ business card” which actually sprouts Alfalfa – a guaranteed way to keep your logo on the desk of any heartfelt greenie. You could even print your logo on Peanuts – totally biodegradable and delicious too.
If you’re trying to prove your green cred, the one thing to avoid, of course, are complicated plastic novelties which, though attention getting, are likely going to make you look wasteful to your clients. Taking a risk, you could also choose metal cards, which I supposed could be justified if you’re a salesperson for a metal recycler and are very picky about who you hand them out too.