5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Advertise

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Are you doing your best to have a “green office” and lessen your business’s impact on the earth? You’re not alone. Many small businesses have moved toward socially responsible, environmentally-conscious policies in their everyday activities. Consumers like to hear that buying frmo your company means investing in sustainable solutions. With that in mind, isn’t it time to extend your green values to your outreach and advertising campaigns?

Here are 5 great ideas to get your business started in marketing and advertising sustainably:

  1. Focus on online marketing. Building your social networks, email list and audience will not only save paper waste, but also help you cultivate relationships on a massive scale. Create digital items such as memes, infographics, and other highly-sharable graphics to allow your marketing materials the opportunity to go viral. Learn to maximize your return-on-investment by taking advantage of applications that centralize your social media and allow you to coordinate your messages more coherently.
  2. Use eco-friendly papers and ink on your printed materials. Many print shops now offer recycled business cards, stationary, and even brochure paper. Soy ink may be a bit more expensive, but it’s chemical-free and easy to recycle. Water-based inks are also a great option. Shop around the print shops that are available online and see what green-friendly options they offer. The possibilities are pleasantly surprising.
  3. Use CD’s, thumb drives, and QR codes to deliver large publications such as catalogs. Rather than spending a ton of money on printing, you can attack your.pdf catalog to a QR code or mail it off to prospects without printing out hundreds of pages per catalog. If you are planning an event such as a fair or trade show, make sure that Wifi is available so that interested prospects can choose to view your materials on demand via the QR code.
  4. Give away eco-friendly promotional items. If you’re a retailer, include a free grocery tote bag with your logo and website address with each purchase. If you provide business services, buy and brand cork or sustainable bamboo items with your logo, website, and contact information. If you’re a club owner or marketing an event, check out Zazzle.com to create organic cotton t-shirts that you can resell. While you’re at it, make sure that if you sell tangible goods, you select the most eco-friendly packaging available. There are many businesses that specialize in rco-friendly packaging.
  5. Offer green-friendly incentives to your customers. Eco-friendly business isn’t just about what you’re selling, but also what you give back to your local community and society at large. Offer to donate a small percentage of your revenue to an environmental nonprofit of your choosing, or, even better, contact Trees for the Future (treesforthefuture.org) and set up a program that donates a tree for each purchase of your product. Your customers will feel great about the difference they’re making by buying from your business, and you can feel great about planting trees!

These are just a few tips for making your marketing and advertising effort more eco-friendly, but they’re a great jumping off point for a comprehensive small business plan that includes sustainability in its everyday affairs. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different. Invite your employees to get together, brainstorm, and be a part of your green marketing endeavors.


write by Allison Leigh Downey

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