Sunday, April 24, 2011

Green Ideas continued...

Having a passion for Graphic Design and the Environment, I could not resist spending more time on this vital issue. Not only can these tips apply to Graphic Design Studios and Agencies, but most business could adapt at least one of these tips.
1) Direct Recycling. When I was scanning the internet for things that interest me I came across They recommended taking a cereal box (cereal removed, preferably eaten), and printing on the interior. Use it for announcements or even business cards. Take the middle man out of recycling and do it yourself! The cereal box exterior can make an interesting graphic statement on the back of your print. Chipboard for food boxes is thin enough to go through most printers. Make sure you limit yourself to dark inks, because lighter colors won’t show up. If you do want to use light or vibrate colors, you can screen print any color over chipboard. I did that with some sketchbooks I made for myself. Colorful monoprints on recycled chipboard, and leftover lined and graph papers for the interior makes great sketch books. I made them for my bridal shower and my cousins loved them. This makes quite the GREEN statement.
2) Multifunctional designs are not only a greener option, but the increase the time a customer spends with your mailer or product. This Increases the chances that they will purchase more with your company, because they are thinking more about you.
3) Smaller can be better?  Your client originally wanted a large postcard? Well help them save money and give yourself a challenge to work within a smaller space.  Anything you can do to reduce paper size. It does not always have to be smaller is better:  finding out what press sheet size your printer is using and then working within those restraints to reduce waste can be better than going small as possible.
4) Changing the lights. We have to have lights in our offices right? Switch to fluorescent or compact fluorescent to save electricity. If you want to save electricity and the dangerous mercury that can be found in CFLs, switch to LEDs. LEDS take very little energy to use, and do not contain any mercury. They are also very small, which means less materials had to go into making them. Prices and Light quality is always changing for both CFLs and LEDs. Make sure you use proper disposal of any type of light, because mercury can leak into the environment.  Do not throw conventional lights or CFLs into the trash!
5) Work from home. Many graphic designers are freelance, and work from home. If you are like me and don’t have that option, ask your boss about one day a week where you can telecommute. Not every boss will go for it, but if you can get one day where you are not driving your car to and from work the more you save the environment for your car exhaust and traffic congestion. It also takes you out of the mundane of everyday being in the same location to do your work. If you are going to work from home, you should have a home office area, where you can focus on the task-at-hand and not goof off.
There are many possibilities for going green. Green does not mean that our designs are recycled and old hat, but working within limits can actually make a better design. Making your design work with green is the start of a beautiful harmony of Graphic Design and sustainability. Green Note: if you are leaving a room for more than 7 seconds, turn off the light.

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