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How to Green Your Swag

| Wednesday July 2nd, 2008 | 8 Comments

Picture%204.jpgWith an abundance of companies going green, and a corresponding explosion of green themed conferences sprouting up, this is to be applauded. And yet, there’s a remnant of the old paradigm that sticks up like a weed out of the smooth green path: Swag. You know, those little things that companies give away at conferences with the hope they’ll stay in your mind. Those little things add up to a lot. Multiply each attendee with a bag full of knick knacks, many of which are made from non renewable materials, are not recyclable, and you’ve got the potential for an enormous amount of waste, and resources used.
Eco Imprints shows a different way. Rather than being a quantity driven tschotske pimp, they are a company committed to sourcing and creating memorable, sustainable, and custom tailored eco friendly promotional items that will serve their clients, recipients, and the planet equally well. And they have a few tricks up their sleeve:


The founder, John Borg, has decades of experience in branding, marketing, and design, having run Wishbone Creative, a firm that has worked with some of the biggest names in business, including Electronic Arts, Levi Strauss and Kodak.
So what you get with with Eco Imprints is a company that has really done it’s homework to find the greenest, most high quality products, and combines that with a deep expertise in how to best leverage the goods you do give away for the maximum impact.
custom%20lettering%20beans.jpgWhat does eco friendly swag look like? A particularly amazing example is their Custom Message Bean Plants. These beans can be inscribed by a laser with your company name, logo, or a simple message, and when they grow, that message reads on the plant, remaining for month, and the plant living for a year.
They also do the usual suspects quite well, too: That standby the pen can come in the form of sustained yield solid white birch. Bamboo. Or recycled plastic. Pencils can be made of recycled newspaper. They do larger, more complex items as well: the Eco Plasma Jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester. Several bags and totes are made from recycled PET (soda/water bottle) plastic.
Beyond just being a green promotional item purveyor, they also offer sustainability consulting, currently in the realm of discerning ways to green your marketing efforts, and creating green product lines for company stores. They’ve done the research to find the manufacturers of greener products, and can benefit you with that knowledge.
It’s clear that Eco Imprints cares about more than selling green swag. They also talk about it, and the areas surrounding it, in the entertaining, educating read, http://sustainableswag.blogspot.com/ . Subjects range from the recent move by major city mayors to phase out water bottles in city offices to having the courage to give kudos to competitors.
Eco Imprints is the real deal. Consider them next time you’ve got some promoting to do. I recommend their PDF catalog, it’s much more attractive and thorough than the site.
Readers: What are some of your favorite eco friendly promotional items? How have you creatively reframed what you do in terms of giveaway items?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.


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  • http://www.greenyourdecor.com Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    This is a great post, and right on time for me. I’ve been wanting to get some reusable shopping bags imprinted with my site logo for http://www.greenyourdecor.com but I haven’t been able to find anyone affordable AND green. Inkhead.com has some products, but not nearly the selection Eco Imprints has. Thanks!

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    Awesome, glad I could connect you with a great resource.

  • Jennifer Kaplan

    Ditto! Great resource. I’m going to start recommending it to my clients right away. Thanks!

  • http://livepaths.com livepaths

    I agree totally with you.
    People should do everything possible to promote Green and Sustainable activities and nothing better for that job than to use appropriate promotional materials.
    Check this site for a great variety of Cool GREEN promo stuff: http://www.zazzle.com/livepaths*

  • Anna Blith

    I bought a green water bottle from Sesen and found out they will print any image on the bottle for promotions. I’m going to put my clinic on it. Anna Blith, ND

  • http://www.eco-friendly-promos.com Brendan

    Awesome article. People ARE going green as far as promotional products go. I’ve noticed a large increase in the amount of companies who want organic/biodegradable products. Eco-Friendly promos are the way of the future.

  • http://www.corporatesnobs.com items promotional

    Wow, Levis and Electronics Arts are a huge company supporting this product. It's always a plus going for a greener promotional product to give away as a promotional gifts. It will known to the consumers that the company is supporting greener products.

    -Val

  • Holly_burns

    Paul I enjoyed reading your article and would like to discuss a Corporate Sustainability Conference being held at The Greenbrier Resort March 18-20, 2012.  I look forward to hearing from you and have a good evening!

    Holly Burns
    holly_burns@greenbrier.com