Getting ahead of the ban on single use plastics is good for the globe and good for your brand.
Public opinion on single-use plastics (and increasingly plastics in general) is decreasing in polls, and fast. Have you ever been in line to check out at a grocery store, noticed you were the only one who hadn’t packed your own reusable cloth bags and felt “compelled” to purchase new ones on the spot? I have. Plastic-use guilt is now a thing, as it should be.
The Canadian government has tabled the idea of going single-use-plastic free and rumour has it - it’s likely to pass. To be frank, Canada is late to the table. It’s behind Kenya, the UK, France, Morocco, Rwanda and several other countries and cities whose governments have already implemented plastic bans of some nature.
In January of 2019 PR Newswire reported that a whopping 89% of North American consumers would like to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle that includes the use of green-products. Associating your brand with sustainable products speaks volumes. They communicate values that you and your audience can stand behind, feel proud of and build trust and loyalty toward. When it comes to truly sustainable products there are some grey areas. Let us help you clear this up. According to the Sustainable Products Corporation,
“sustainable products provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting health, welfare and the environment over their full commercial cycle from the extraction of raw materials to final disposal.”
This is the most succinct definition we could find, if you want to dive deeper into the criteria of truly sustainable products, we enjoyed reading about a study conducted by Carleton University’s Industrial Design program.
We’ve put together a list of 10 green promotional product ideas at every budget point to help you get started. For even more green product ideas, check out one of our past blogs on the responsibility of promotional product companies to promote sustainable choices.
1 - Stainless Steel Eco Adventure Kit
There is a lot to love about nifty food storage kits with funky, super helpful features. These types of products tick all of the sustainability boxes, are super handy, replace plastics like single use bags or Tupperware and have multiple (awesome) uses. There are lots of great options out there for sustainable food storage. Some double as a warming and serving dishes and come complete with a stainless steel spork and handy pot gripper. This means you can heat up your lunch over a camp stove or toaster oven. You know us, we love a good camping accessory.
2 - Silicone Food Bags
Along the same lines, silicone food storage bags are super durable and can be reused over and over again. Get rid of plastic wrap and single use plastic bags for good! Made from food grade silicone means you can store anything from trail mix to soup and even throw them in the dishwasher!
3 - Gift Wrap That Grows!
Put your brand all over a beautiful, tasteful garden! You read that correctly, there is gift wrap transforms into a garden. Use it, reuse it, then plant it and watch it bloom. We all have a stash of gift wrap, wrapping paper and ribbon that will likely never get used, help your audience clear the clutter and reduce waste with branded gift wrap that grows.
4 - Eco-friendly Plasma lighters
Lighters make great promotional products, they are handy and used by everyone. The problem with traditional lighters is they are not great for our health or the environment. They become waste and butane - the typical fuel used in traditional lighters - is toxic for humans and the environment. Introducing plasma lighters. Rather than a flame these lighters use an electric-generated plasma beam which is extra hot and extra clean. With no flame involved there is no need to worry about rain or wind preventing the lighting of a bonfire or candle. Biggest bonus? They are rechargeable!
5 - Reusable Tea Bags
Did you know that many tea bags are sealed with polypropylene, a type of plastic? Help your audience go truly green and enjoy great teas with reusable, organic cotton tea pouches. They can also be used to flavour soups and stews. Yum!
6 - Eco friendly cotton swabs and other toiletries
A lot of waste goes on in the bathroom (no pun intended). Keep it simple with eco-friendly swab sticks made of organic cotton and biodegradable materials. There are lots of options in the toiletry department - like bamboo toothbrushes and travel cases, sustainably made soaps and more.
7 - Recycled Wool Blankets
We really appreciate this modern approach to a traditional design. Timeless wool throws last a lifetime and offer comfort and beauty. Rather than going with an item made of new materials, you can now opt for recycled wool blankets. Made of recycled wool and mixed fibres these blankets become beautiful, useful and comforting pieces of our homes rather than add ing to a landfill.
8 - Reusable coffee pods or reusable coffee filters
Coffee pod machines have revolutionized the way we make coffee - where convenience is concerned this is great, where waste is concerned it’s downright awful. There are now stainless steel reusable coffee pods that can be used in Nespresso machines and other popular brands of pod-based coffee makers. These durable little pods can save loads of waste. Millions upon millions of coffee pods are sold in Canada each year - help make a big dent in a consumer’s waste with this handy little product. For those who don’t use pod based coffee machines, there are reusable coffee filters - made from organic cotton without the use of bonding plastics. A great place for your brand - with every cup of lifesaving coffee.
9 - Bamboo Everyday Household Items
From a dishwashing brush, to body brushes, to toothbrushes and clothespins - there are sustainable options for just about everything in our homes these days. What's more, these sustainable products are typically beautifully made and beautiful to look at. The quality and aesthetic of bamboo household items can't be compared to the competing plastic option. For items that require replacement parts, most manufacturers create compostable elements that don't add to waste! Pretty exciting.
We hope you enjoyed this quick read and list of fun, smart sustainable promotional products. Check out our last blog with even more great sustainable products for your next merchandising campaign. Have questions or suggestions for our list? We would absolutely love to hear from you!