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It’s Easy to be Green:
FAQ About Eco-Friendly Promo Products

published: May 31, 2020  |  updated: February 16, 2021
Eco-friendly giveaways for earth day celebrations

April 22, 2021 marks the 51st commemoration of Earth Day, making this time of year the perfect opportunity to reflect upon and identify ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Promotional products may not be one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about ways to eliminate unnecessary waste and embrace more sustainable business practices, but we’d argue that they should be. With so many affordable and practical options to choose from and so many ways to make a difference, there is sure to be a natural fit for your next gift, giveaway, or merch purchase. Read on as we address some of the most common questions regarding eco-friendly promotional products.

Q: What are my options?

There are three different routes you can go when it comes to environmentally conscious promo products.

  1. You can buy products made of recycled materials.

    You’re likely already familiar with sustainable materials like recycled cotton and bamboo, but that’s just scratching the surface.  

    • Wheat straw is the rigid stalk left over after wheat grains are harvested and a durable alternative to plastic, used to make everything from lunch boxes to pens.
    • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is the most widely recycled plastic in the world and can be used in everything from umbrellas to gym towels
    • The exterior fabric of all Parkland bags is made from 100% recycled water bottles.
    • Save the trees with tree-free notebooks like the Stone Paper Jotter that is made from natural stone, or the Apple Peel Journal that features organic paper made from apple peels.
  2. You can buy products from brands who donate a portion of their sales to non-profit organizations who help the environment.
    • 1% for the Planet: 1% of sales from these EcoSmart products are donated to philanthropic efforts, like building wells to provide consistent clean drinking water and planting trees.
    • Welly: 3% of all Welly Water Bottle sales go to charities that build wells and bring a consistently clean drinking water supply to areas that need it. The 18 oz Welly® Traveler Copper Vacuum Bottle features a natural bamboo wrap on the bottom and can keep beverages for at least 12 hours.
    • Other brands that donate a percent of sales to help environmental causes include Miir®, Corkcicle®, Modern Sprout® and Hip.
  3. You can buy products that make it easier to avoid disposable plastics, like single-use straws, bottled water, disposable cutlery, and plastic grocery bags.
    • A food storage product like the Bamboo Fiber Lunch Box with Utensil Pocket is an all-in-one solution for eating sustainably on the go.
    • A branded reusable straw leaves you with no excuse for using disposable plastic straws because it’s so convenient. This stainless steel straw collapses to fit neatly into a carrying case so small that it can fit on a key chain or in a purse.
    • A recycled cotton tote like the Split Recycled 5 oz Cotton Twill Convention Tote can be given away at a training event or conference, and then kept in a car so it’s readily available for your next shopping trip.  
    • Say goodbye to regular plastic bags by making the switch to silicone storage bags. They are dishwasher safe and perfect for storing fruits, veggies, meat and more.
  4. Lightweight, flat, and easy to mail eco-friendly products perfect for direct mailings.

For more inspiration and product ideas for your next direct mail campaign, check out The Best Promotional Products for Direct Mail Marketing.

Welly water bottles made with sustainable bamboo

Q: Why should I care about purchasing eco-friendly products?

We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:

  • 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions. (National Geographic)
  • 70% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have ingested some type of plastic from the ocean, resulting of millions of deaths per year from plastic consumption. (Association of Zoos & Aquariums)
  • In 2017, landfills received 26.8 million tons of plastic. (EPA)
  • Forests provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people and are key ingredients in 25% of all medicines. (One Tree Planted)
  • In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced by a car driven 26,000 miles. (Arbor Day Foundation)
  • The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year. (Center for Biological Diversity)

While these statistics are daunting, reversing the damage starts with small steps in the right direction. One person bringing their own bags or packing their lunch in reusable containers may seem futile, but when practiced habitually over the course of a year, the impact is substantial.

Lunch containers made out of sustainable wheat

Q: What are the benefits for my brand?

Choosing promotional products made from recycled materials, products intended to replace single use plastics, and products from companies who champion environmental causes sends a strong message to your organization’s stakeholders about your values and priorities.

  • Unite and inspire employees: With a shared interest in environmentalism, employees can come together in support of a cause bigger than business goals. They’ll feel proud to work for a company that cares about the world and gives back, and they’ll likely share this pride throughout their home communities.  
  • Attract new business: By publicizing sustainability initiatives, you may attract new clients, business partners, or community members who appreciate and align with your mission.
  • Save money: If you give a one-time gift to your employees like a durable set of reusable cutlery or a reusable coffee mug, you eliminate the need to buy single use plastics for your office break room or cafeteria.

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