Categories: Direct Mail Production
A lot of organizations have decided to switch to email in an effort to save money and to protect the environment, but email is not necessarily a good substitute for direct mail. It can be very effective when used in conjunction with direct mail; however, few organizations have been able to successfully replace all of their direct mail appeals with electronic ones.
And what about the environmental impact of email versus direct mail? The primary raw material in paper is renewable. The forestry industry plants more than 1.7 million trees in the United States every day. There are 12 million more acres of forests in the United States today than there were in 1987. And nearly 60% of all paper in this country is recycled.
This quote from International Paper removes many of the misconceptions about the environmental impact of direct mail: “Have you heard someone suggest that by using less paper, you can ‘save a tree’? The fact is, that when the demand for paper declines, tree farming also declines, taking all of the important ecologic impacts like clean air and water and wildlife habitat right along with it … The reality is that decreasing paper use may well cause a forest somewhere to be replaced by development.”
Computers, on the other hand, are made up of dozens of minerals and metals and include a tremendous amount of plastics. The lifespan of a computer is short, and only about 18% of electronics are recycled which makes electronics one of the fastest growing sources of waste in the world today.
Mix it up – combining printed direct mail with electronic messaging improves the success of BOTH and may be the most cost-effective and environmentally sound approach to your fundraising campaigns.
For more information on "going green" with your direct mail, download the free resource, Green Options for Direct Mail.