Business meetings, conferences, networking events, social gatherings, etc., all of these events have one thing in common – the exchange of business cards among professionals. Though we are living in a digital world with smartphones, laptops and tablets, the exchange of business cards is still a universal ritual in the corporate world. They make it easy for people to connect as they carry essential contact information, however 88 percent of business cards handed out will be thrown out in less than a week. With this in mind, we need to make eco-friendly choices at the time of purchase as well as look for ideas to recycle or upcycle in order to help reduce the impact on the environment.
You can make a start with getting business cards printed on recycled paper – be inspired by these five eco-friendly options. You can also hold back on simply throwing out collected or expired cards even if the stack of cards has piled up to an unbearable level on your desk or in your favorite junk drawer. Give them a second chance with one of the following cool and useful recycling and upcycling ideas:
- Make your own chalkboard tags: Apply a coat of chalkboard paint to the business cards and let it dry overnight. Punching a hole in the side will turn the old unwanted business card into a stylish hanging label or even gift tag. It makes a neat label for flowers and herbs in your garden or kitchen when attached to a small stick or a toothpick. Be inspired by examples here.
- Convert old cards to reusable note cards: Laminate the cards, add a magnet (if you are using magnet board) to one of the sides and add them to your organizational board. Using a dry erase pen to take notes, write down tasks or other reminders, allows you to reuse the cards as often as you wish.
- Turn trash into treasured decoration: Get creative and create a piece of decoration made from old business cards for the next office party or a colleague’s birthday. Surprise your team member at their next birthday with a colorful, personalised birthday banner. Get ideas for the design here.
- Take it to the next level: If you have more time on your hands, you may want to consider making your own homemade paper from old cards teared into little pieces. You can find instructions here.
There are many ways to extend the lifespan of a business card, choose an option that is most useful for you.