Concerns about the environment aren’t far from anyone’s mind these days. From politics to business, and right down to the average person’s daily life, the need to live and work in a more ecologically responsible way affects everyone.
Of course, business goes on as usual, which is why companies are working so hard to find ways to change how they operate to reduce any negative environmental impact they can control. One of the methods that many organizations have identified is inspecting their supply chain to ensure the materials and products they use, or pass on to their customers, are sourced in responsible ways and can potentially be reused and recycled going forward.
For example, consider the following environmentally friendly business giveaways. They can make a marketing impact without major negative environmental effects, both in their manufacture and use.
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Reusable totes - a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic bags
Did you know that plastic shopping bags from your local grocery store take 1,000 years to degrade once they reaches a landfill? And, they’re not actually biodegradable. They’re photodegradable. The difference? Plastic bags aren’t broken down and consumed by biological processes like organic garbage. Instead, they fall apart over time, breaking into smaller and smaller pieces, but never actually completely disappearing, releasing toxins into our soil that end up contaminating our lakes, rivers and oceans.
Reusable tote bags are an excellent alternative many stores now offer to their shoppers. You can bring them with you and use repeatedly to carry out your groceries or other items.
These reusable totes make fantastic business giveaways for several reasons:
- They’re used over and over again, multiplying the impact of your branding or marketing message.
- They present a fairly large area on which a highly visible or detailed message can be imprinted.
- They come in nearly every shape, size and color imaginable, making designing your promotional items fun and easy.
- They can subtly (or blatantly) communicate your company’s commitment to sustainable business practices.
Some ideas you may want to explore are non-woven totes, printed duffel bags, and versatile printed cotton bags.
These promotional items are ideal for retail stores where repeat customers buying smaller items make up a significant revenue source. But they also make great promotional giveaway items for events like craft fairs, farmer’s markets, and of course, Earth Day.
On a similar note, consider personalized insulated lunch bags to encourage your own employees and customers alike to cut down on disposable brown bags and Styrofoam takeout packaging in favor of ecologically friendly reusable bags.
Recycled notebooks - a sustainable take on a classic giveaway
Customized notebooks are a favorite among companies looking for promotional items they can give to their staff in place of other standard office supplies, or as giveaways for job fairs and similar events.
They’re also commonly used at seminars, conventions, and other corporate events like board meetings where attendees are likely to want to jot down notes or reminders as they enjoy the program.
The trouble with the average notebook is they’re made from a natural resource (paper, made from wood) and they’re generally thrown away once filled. Some companies may be discouraged from buying environmentally damaging products like these, for fear of being linked to stigma.
To avoid that kind of negative impact on your business, consider using custom notebooks made from 100% recycled material.
The recovery rate of recyclable products is significant. Studies show that the amount of paper recovered for recycling rose dramatically, and has since stayed fairly steady at between 50 and 54 million tons. During that same timeframe, the amount of paper reaching our landfills has dropped from a high of 41.8 million tons (in 2008) to just 21.1 million tons in 2014.
Available in numerous shapes and styles, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a good fit for your promotional needs. Some customized recycled paper notebooks even come with a handy pen loop and pen that’s also made from recycled materials, adding additional flexibility and utility to the notebook without increasing its environmental impact.
If you’re using these notebooks internally, combine this purchase with a company-wide paper recycling program to get your employees involved, actually remain active and truly make a difference.
Custom water bottles - the clear alternative to bottled water
Bottled water is a conundrum: although nearly everyone in the United States has ready access to safe, clean drinking water with little or no effort, the convenience of being able to grab a sealed container and take it with us everywhere we go has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry.
To consider the numbers, Americans consumed about 50 billion bottles of water last year. With the average plastic recycling rate standing at 23%, that means about 38 billion plastic water bottles - worth about $1 billion - were wasted in 2015.
If every American drank the recommended 8 glasses of water every day using strictly tap water, the cost would be about a low $0.49 per year. Getting the same recommended hydration from bottled water costs about $1,400 per year.
Custom printed water bottles designed for long-term use make a fantastic environmentally beneficial promotional item:
They allow for routine hydration at a fraction of the cost and with zero impact on the environment via landfills.
Again, they’re available in many sizes and styles, including squeezable plastic sports bottles, sleek stainless steel bottles, insulated tumblers with straws, and even uniquely shaped rectangular water bottles.
The sky’s the limit
When it comes to developing custom promotional products to help market your business and create brand visibility, the options are endless. In today’s marketplace, the options for keeping these promotional items ecologically friendly and sustainable are similarly wide ranging.
When choosing a provider for business giveaway items, be sure to question the source and materials being used. You want to reap the benefits of promotional item marketing with a clean conscience.
Learn more about how your company can offer more environmentally friendly business giveaways.