‘Tis the Season for All Things Paper and Packaging – Let’s Use it Year-Round to Tell Our Best Story
Like many of you, I am getting ready for Christmas, and an important part of my tradition is sending a family card. It has taken many shapes and forms over the years, from a card with pictures of my children in their Christmas finest, to more elaborate letters mimicking hot ad campaigns (like the milk mustache campaign) or creating a family version of an “In-Out” list.
In recent years I have opted for more polished cards, investing in beautiful, designed preprinted self-folding cards and oversized postcards. Every Christmas my husband creates and distributes a scrapbook documenting our annual summer trip with his entire family. We do all of this because it is our way of chronicling how our family has grown and how our roles are changing.
We tend to get fewer of these kinds of holiday notes with every passing year and it makes me sad because these letters are a snapshot in time complete with a narrative that we think we will remember until we don’t.
Sadly, it’s not just holiday cards that are going by the wayside. It’s a catalog of college course listings you want to pour over with your soon-to-be undergraduate. It’s a glossy car brochure as you contemplate buying your first brand new car. In Covid world, it’s restaurant menus. And it’s corporate and sustainability reports from our companies that are more often than not available online only. And I wonder why? We proudly display these reports on our magazine racks for all who visit our offices to see. Who, if not us, will invest in paper as a critical part of our story and storytelling?
Over the weeks and months ahead, we will celebrate our checkoff companies with holiday cards and a Campaign Impact Report. For consumers, we have a printed sustainable holiday guide, also available online, to help them revel in the joy of the season and to do so sustainably with the help of paper and packaging. Sure, we use digital communications as part of our mix, and it always has its place. But when we want to say something with impact, it will always come on paper because if not us then who? Why? Because it works. And it is better for our forests.