How Print on Demand Reduces Environmental Impact

There is no denying that art is beautiful. It has the power to take your breath away, leaving lasting imprints on its viewers’ minds. However, the environmental impact that printed art has is anything but beautiful. Beginning with timber and ending with tons of printed art, the sheer amount of paper usage and deforestation is shocking. 

To ensure a greener future, millions are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. While digital printing has lessened our carbon footprint, there are more ways to help. 

One way is by reducing the overall production of paper. Although many believe that turning to digital art is the answer, this isn’t entirely true. In the long run, going paperless could do more harm to our earth. Instead, artists are beginning to use a method of printing called “print on demand.” This allows them to print their artwork while lessening their environmental footprint.

What Is Print-on-Demand?

Print-on-demand art is exactly what it sounds like – art that is printed when it’s demanded. We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” This method has significantly cut down on wasted paper, ink, and materials for businesses around the world. Print on demand allows artists to print only the amount needed, no more and no less.

Why Use Print on Demand?

Think about the traditional model of selling prints. Artists create an original piece, send it in for printing, and wait for the masses to buy their hundreds of prints. 

For some artists, their prints sell out at a moment’s notice. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Artists may have hundreds of unsold inventory left sitting around, abandoned until they meet their untimely end at one of the many landfills around the country. 

Print on Demand offers a much more sustainable way for artists to sell their artwork while lowering their environmental impact. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say an artist has created a few digital prints or photographs that they would like to sell. Instead of printing loads of copies in hopes that it will sell, they may partner with an online marketplace that uses the print-on-demand model. 

If an artist would like an idea of how their work will appear when printed, they can simply order one or two copies as a model. When a customer decides to put in an order for a piece of art, their item is made to order. The print on demand model eliminates the act of making products that haven’t been presold. The times of overprinting “just in case” are a thing of the past, benefiting both the artist and the environment.

How Print on Demand Art Helps The Environment

  1. Decreases Waste: Typical printing practices result in large amounts of paper heading to the landfill. In 2018, the American Forest & Paper Association reported that landfills across the nation received over 17 million tons of municipal solid waste paper and cardboard. Another study revealed that it takes 10 times more energy to produce one sheet of paper than to print on it. With these figures in mind, it’s all too easy to see why changes need to be made. Thankfully, print-on-demand companies are committed to minimizing waste across the board. Water, ink, and paper waste are minimized by only printed what is needed. 
  2. Saves Money: Print on demand lowers costs business costs significantly. Any products created on-demand are immediately shipped out to the buyer. Your customer gets a quick turnaround for their products, and there are no extra items left behind that end up going to the landfill. 
  3. Removes Need For Storage or Warehouse: To get wholesale prices for materials, artists have to buy them in bulk. This would force them to search for an area where they could both house and produce their work. Since you’re not physically holding large amounts of inventory, print on demand eliminates the need for storage or warehouse space. This makes it much easier for you to swap products in or out. It also removes the need to power an external space and lessens the amount of energy that would be used to safely store your art.
  4. Print on Demand Companies are Committed to Sustainability: While these companies engage in printing on demand, they don’t stop there. While producing limited quantities of products, they look for the most eco-friendly options for the products that they produce. For example, they will offer buyers recyclable materials and encourage recycling throughout the company. Another way is to use paper that has been sourced from a chain of vendors that are all committed to using sustainable practices. Programs such as the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative are two groups that can help ensure the wood is coming from a sustainably managed forest. 

Sell Your Art Sustainably on Art For Your Cause

Art For Your Cause makes good use of this sustainable practice. Artists are free to promote their work through a unique sales channel and can showcase their work on our unique consumer goods. We make it easy for your to share your work through a unique link. You can share this link with your friends, family, and social media channels. You might even consider writing up a blog post to encourage your readers to purchase art that is made sustainably. 

We handle the printing, shipping, marketing, and customer service aspects of the order. This frees you up to do what you love most – make more art! Most importantly, because we offer print-on-demand products, artists can rest assured that they are playing their part in reducing both energy consumption and paper waste. 

Are you looking to help your community? A percentage of every purchase goes to a cause that both you and your buyers can feel good about. AFYC is happy to give all our artists a way to give back without giving up their valuable artwork. Get started today by signing up as an artist

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