Less Printing and a Smaller Footprint
By nature, graphic design is a paper-intensive business. Our projects can generate flurries of drafts and mockups. But Creative Zumo is moving over to electronic versions whenever possible. We prefer e-mailing PDFs over faxing hard copies. We have embraced digital signatures and online invoicing. The use of paper cannot entirely be avoided, but our recycle bin runneth over, while our trash can fills up very slowly.
The two principles of Creative Zumo live close to the office for short commute times, and we frequently walk or bike to work. The office itself, called Snug Workspace, is a shared studio that pools resources among several professionals. This set-up creates a smaller office footprint. And Snug itself was lovingly renovated, “recycled” so to speak, from the remains of an old bar, while its doors and windows were reclaimed from salvage yards. Additionally, the double-hung windows let in ample natural light and are opened in nice weather to save on energy costs. (Extra workstations at Snug have become available.)
Our Clients Contribute
Part of graphic design going green entails helping clients be green on their end. In order to cut down on waste, we assist clients in figuring out goals and target audiences as concretely as possible when first beginning a project. Especially for print pieces, we like to encourage the smart use of resources. Choosing to print on paper with high post-consumer content completes the recycling chain, and it tends to cost only a few pennies more than non-recycled choices. We ask clients to make sure mailing lists are up to date and to print only what is needed. (Boxes of extra brochures stored under desks don’t benefit anyone.) Meanwhile, digital print-on-demand technology makes small print runs practical. On a more conceptual level, Creative Zumo likes to brainstorm with clients about how a print piece can serve a variety of organizational functions and maintain a long shelf life. Transferring some pieces to the digital realm—websites, e-mail blasts, and downloadable PDFs—means we can frequently avoid paper altogether.
Many of these steps may seem minor, but collectively, green actions add up. If they’re easy and affordable, why not do them?