We’ve talked previously on the merits and benefits of promotional items. Indeed, giving gifts to existing and prospective clients is an excellent way to build rapport. 

But in times of ever-increasing environmental awareness, many businesses are beginning to explore ways of incorporating eco-friendly culture into their operations. And with one of the major criticisms of promotional items being that many of them are made of plastic and non-recyclable materials, it’s the perfect area for brands to up their green game.

So for a little bit of inspiration, here are 7 ideas for eco-friendly promotional items you can send out on your next campaign.

Recycled pens

Pens are a firm staple of corporate promotional gifting. Eternally useful, easy to personalise, and very cheap. They’re also incredibly convenient to incorporate into direct mail campaigns

Using pens made out of recycled material is one of the easiest ways to go green with your promotional marketing. It’s a cheap and simple way to incorporate environmental values into your branding. 

Product idea: Eco Retract Recycled Cardboard Pen 

Eco Mugs

Travel mugs and coffee cups provide another excellent opportunity for eco-friendly marketing campaigns. And considering that the UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups each year (less than 1% of which are actually recycled), it’s not difficult to bolster your campaign with some alarming statistics. 

By gifting sustainable and reusable coffee cups, you’re empowering clients to take action and reduce their daily waste. So they can enjoy their hot beverages whilst championing a reduced-litter lifestyle, all with a product containing your brand.

Product idea: Ecoffee Cup

Notebooks

Notebooks always come in handy. They make great gifts for networking events, business expos, and conferences (essentially any place people might need to make notes).  

Of course, most notebooks are already made from recyclable material. But for more eco appeal, consider sending out notebooks that have been made with recycled materials. You can even go tree free; how about notebooks made from Banana Paper or elephant dung (that’s right, notebooks made from actual elephant dung).

Product idea: Recycled Wiro Bound Flip Pocket Notebook

Wildflower seed packets  

What better way to say you care about the environment than by handing out seeds for clients to plant? This is arguably the purest sort of eco-friendly promotional item you can gift. That’s because it has virtually no office value. Plus, once the seeds are in the ground there’s nothing on them to identify your brand. 

But that’s part of their charm. With a seed packet, what you’ll lose in desktop visibility and novelty value, you’ll make up for in genuine environmental worth. People can plant them and feel that they’re making an impact in their small corner of their world.

Also, clients can watch your gift grow, and every time they look at that little patch of flowers they’ll be reminded of your brand.  

Product idea: Wildflower Promotions Promotional Seed Packets

Seed paper

Similar to the above, but a little bit more of a practical middle-ground. Seed paper makes for an excellent and extremely novel form of promotional stationary. 

Clients can make notes, memos, and sketches, and then when the paper is no longer needed they can simply plant it in the ground and watch it turn into flowers. It’s the ultimate recyclable, and you can all but guarantee that people will use it (or at the very least plant it). 

Seed paper also comes with the added advantage of having a very high quality, handmade aesthetic. So clients will be extra impressed. 

Product idea: Wildflower White Poppy Seed Paper With Petals.

Recycled coasters 

Another office and home essential. The undeniable truth of coasters is that no matter how many you have, you can always make room for another. This makes coasters as a promotional item a fairly safe bet, because the chances are good that they’ll be used.

One of the main advantages of coasters for businesses is that they’re incredibly simply to “greenify”. The trick is to search out the most eco-friendly varieties you can find.  

Product idea: Green & Good Tyre Coaster.

Bags

How else are you supposed to carry all those freebies away from the next business expo?  Bags are the gift for your gifts. But they extend far beyond that. 

Potentially, a branded bag stands to gain more overall exposure for your brand than any other item on this list. If the bag’s nice enough and strong enough, then someone might use it to carry their shopping, or their books, or the laptop. That means they’re walking around town with your logo dangling from their shoulder.

Eco-friendly bags are easy to source, and they are brilliant gifts to give at large-scale events. And with the growing concern surrounding plastic, it’s far more likely that someone will keep hold of a bag made from alternative, sustainable materials.    

Product idea: Cotton Market Bag

Promote, promote, promote! 

Ultimately, promotional items can do wonders for our brands. And showing clients that we’re making conscious choices to reduce the environmental impact of our campaigns can only serve to benefit us in the long run.

For more on the technical side of promotional marketing, see our previous post on how to send promotional items.