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With Earth Day having just passed, now is the time for businesses to maintain focus on environmentally friendly practices so that next year they can show measurable improvement, rather than only focusing on being green for one month every year.

Marketing can be a pretty wasteful segment of any business. Drafts of posters are made, nixed, and remade. The unaccepted versions are tossed to the side, forgotten. When it comes to trade shows, it can be easy to think only of what is convenient here and now, resulting in boxes and other transport materials to only be used once and then thrown away. Below are some actionable ways your marketing department can reduce its carbon footprint.

Print Only When Necessary

It can be easy to print off a million proof copies of an advertisement, especially materials that will be circulated at a conference or trade show. Make a commitment to view proof copies digitally and only print final versions. With certain graphics, it may be necessary to print samples to make sure the colors translate well, but you can still commit to getting the document as finalized as possible before printing.

When it comes to printing materials for trade shows and conferences, think about whether having a physical copy will benefit the potential customer and your brand. Will anyone read the material you’re providing? Is there a better way to present it? Instead of printing off slips for mailing lists and contest entries, keep a tablet or computer at your booth. Having people enter their own information will save your team work and also ensure accuracy. It’s also a smoother experience for the use, as long as there are no technical difficulties.

Use Sustainable Materials

Sometimes it’s necessary to print things. When this is the case, you can make sure that your company is using sustainable materials. Consider what large format printer Megaprint did and switch to soy ink, and use cartridges that can be sent back to the manufacturer and refiled. Soy ink is Eco-solvent, making it safer for the environment than synthetic inks.

Don’t Throw Things Away

Tradeshow set up and take down can result in a lot of waste. Packaging for promo materials is often discarded without a second thought. Banners and other booth décor can get torn up and thrown out as well. You can reduce your trade show waste by investing in banners made of fabric or other durable materials that can be reused. When marketing items do reach the end of their lifespan, consider using them around the office to create a historical record of marketing materials you’ve used.

When it comes to packaging, keep boxes around for future use, or consider posting them in local classifieds. People are always looking for moving boxes! If your booth includes large materials like temporary walls, a stage, or other bulky items, be sure to dispose of them properly when they are no longer useful. Appliance recycling companies can dispose of large items properly, or find new homes for them.


About the author: Jeriann Watkins is a blogger and small business owner in Boise, Idaho. Her products are made of recycled materials such as wine and liquor bottles, scrabble board   game tiles, and wine corks. Check out her blog at dairyairhead.com. Tweet Jeriann here.


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