Vegan Friendly Ink: Printing That Doesn’t Cost the Earth


Did you know that vegan friendly inks help the environment in more ways than one? From including no animal derivatives, to enabling greener creative projects, it’s a great step into an eco-friendlier lifestyle. Our seed cards are part of this movement! Not only do they look amazing, if we say so ourselves, but they are completely natural, even down to the ink! By supporting us, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too! So, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

image of vegan friendly card in an eco friendly setting

There Are Beetles in Your Cartridges…

Now, when you hear vegan friendly ink, you might be thinking ‘Surely ink doesn’t have animal products in it?’ Well, unfortunately most do. Modern mass market inks are generally petroleum oil based, they also contain glycerine from animal fat, bone chars and gelatine to help bind the ink. Some inks even contain beetle shellac (you guessed it, crushed beetles), to give it colour. Gross right? Many people buy standard printing ink without realising what is in their ink – ever wondered why you often can’t find ink ingredients on the back of a cartridge pack? This is probably why. Take a look now, you’ll see what we mean.

The Eco-Problem with Standard Ink

Standard ink also contains some other nasties, depending on the type of printer you use. Toner printing is a powder-based print system that uses coloured toners. In our industry, they print and seal the image on to a card. There’s no denying that it looks lovely, but that powder is about as lovely as landfill! It’s primarily made from carbon and micro granules of plastic, which means the ink can’t break down naturally when you’re finished with the card. Frustrating. At The Seed Card Company, we knew that using this ink was not an option for us. Not only are we a zero-plastic company, but the printer fuser unit runs extremely hot to seal the ink. The little seeds in our cards can’t cope with that kind of heat, they would all have quite the tan!

Alongside the nasty chemical components posing serious environmental issues, many ink and toner cartridges are made from non-biodegradable plastic. This is not helpful to our poor planet. Throwing cartridges away will ultimately pollute the soil and water when they reach the landfill. It’s important that if you do buy standard cartridges that you recycle them properly, using a specialised site.

image vegan friendly ink cards that you can colour in.

The Vegan Ink Alternative

That’s a lot to take in, right? Who knew that certain inks had such a detrimental impact on the environment? Thankfully, vegan friendly ink is here to help us out. Vegan ink uses the has no volatile organic compounds in the mix. Natural dye made from plants and vegetables are used instead! These dyes are the same ones that are often used in food colouring. Nothing from animal-based sources in sight. You know what else is great? Vegan friendly ink comes in a non-plastic ink cartridge! A match made in heaven if you ask us.

So, vegan friendly ink is simply derived from vegetables. It’s not only cruelty free, but it has some other brilliant benefits!


  • The vegetable and soy that’s grown in ink crops help to distribute healthy levels of nitrogen into the soil in which their grown. This means that the fields stay healthy and fertile for the next crop and the cycle repeats.
  • Vegetable-based inks are also easier to remove from packaging and labels, making the end product easier to recycle at the end of its life.
  • Standard petroleum-based inks will need harsher chemicals and more water to clean them off the presses between print runs than vegetable-based inks.

No Nasties

  • Petroleum-based inks not only create more carbon emissions when they’re manufactured, but some even contain heavy metals including lead and mercury, which aren’t good for our planet or us! You guessed it; vegetable inks don’t carry any of these nasties.

High Quality

  • Did you know that vegetable-based ink is in fact the most vibrant! Vegetable inks containing linseed oil are also glossier on all types of paper. Beautiful quality and environmentally friendly – win win!

Printing Can Be Kind

There you have it; printing can be ecologically friendly!

Choosing to buy your eco-friendly cards with us means you are contributing to the bigger picture, and actively making a difference to the global crisis we’re facing. Alongside our vegan friendly ink, we’re doing a little extra to show the environment some love! All of our packaging is made from recycled post-consumer waste. What’s better is that our seed cards are made like this too! Consequently, no new trees are ever harmed in the making of our cards and they will naturally break down, without leaving any nasties behind. Amazing!

image of vegan friendly ink greeting cards at home.

Get in Touch

There’s nothing we love more than talking to our wonderful customers. If you’d like a little more information on our eco-friendly greeting cards, personal stationery or even eco-friendly corporate and business stationery we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our friendly team here or alternatively, you can visit our Instagram and say hello!

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