Eco-Friendly Options for Custom Signage

Eco-Friendly Options for Custom Signage
Eco-Friendly Options for Custom Signage

Businesses must consider sustainability in every choice they make, and signage presents the perfect opportunity to do so. From the sign's materials to printing inks, businesses have ample chances to create eco-friendly custom signs that increase brand awareness and provide vital information. Use the materials and considerations in this guide to make custom commercial signage for your company.

Sustainability is a priority we should all strive for as climate emergencies like wildfires, hurricanes, and floods increase every year. Businesses must consider sustainability in every choice they make, and signage presents the perfect opportunity to do so. From the sign's materials to printing inks, businesses have ample chances to create eco-friendly custom signs that increase brand awareness and provide vital information.

Use the materials and considerations in this guide to make custom commercial signage for your company.

Benefits of Eco-Friendly Signage

Besides having a smaller carbon footprint, eco-friendly signage provides multiple benefits to businesses.

  • Better brand image: Customers will see that you prioritize sustainability when you create environmentally minded signs for your business, creating a positive perception of your brand and increasing loyalty. Embracing eco-friendly signage can set your business apart by showcasing your forward-thinking practices.
  • Regulatory compliance: Businesses must comply with federal and state laws to reduce their environmental impact. Choosing greener products and manufacturers for your signage will help you stay legally compliant.
  • Appeal to eco-conscious customers: Many consumers consider sustainability in their purchases and which businesses they support. You can attract new customers by adopting eco-friendly practices in all facets of your business.
  • Affordability: Long-lasting materials and energy-efficient production methods can benefit your bottom line over time.
  • Improved indoor air quality: Using nontoxic materials reduces the pollutants that circulate through indoor air.
  • Employee engagement: Involving your team in your sustainability efforts can boost morale and foster a sense of environmental responsibility within your organization.
  • Green certification: Some businesses try to earn specific environmental ratings for their projects, and they must work with other green-minded companies to reach this goal. By using eco-friendly materials throughout every aspect of your business, you can achieve green certification and partner with these eco-friendly clients.

Which Signage Materials Should You Choose?

For a long time, people have made signage from plastics like polyvinyl chloride, vinyl, and acrylic. PVC plastic is incredibly damaging to the environment due to its toxic makeup, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. Vinyl and acrylic are slightly better options because they're recyclable, but their production is still harmful.

Though plastic is the most common signage material, you can choose more sustainable options to decrease your business's carbon footprint. Below are five environmentally friendly materials to consider for your next signage project.

1. Wood

Wood is a traditional signage option that offers the following benefits.

  • Multiple uses: Wood is a natural material that is incredibly versatile in signage applications.
  • Sustainable: While there are concerns about the environmental impact of deforestation, you can choose wood from sustainable sources to reduce this damage. An easy way to identify sustainably sourced wood is to look for Forest Stewardship Council certification, which indicates the manufacturer's support of responsible forestry.
  • Reduced waste: Repurposing wood salvaged from other structures or uses is the most sustainable option, keeping it out of landfills. If reclaimed wood doesn't suit your brand, choose eco-friendly species such as oak, pine, or birch.

2. Bamboo

Bamboo is another natural signage material that is one of the most sustainable options.

  • Less environmental impact: Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that farmers can repeatedly harvest without destroying the plant.
  • Help global warming: Bamboo groves also combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Biodegradable: It consumes less water than other crops and is biodegradable, meaning it will break down naturally at the end of its life cycle.
  • Durable: Besides its positive environmental impact, bamboo is one of the hardiest plants. You can use treated bamboo planks, paper, beams, sheets, and fabrics for indoor and outdoor signage that can last for decades.

3. Corrugated Cardboard

The packaging industry has widely accepted cardboard as a sustainable material, but businesses in other sectors can use it to make eco-friendly signs. In particular, corrugated cardboard — with multiple layers of wavy cardboard between flat outer layers — is a sturdy option that offers the following benefits.

  • Affordable: Cardboard is an inexpensive material that can help you lower your signage costs.
  • Temporary use: Corrugated cardboard signs are perfect for indoor use and temporary signage requirements. They're lightweight and quick to create. You can also use this material for outdoor signs, but it may not hold up well in wet weather.
  • Sustainable: Corrugated cardboard is sustainable as it is 100% recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable. Most manufacturers create corrugated cardboard from recycled cardboard and paper, creating a sustainable closed-loop life cycle with limited waste. Look for the FSC certification when choosing cardboard for signage.

Corrugated Cardboard is Sustainable

4. Aluminum

Aluminum is another eco-friendly signage material with several advantages.

  • Recyclable: Aluminum has a closed-loop life cycle. This durable and lightweight metal is one of the world's most recyclable materials. It can repeatedly melt and reform without losing quality or strength.
  • Weather-resistant: Aluminum is an excellent choice for outdoor signs because it resists water and corrosion, helping signs last longer even through severe weather.
  • Customizable: Aluminum is highly customizable. You can polish, brush, or powder-coat it to suit your design.

5. Polypropylene

Sometimes, you need to use plastic for a sign or wall covering. If this is the case for your project, consider polypropylene instead of PVC to reap the following benefits.

  • Versatile: PP is durable, lightweight, waterproof, flexible, and inexpensive, making it suitable for multiple signage applications.
  • More eco-friendly: While PP is non-biodegradable like all plastics and produces greenhouse gasses during production, it's still a more eco-friendly option. You can recycle PP multiple times, and it requires less energy and resources to create.
  • Multiple options: PP comes in various forms. A popular signage material made of polypropylene is olefin, a groundbreaking PVC-free alternative to traditional vinyl. You can choose PP made from post-consumer waste to decrease your signage's environmental impact.

Other Sustainable Signage Considerations

Besides choosing green materials, you can make further decisions to increase your signage's sustainability. 

One option is to partner with a nearby manufacturer to reduce transportation pollution. You can also choose a printer that uses environmentally friendly vegetable-based or water-based inks. These inks use renewable resources, do not contain petroleum, and release fewer harmful volatile organic compounds. Soy- and algae-based inks are exceptionally eco-friendly choices.

Create Environmentally Friendly Signs

Create Environmentally Friendly Signs With Duncan-Parnell

Duncan-Parnell is a family-owned business with over 75 years of experience designing and printing stunning customized signs for businesses. Our customers are our priority, and we have stores in 18 locations across the Southeastern United States you can visit for unparalleled service. You can also browse examples of our outstanding work to see our dedication to quality signage in action.

We've got you covered if you need fence wraps, construction site signage, ADA signs, grand opening banners, window graphics, and more. We also offer eco-friendly signage solutions and handle everything from design and printing to project management and installation. When you choose us, you know your project is in capable hands.

When you're ready to start, call us at 888-846-7773 or submit a contact form online to speak with our team.

Related Posts
  1. Charlotte Brewery Uses Signage to Bring Brand to Life Charlotte Brewery Uses Signage to Bring Brand to Life
  2. Building Brands Through Creative Signage Building Brands Through Creative Signage For nearly a decade, Duncan-Parnell has worked with The Splinter Group to help them bring their client's brands to life through creative signs and graphics.
  3. Signage Trends and Emerging Technologies in 2024 Signage Trends and Emerging Technologies in 2024 Integrating new trends in your signage is an effective way to showcase your business as a market leader. Whether you're interested in sustainable signs or leveraging emerging signage technologies, there are some exciting trends to implement over the
Back to Blog