End the Earth Day Worries – Direct Mail is Renewable!

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Do your customers complain about all the paper you’re wasting on direct mail campaigns? Or perhaps you are looking to green up your business. I can certainly understand that. It may surprise you to find out that DreamWise is run by three women with a big heart for our planet. The good news is that direct mail has a smaller footprint than you think.

Let’s start with the trees. I remember back in Elementary school my teachers were adamant about recycling paper and often made comments about wasting our precious resource of trees. While our grade school teachers were partially right (we should recycle) they probably put paper up on a sustainability pedestal that it didn’t belong on. After all, trees are renewable and in the United States our forests are growing. Here’s just a few useful facts:

The forest products industry plants more than 1.7 million trees per day! For every tree that is harvested, several more are planted. Paper isn’t causing deforestation. The vast majority of deforestation in the United States is caused by developers and new building developments. Despite this deforestation, America regularly posts an annual gain in the total forest cover due to planting by the forest products industry.

For every ton of wood a forest produces, it removes 1.47 tons of carbon dioxide from the air and replaces it with 1.07 tons of oxygen. Amazingly, trees hold on to their carbon dioxide, even after manufacturing, printing, distribution, and even disposal! In other words, our paper is holding carbon dioxide. The EPA estimates that 61.1 million tons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be floating in the atmosphere is sequestered in paper and other wood products sitting in landfills. However, greenhouse gases are released as the paper degrades in landfills which is just another reason why recycling is so important.

But what about the printing process? Aren’t those inks just toxic chemicals? Well most ink does come from petroleum, just like our gasoline. This is not renewable and promotes global warming. However, many companies, including DreamWise now used soy based inks and toners, which are renewable and don’t impact the environment in the same way.

The other thing that we need to keep in mind is that other types of marketing are also wasteful. For example, each year spam email uses 33 billion kilowatt hours which is the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions of 3.1 million cars using 2 billion gallons of gasoline. The reality is, every form of marketing consumes resources and is unsustainable.

If you are concerned about sustainability in your direct mailings be sure to:

1) Print on recycled paper.
2) Maintain your list and target your direct mail so you don’t send more pieces than necessary.
3) Ask the printer and mailer if they are using water-soluble inks and toners.

DreamWise is committed to minimizing our impact on the environment. We can be reached at 303-858-1025 or use the Request a Consultation form in the right-hand column of this page.


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