Green Business Cards – Some Creative Inspiration.

business card handoffDespite 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, 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”. is a great place to start, but your local printing shop probably has options.
alfalfa-card.jpgIf 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.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

5 responses

  1. Great suggestions! I recently used Greener Printer to make cards, and they were awesome. Called me when there was some suggested alterations to do, did them for me, and delivered the card 4 days earlier then anticipated. And the cards are very sturdy, great quality. Definitely recommended.

  2. Another option is a service like TextID–a recently launched novel way to help people communicate with customers, colleagues and friends – WITHOUT paper. TextID allows users to purchase unique text “domains”, such as their names or businesses that allows them to pass along contact information and messages quickly and conveniently. They can give out their ID, lawn care or Angie for example, and the recipient texts that name to 555411. In just a few moments, they will receive a text back to their phones with contact information and the message the TextID member has chosen, which can also include a pdf file or brochure.
    Obviously the new service has a wide range of applications, from personal to commercial. Whether for realtors looking to get pricing and home information into a potential buyer’s hand while they are out looking for a home, a hip teacher providing up-to-date assignment and test information, a restaurant passing on weekly specials, a club promoter pushing the weekend band, or someone just looking to make the dating scene a bit easier, Text ID works great for a variety of users.
    Check it out at

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