How Not to Create a Sustainable Brochure


This package arrived in our office today. It’s from a printing company, which says it “is committed to doing our part for the environment and to using sustainable business practices.” The booklet, Sustainability: It’s Our Future, is a pretty good primer on greening paper practices. There’s a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge, a funky pen with a bamboo outer shell, and advice to recycle, because “recycling reduces waste and can help cut business costs,” and because “Each individual does make a difference.” Thus, I should “Be a trendsetter.”

But look again at the photo (and not just because it’s a fetching still-life of my office chair).

The green sheet on the left is a sheet of adhesive-backed stickers (I folded over the corner … see the series of pink dots?). It’s not recyclable.

And the package it was mailed in (at the top) is paper over plastic bubble wrap—also not recyclable.

All of which begs the question: Shouldn’t a printer—who’s taken the trouble to create and send this in order to create positive PR—know better? Let’s just hope it’s not a trend.


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