As we get closer to the MarketingProfs BtoB Forum, all of us speakers are going through the usual "turn in your speeches so we can make handouts" hustle. (Thanks for putting up with us, Shelley!)

I've never been a big environmentalist. Never been anti either. Just neutral.
But I'm increasingly aware of just how much crud I generate. As far as I can tell, someone comes into our house every night while we are sleeping and fills all the garbage cans with paper. The Trash Fairy? Garbage Claus? (Admittedly, a huge percentage seems to be related to substances that come out of my 4-month-old baby. She is a perfectly optimized milk-to-turd conversion engine.)
Here's where I can make a little difference ... follow along if you please.
Don't Make It - Don't Take It
1. Don't take paper. Don't let people give it to you.
* Don't accept printed marketing material. Tell them to email it to you. You don't need to lug around a bunch of brochures.
* Tell restaurants you don't need a bag to carry the already over-wrapped single sandwich you are going to eat in the next sixty seconds.
* Buy stuff with minimal packaging. Train manufacturers to use less packaging by buying things with less packaging.
2. Don't make paper.
* Don't print stuff just to file it (and then throw away 10 years from now). Just save it on the hard drive and back up often.
* Use tiny handouts instead of big brochures. This bookmark is more effective than anything I've ever printed. It's also cheaper, cooler, and 200 fit in your back pocket. Get creative, learn to tell your story in a 2x7 inch space.
* Print large documents 2 pages per sheet (or 6 per sheet for powerpoint). All laser printers do this.
* Stop printing emails. I've started seeing the following on the bottom emails I received: "Please do not print this e-mail unless absolutely necessary."
3. Large-scale situations.
* Conference producers: Stop printing handouts. Put them on a CD or memory stick instead. It's cheaper for you, easier to travel with, and nobody wants a 300 page ring binder. (Even better... put them all on SlideShare.)
* Get rid of the copy machine. Offices that don't have copy machines don't make so many copies. You think twice when have to go to Kinkos and pay for it. You can do fine printing extras on a laser printer or using a little fax/copier deal for small quantities.
4. Exceptions.
* Books. Buy lots of books. Love them, share them. Specifically, buy lots of copies of "Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking" by Andy Sernovitz.
* Poop control. Never, ever skimp on diapers. The good people at Kimberly-Clark have worked very hard to make excellent crap-control technologies, and I am deeply grateful. Of course, it may be cheaper to just wipe my daughter's ass with dollar bills ... but that sets a troubling precedent.
Resources and links:
* EPA Tip Sheet
* London Remade Tip Sheet

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image of Andy Sernovitz

Andy Sernovitz is the author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking and CEO of GasPedal, a company that teaches word of mouth marketing to brands of all sizes. His blog is called Damn, I Wish I'd Though of That.