In today’s age of technology, where everything is digitalized I am quite astonished that we are still clinging to the conventional printed business cards as a marketing tool. Thanks to the emerging businesses that provide services to build Digital Business cards, we could hope for a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. The virtual business cards come with tons of advantages over traditional cards, they are easy to share, store, and appealing as one could customize them to their preference with videos and calendar application links, etc. that could leave a lasting impression. The icing on the cake is that it comes with a rare combination of cost-effectiveness and sustainability. The adverse impact of paper business cards can come from 3 stages – the manufacture of the paper, the printing process, and the paper waste.
To manufacture paper, we first take down a huge quantity of trees to get the wood and the process of converting the pulp into paper involves using machinery that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As per a study, for every ton of paper produced, 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide goes back into the atmosphere. This affects the ozone layer and the availability of greenhouse gases. The process of making paper is highly resource-intensive and polluting of all the manufacturing industries. It involves a huge quantity of water usage, approximately somewhere between 300 to 325 liters of water is required to make a Kilogram of paper. Adding to this, the chemicals used in the bleaching process impact the groundwater level significantly. Did you know that 90-100 billion business cards are printed every year globally that is costing us about 6 million trees? And the appalling fact is that 88% of these printed cards are thrown out within a week which doesn’t solve any purpose and further adds to pollution and negative impact on our ecology.
The printing process also has a negative environmental impact affecting air, water, and land. The inks and solvents that are used to imprint the design on the paper may be Hazardous Air pollutants or Volatile Organic Compounds. And paper business cards are mostly hard to be recycled and end up in a landfill, as it is hard to manually separate them from other things in a waste recycling plant due to their small size. Paper in a landfill releases methane gas that is 20 times more effective as a greenhouse gas when compared to Carbon dioxide.
Mankind has already started to pay a heavy price for the unbridled exploitation of nature and its resources and it is high time the business practices are structured around sustainability and ecological viability. In many other industries like Textiles and Food, sustainable products are comparatively expensive which is a major deterrent for consumers. Fortunately, going digital with business cards will prove extremely cost-effective for the business along with a zillion other benefits like efficiency and ease of access. So let us bid adieu to the printed business cards and embrace the digitalization with both our hands!