As a product, printed event tickets are made of ink and paper, then boxed up in cardboard and shipped hither and yon. Once used to manage event check-in and crowd flow, they either end up in someone’s scrapbook or in the bin. That’s not sustainable, right? The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. A lot of things factor into the sustainability equation and eco-friendly printing, which we cover in depth below. But, for now, let’s talk about the alternative.
Selling digital or electronic event tickets is more sustainable. There’s no printing, no cardboard boxes, and no shipping. Event guests are issued an e-ticket with a bar code or QR code, which they present on the screen of their device at check-in.
On the surface, this is a sustainable method of event ticketing. However, there are aspects that detract from electronic ticketing’s overall sustainability:
- You still need an efficient way to visually identify paying guests so that they can enter and exit freely. The solution here is usually printed wristbands.
- Depending on your event’s demographics, there will be a number of people who print out their e-tickets to gain admission.
Can event ticket printing be sustainable?
Yes, event ticket printing can be sustainable. By utilizing eco-friendly materials like biodegradable and recycled paper stocks, water-based and soy inks, and recycled cardboard, event ticket printing can have a reduced environmental impact. Many event ticket printing companies offer the option of recycled paper and environmentally friendly inks to minimize the environmental footprint of their tickets.
So, the answer to the sustainability question then is it depends on the materials, production, the printing provider, and the consumer (you!).
At Eventgroove, we take stewardship of the environment to heart. We’re based in Montana, a place abundant in natural beauty, biodiversity, and untamed space, and preserving it is essential. When our company was born in 1997 (then known as TicketPrinting.com), we envisioned print-on-demand done sustainably. So, we make every step of printing all our print-on-demand products (including event tickets) as green and conservation-forward as we can.
Sustainable event ticket printing
Eventgroove’s Montana production facility and offices:
- Eventgroove has donated 42% of its profits to conservation organizations since 2007.
- Eventgroove runs on 100% wind energy, meaning we don’t rely on non-renewable resources to produce our products. Additionally, our web hosting service runs on 100% hydroelectric power.
- We are a hybrid workspace, meaning that over 60% of us (outside of production staff!) work remotely.
- We have rigorous quality assurance programs to ensure minimal paper byproduct, helping us reduce paper and toner consumption. Reprints are less than 0.5% of total sales!
About print materials and waste:
- Eventgroove is FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. This certification guarantees responsible use of forest resources, including paper made from sustainable forests.
- Recycled paper. We offer the best recycled paper we can find. It’s made from 80% post-consumer-use paper and bleached without using chlorine. Even better, the quality is not a compromise and is equal to that of non-recycled paper.
- Green printing. Every order from Eventgroove is printed using EA Toner, a chemical toner prepared by emulsion aggregation (EA). EA is a chemical process used to “grow” very small, uniform particle sizes from even smaller (sub-micron) size toner components. This small size and the relative uniformity of all the particles in a particular “batch” of EA Toner is more predictable than the conventional mechanical process of pulverizing extruded plastic for toner. It is also less energy intensive to produce, and printing with it uses 45% less toner.
- Low-waste policy. We recycle everything—cardboard boxes, packaging materials, anything used in operations, paper…if we can reuse, repurpose, or rehome, we do!
How customers can close the sustainable loop
Minimize paper that goes to the landfill
- Whether you’ve purchased custom printed event tickets, posters, postcards, raffle tickets, or wristbands, actively encourage recycling after your event.
- Break down any shipping materials and recycle, or, even better, reuse!
- Place clearly marked recycling cans at your event’s exits. Throughout the event, remind guests to recycle if they aren’t planning on keeping their tickets as souvenirs.
- Once you’ve handled any bookkeeping with stubs, put them in recycling.
- If you distribute posters and flyers, gather them up and recycle.
Offer electronic ticketing and check-in
We love printed tickets—they create a physical connection between your guests and the event and act as terrific souvenirs of time well spent. However, mobile ticketing is great for customers who’d rather not opt for printed tickets, and there’s no use of paper.
Using our integrated events and fundraising platform, you and your staff can check in guests using mobile devices and a browser—no app required. Plus, we’ve partnered with Stripe Climate! Eventgroove commits 0.5% of revenue to help fight climate change and empowers organizers to do the same. To reduce your carbon footprint, all you’ll have to do is enable the option to request donations to Stripe Climate at checkout.
The downside of electronic ticketing is that event re-entry can get a little bottlenecked with everyone fishing out their phone to flash their e-ticket. Wristbands provide a quick visual identification of paying guests, but then you’re back at square one with printed material. The good news is that Tyvek wristbands are recyclable, too. Read more about how awesome Tyvek is and its maker DuPont’s forward-thinking sustainability strategy in our article How to Organize Attendees and Reduce Waste.
Learn more about Eventgroove’s commitment to sustainable printing and the environment, and check out our Montana offices here!