Have you ever been to an event where you came home with a bag full of branded product that you immediately tossed?
Every day, we’re faced with decisions related to our business practices that directly affect environmental sustainability. The words that come to mind when I think of environmental sustainability include “endurance,” “environmental protection,” “conservation” and “ethical consumerism.” With that, here are five ways you can incorporate eco-friendly, sustainably focused decisions into your marketing promotions.
Recycle. When planning your next promotion, tie in a branded product that is either made from recycled materials or that can be recycled. You can include things like water bottles made out of recycled aluminum for corporate events, writing instruments made of recycled paper to be distributed at trade shows and totes or apparel made from recycled plastic bottles. Encourage your suppliers to get creative and support your company’s sustainability efforts. The options are out there. You just have to ask.
Upcycle. More and more suppliers are focusing their efforts on creating new items from previously used materials (think branded bags made from your favorite winter jacket; night lights made from recycled cork tops; backpacks made from surplus vinyl, nylon or rubber; or sunglasses made of denim). Upcycling is a great way to both promote your brand and highlight your company’s sustainability efforts.
Biodegradable and sustainable materials. Apparel, packaging and speakers made of bamboo? Notebooks made of cork? Writing instruments and drinkware made of biodegradable corn starch? That’s right! Ask about the wide range of sustainable material options that are available when planning your next promotion.
Materials such as these should also be considered for packaging. Ask your suppliers about the types of packaging they use. While some may be wasteful with their packaging, you’ll find that others are making a concerted effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Think about your ink. When screen printing apparel, tote bags or headwear, request water-based ink. Screen printers commonly use Plastisol inks that can contain chemicals harmful to the environment. Typically, the cost is the same between the two types of ink and you’ll notice the water-based ink has a much softer feel.
Lifestyle promotions. Have you ever been to an event where you came home with a bag full of branded product that you immediately tossed because you had no use for it? Successful marketing promotions start with thinking about the end user. Incorporate a piece into your marketing mix that’s both creative and useful in every day life. The more useful the item, the longer your brand will be in the hands of the end user.
What’s the take away? Make a plan, set your goals and take responsibility. Start the conversation with your suppliers and work in partnership to let them know about your sustainability efforts. Do your part to protect the environment and, collectively, we can all make a difference.
Anna-Claire Decker is principal at Imagine Promotional Group, Inc., which sources branded products and creative programs to reward and delight your customers, employees and partners. Contact her at ipgpromo.com or (866)769-7710.
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