There is a lot being said these days about the negative effects that paper and direct mail have on our environment. But let’s take a closer look at the facts rather than the rhetoric: There aren’t many industries that are genuinely sustainable. However, the paper industry is inherently sustainable. The paper and forest industry replenishes more than it takes and ensures the sustainability of our forests by planting 1.7 million trees every single day – that is more than 3 times what is harvested.
Paper is biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Nearly 60% of all paper in the U.S. is recycled and more than 63% of the fiber used to make new paper comes from recycled sources. Compare those numbers to the recycling of electronics: Only 18% of all electronic devices are currently recycled. More than 2 million tons of electronic devices were disposed of in U.S. landfills in 2008. Computers and other electronics don’t grow on trees.
Direct Connection is committed to environmental responsibility and minimizing our impact on the environment. Here are some of the things we are doing now:
- We use soy based inks for offset printing.
- We offer a wide variety of recycled paper for printing and encourage its use.
- We stress the need to read and recycle items that we print and mail.
- We deliver mail to our local SCF and BMC post offices to minimize postal transportation of our mailings; thus minimizing postal vehicle emissions.
- The printed material that we mail is almost all recyclable.
- The paper we use to print on is a renewable and recyclable resource.
- We offer Eco-Envelopes which serve as both outgoing and reply envelopes, thus eliminating the need to include a separate reply envelope in your mail package.
- We offer window envelopes that use Envirosafe window film.
- We assist our clients in refining their mailing lists so that they mail only to people who are likely to have an interest in the mail piece.
- We recycle and reuse our waste paper, cardboard, wood pallets, and laser-toner cartridges.
- Our printing prepress system is a modern computer-to-plate system that uses no film and uses no chemicals when creating color proofs and when creating printing plates.
- All chemicals used in our print production process are compliant with all South Coast Air Quality Management regulations.
- We recycle our used inks, printing plates, and press-room chemicals.
- Many of our commonly used house-stock papers are either recycled, SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative) certified, or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.
- We update our client’s mailing lists to avoid sending mail that is undeliverable.
- We analyze our client’s mailing lists for duplicate addresses, so we can avoid sending multiple copies of the same mail piece to the same person.
- We provide our clients with additional mailing list hygiene services to avoid mailing to deceased people, people who have signed up for the DMA’s Do Not Mail list, or people at prison addresses
- We assist our clients in refining their mailing lists so that they mail only to people who are likely to have an interest in their mail piece.
- We have upgraded all of our building’s lighting to use modern ballasts which cut energy usage.
Some of the steps we take to protect the environment cost us a little bit more money, but in the long run, we believe the investment in the well-being of Mother Earth is well worth the cost!
This information is also available in a printable environmental newsletter for your use.