Sustainability is a mature-but-evolving practice within the food and textile industries. Still, all industries should understand that consumer and market demand reflects their desire to see businesses as aware and actively working toward environmental-friendly solutions. What is one way you can widen your business network while limiting your environmental footprint? The answer is eco-friendly business cards.

Business cards tell a story, your story. They communicate who you are personally and professionally, and they also represent your business’ stance on the environment. You may not consider your business as relevant to sustainability and limiting your environmental footprint, especially if you provide services, but short-sighted. Today’s consumers care about issues and use their dollars to purchase goods and services from companies they view as supporting the same causes. There are legitimate reasons why you should consider green business cards. 

Why You Should Go Green

1. Eco-friendly business cards make an actual difference. At the beginning of the recycling trend, using recycled paper products wasn’t always cost-effective. Today, processes are streamlined, and products are improved. The total cost of producing recycled paper is both environmentally and economically beneficial. The paper recycling process uses significantly less water than producing new, and less water use produces fewer water pollutants. 

2. The practice has moved from trend to standard. More than 65 percent of individuals and businesses in the US recycled paper in 2017. The process moved from trend to common practice a while back. If you think that recycled paper products aren’t a big deal, people don’t care, or that its use is insignificant, the data shows otherwise. The practice makes sense, is cost-effective, and consumers recognize and appreciate it. 

3. The quality of recycled paper products has vastly improved. You don’t have to forsake quality for environmental morality. Green business cards can still look and feel professional and high-quality. Many recycled paper products are indistinguishable from new ones. Source material and processing constantly achieve innovation and technological advancements that yield incredible, high-quality results.

What To Do With Your Old Business Cards

If you’re like most people, you still have multiple versions of business cards from years past. Here are a couple of ideas for how to remain environmentally conscious by reusing your old business cards. 

1. Continue to use them. You may not like writing your updated contact number on an old business card but focus on the “why” behind it. You’re simply trying to limit your environmental footprint by making full use of the resources you use, and you shouldn’t worry about communicating that to people. It’s not unprofessional; it’s environmentally conscious.

2. Create a unique gift. Most people have leftover versions of business cards, meaning they have some leftovers from multiple past orders that have changed over time. Take old iterations of business cards and turn them into a collage, a scrapbook, or a timeline that visually illustrates the trajectory of your spouse’s career path. It’s a great nostalgia gift that can be placed in an office as a keepsake and conversation starter. It’s also personal and original, which beats the heck out of a desk set for the professional in your life. 

3. Repurpose them for marketing. Get your creative juices flowing and have fun with your old business cards. Turn them into coasters for clients to use or fill a fishbowl with them and use them in a prize give-a-way or a drawing. If you work in a creative role, the imaginative uses you come up with will go even further with your prospects. 

Quality Recycled Paper Sources

Eco-Friendly business cards and green business cards have been gaining in popularity for quite some time. Some materials other than tree paper can be recycled more and are more durable. There are a variety of sustainable materials for eco-friendly business cards from which to choose. Here are four options.


Cotton is the ubiquitous material used in textiles throughout the world. Did you know that manufacturing clothing produces waste in terms of leftover material? That extra cotton can be retrieved and used to make business cards. You may be surprised by how luxurious cotton business cards can be with their natural texture and bright white color. Further, cotton business cards can still be recycled, which stretches the material’s length and use. 

Kraft paper 

Kraft paper allows you to go creatively green to achieve a distinct look with a minimalist feel. Kraft paper comes in square or rounded corners can be printed with full color on one or both sides, and can even be printed on the thick stock in quantities from 50,000-100,000. The rustic texture is more significant than cotton, and the paper can be easily written on with ink. 

Plantable Business Cards 

Plantable business cards have an additional cool factor unique to the rest of the sustainable materials. They make for great conversation, and they help differentiate you from your competition. There is no waste with plantable business cards because of the biodegradable post-consumer materials used to make it. The paper is embedded with seeds, and it can literally be planted in a pot of soil that blooms into whatever plant the seedlings are.


Hemp has been around for thousands of years and in use in many different products over time. Hemp is strong and has been used to make rope, clothing, and even the United States Constitution. Hemp is free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that causes a euphoric feeling of “high.” States vary in their legislative regulations over cannabis, but even in states where cannabis is illegal, they legalize hemp.  

Hemp-based eco-friendly business cards are high-quality and durable. They are THC-and-odor-free, and they are incredibly popular. Additionally, hemp products are processed sustainably, and the stock is thick and sturdy. 

The Benefits of Green Marketing Materials and Business Cards

Deforestation has been an issue for years now. Re-imagining other materials that are more sustainable is the perfect way to bridge the gap. First, millions of forest acres are saved using hemp and other materials that don’t require near as much land as tree paper. Second, tree paper can be recycled up to three times, but other materials can be recycled twice as much as that. With cotton, the scraps are used from textiles to create paper products, and those paper products can be recycled themselves. Third, sustainable materials typically require fewer toxic substances to produce, which is more environmentally friendly. Finally, many of the materials referenced here have varying certifications that certify their eco-friendly production. 

Get Custom Quotes, Design Service & More at RushFlyers!

Social responsibility is just that: a responsibility. Leveraging sustainable materials for your eco-friendly business cards is an easy way to interject social responsibility into your business model. If you have questions on sustainable materials or if you would like assistance in the design phase of your business card, contact us for assistance. You can also obtain a quote and view our other products. At Rush Flyers, our goal is to provide you with quality marketing products that serve you well, and the environment, too.

Image credit: Shutterstock/Anna Kutukova