It’s not a question of if, but when the green movement will become the norm.  Recent studies have shown that Millenials are driving brands to practice more socially responsible marketing and 73% of Millenials are willing to pay more money for sustainable products.  This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Eco-promotional products and the best way to use them to market your organisation.

Today more consumers (especially younger demographics) preferences are moving towards sustainable alternatives.  Evidence for this is shown below in a poll taken where respondents were asked: “It is extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment”.  As you can see the vast majority responded yes to this question.Global respondents generation results

This surge in popularity has also rocked the promo industry and shaped it for the better!  With legislation such as the plastic bag ban now being enforced in most of Australia.  Making a reusable tote, calico and jute bags now the common partner for the weekly grocery shop.  This has also created a prime opportunity for companies to use reusable bags to promote their message.

Another example was primarily due to an episode aired by the ABC’s “War On Waste” that educated viewers of the negative implications of single-use plastic coffee cups.  This caused many Australian’s to switch to KeepCups and sustainable reusable coffee cup alternatives that could be re-used.  Many cafes have also begun to offer special discounts to those who bring their own cups. 

Plastic straws are the next target in the crosshairs, many restaurants now are choosing not to offer single-use plastic straws and instead encourage re-usable alternatives made from materials such as silicone or stainless steel.

What Are Environmentally Friendly Promotional Products?

Environmentally friendly promotional products are items decorated with a logo or slogan with the intent of distribution for marketing purposes such as at a corporate event, trade show or conference.  These products must-have “Eco” properties, such as being created from recycled materials, being carbon offset, re-usable, sustainable materials etc.

Popular environmentally friendly promotional products include reusable straws, shopping bags, reusable water bottles, reusable coffee cups, eco pens, recycled notebooks and reusable cutlery.

Reusable Bags on Table

5 Benefits of Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

1. Repeat exposure to your logo or marketing message

Most eco-friendly products are designed to be reused.  Not only does this reduce the amount of waste generated and replace single-use alternatives, but it also has positive ROI implications for your marketing dollar as you are going to generate more impressions for a one time cost.  Promotional Products are regularly cited by top advertisers as an effective marketing channel.

2. Positive environmental impacts for everyone

Everyone is responsible for their part in the health of the planet and its eco-systems.  Taking steps to help the environment and use better substitutes provides many external benefits to not just your customers or staff but everyone.

3. Positions your organisation as being environmentally ethical

You will feel good about giving these items away and your customers/clients will too.  The demand for eco-friendly alternatives is only on the up and up.  As can be seen above the majority of consumers lead by Millenials are choosing companies with ethical goals that align with their own.  Choosing products that are deemed sustainable allows you to promote this and generate positive PR for your company.

4. More likely to be received positively by your target demographic

Consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly options and are thus going to appreciate receiving these products more as well.  The psychology of reciprocity theorises that this will then increase the likelihood they transact with your company again in the future.  A win-win and a great way to start an enduring connection with your customers.

5. Long useful life

Most sustainable items are built to last, with an extended useful life.  An example of this is BPA free stainless steel drink bottles which can easily last over 12 years and then be recycled at the end of their useful life.  Not only does this reduce the amount of plastic used it also gives you a huge number of impressions and an unbeatable ROI when compared with other advertising mediums.  When you’re investing in a promotional product you want it to be reliable and effective so your message is top of mind for as long as possible.


Eco Friendly Tyvek Products Lifestyle Shot


What Makes a Promotional Product Sustainable or Eco-Friendly?

A promotional product is deemed sustainable if it has one or many of the following characteristics:

Made from recycled materials

These products are either made in full or partly from recycled materials such as plastic, paper, cardboard, rice husk fibre and more.  This reduces the amount of waste created and turns what would otherwise be thrown away into something useful.

Created from renewable resources

Products created from renewable resources are materials that are used repeatedly and replaced naturally such as bamboo or cotton.  They fit in with the current retail trends and are costed at a price that provides a good ROI for your marketing dollar.

Plastic Free

It should be everyone’s goal to reduce the amount of plastic used.  We have all seen images or experienced the effect of plastic pollution first hand.  Choosing non-plastic alternatives for bags, straws, disposable coffee cups and PET bottles whenever possible is the eco-friendly choice.

Designed for re-use

These products are intended to be re-used over and over again, designed to have a long useful life.  This includes items such as shopping tote bags, reusable coffee cups, drink bottles etc.

Energy Efficient

Products with this trait require less energy to produce/deliver.  Examples of these include items that are made in Australia that do not need to be shipped overseas or products created using energy conservative methods.


For an item to be considered bio-degradable it must adhere to AS 4736-2006 for biodegradability.  Achieving 90% biodegradation of plastic materials within 180 days.  Biodegradable products will break down (decompose) rapidly by the action of microorganisms and become apart of the environment.


Put simply the product can be recycled or compostable at the end of its useful life.  This means that the raw materials generated can go towards something else useful and thus reduce the amount of waste generated.


Organic promotional products are natural products such as seed sticks and plants.  Growing these items will take carbon out of the atmosphere and produce oxygen.

Carbon Offset

Products that have their carbon footprint offset are considered Eco-friendly due to the neutral impact on carbon emissions.  They involve a monetary payment to counteract their carbon footprint.

Below you can see the waste hierarchy pyramid for the most preferable suggested actions regarding waste.  This underpins the objectives described in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001.  As can be seen, avoidance of waste is the most prefered option followed by re-using waste and recycling waste.

Waste hierarchy. Ordered by most preferable: avoid and reduce; reuse; recycle; recover energy; treat; dispose of waste

The Waste Hierarchy Pyramid NSW EPA

How to make the most out of your “Green” Promotional Products

1. Make sure your customers know the products they’re receiving are Environmentally Friendly.

This can be as simple as slipping it into the conversation you’re having with potential customers/clients or using signage that showcases the “green” properties of the products you’re giving away.  E.g. A sign saying “Take one of our Eco-Friendly pens, made from recycled wheat straw.” will be much better received and more effective than one that just says “Take a pen”.

2. Know your target audience and use messaging/products that speak to them.

This is a vital step in ensuring you get the most out of your promotional product marketing.  Understanding who your audience is, what they want and how they think is critical in achieving the best result.  Are they Men, Women or both? What age? B2C or B2B? What are their interests?

Our experienced team can provide you with some insights and suggestions but you’re going to know your audience better than anyone else!

3. Use the products in conjunction with an Eco theme for your booth/event.

Using Eco-Friendly swag in conjunction with other messaging is a better way to drive your marketing message home.  This may involve using more plants in your display, complimentary green messaging, details regarding how your organisation is “green” or even instructing customers that instead of giving out catalogues you will send them a digital copy to save paper.

4. Leverage social media and other digital channels to showcase your green products.

Multiply your outreach by choosing products that both you and recipients of your promotional products will want to share on social media.  You could also consider starting a hashtag and or requesting customers to like/follow your page first before receiving their product.  Encouraging recipients to share images on their own social pages will also provide you with free outreach and engagement.

5. Include an Eco theme in your logo or decoration design.

This pairs nicely with having a cohesive Eco theme or messaging.  Our skilled graphics art team can assist you in creating beautiful decorations that can tell a story that will resonate positively with your customers.

6. Ensure customers know how to use and take care of the product – increasing longevity and useful life of the product.

Most products will come with care instructions, however, sometimes it is handy to demonstrate how products are used or maintained.  An example of this could be a social media video detailing how to clean reusable straws or drink bottles.

7. Get feedback after the event has finished.

Ask your target audience after the event what their thoughts are.  What products did they hang onto and was there anything that could be improved in the future?  This will ensure that you have a better understanding of how they think and lead to improvements the next time around!

We’ve Been Promoting Eco-Friendly (Before It Was Cool)

We love that people are becoming more environmentally conscious.  Unlike some other promo companies who are only just now hopping on the bandwagon, we have been encouraging customers to use eco-friendly products since 2007!  The below image is taken from Waybacktime machine of our website.

We know what we’re talking about and with this extensive experience can offer you the best solutions for the environment and your marketing!  Get in touch with us today and see what products will best suit your needs.

Way back machine Promotion Products website

Here’s Some Additional Eco Changes That You Can Make Today

For the Office

  • Manage waste effectively – divide compost, recycling and general waste
  • Opt for “green commuting” by taking public transport or walking/cycling to work
  • Set monthly green challenges for yourself and fellow staff
  • Get a plant for your desk
  • Switch off electronics, heating and lighting every night
  • Maximise your offices use of natural light during the day
  • Go paperless or use recycled paper

Personal life

  • Try to grow your own – start a veggie patch
  • Limit your showers with the help of a sand timer 
  • Invest in renewable energy e.g. solar panels
  • Start a compost heap
  • Manage your waste better
  • Make the switch to renewable products
  • Try to cut out plastics
  • Fix it, don’t throw it mentality
  • Live a more minimalistic lifestyle

Boots with flowers inside

Shop our range of Eco Products and get a quote today: Environmentally Friendly Promotional Products

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