We have to spend a good chunk of our lives working. We might as well try to make our professions fair to the planet and the people we share it with.
What I do isn’t revolutionary. I’m not trying to show off. Many of my clients are working hard to keep our planet beautiful. By writing my values here, I’m committing to honouring their investment. So here are my ten points of action.
1. Design and print go like peas and carrots.
I use Woodland Trust Office Paper. It’s chlorine free (recycled papers are bleached with chlorine to achieve that snow-white tone). It’s carbon neutral too. I purchase this in bulk to reduce the number of delivery journeys made.
2. I will always offer recycled business cards to my customers.
Many reprographers still don’t print recycled business cards. However I do, and while that I understand that recycled stock won’t have the finish that some businesses require, having the option there is important for my clients who do.
3. I use 100% renewable energy.
Good Energy have been my energy supplier for over a year, and I now won’t consider another supplier. They really walk the talk, sending my bills on recycled paper.
4. Reduce and Recycle.
Printing is part of the design process. It’s important to print to ensure that the quality of colours is what I’m intending. A document on paper can look worlds apart from a document on a screen. However, I always try to leave this until closer to the end of the design process, so less paper is wasted. Any documents which aren’t archived are shredded and recycled.
5. Buying locally.
Making business purchases locally reduces a delivery journey, and increases spending (therefore prosperity) in the local community. The majority of print projects I work on are provided by a suppliers in York and Huddersfield, my accountant is in Cottingham. My other energy supplier is the York Coffee Emporium.
6. Buying ethically.
Some purchases require manufacture abroad. I will prioritise sourcing from EU countries, and Fairtrade Certified products. While I’m aware that progress is being made in improving conditions for employees in parts of Asia, accountability is impossible.
6. Investment in women entrepreneurs.
I’m a one-woman empire, and I like to hire other talented females to help my business. I’m a member of York Women Mean Business, York’s biggest all-female networking group.
7. Greener design practises.
Avoiding full-bleed design (which reaches the edges of the paper) saves ink. Some print projects do require full-bleed for a professional finish, but it doesn’t have to be the case.
8. Software can help!
I use Ecofont. It saves ink without compromising on print quality.
9. Keep working on it.
A series of small actions by each of us is going to make a difference. There will always be more I can do, I’m committed to learning more and doing more.
10. Sharing the wealth.
I’ll keep my blog updated with anything useful about better design and business practices I come across .