5 ways to help create (and promote) sustainably focused marketing promotions

green is the new blackEvery day we are faced with decisions in our business practices which directly affect environmental sustainability. Words that come to mind when I think of environmental sustainability include endurance, environmental protection, conservation, ethical consumerism and protecting the environment. With that, here are 5 ways you can incorporate eco friendly, sustainably focused decisions in to your marketing promotions.

Recycle. When planning your next promotion, tie in branded product that is either made from recycled materials or can be recycled. Ideas include water bottles made out of recycled aluminum for corporate events, writing instruments made of recycled paper to be distributed at a trade show or totes and apparel made from recycled plastic bottles. Encourage your vendors to get creative and support your company’s sustainability efforts. Options are out there. You just have to ask.

Upcycle. Trending now, is turning previously used materials in to new product. 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? Journalbooks 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.

Biodegradable, sustainable and recycled materials should also be thought about when considering packaging. Ask your vendors about the types of packaging they use. While some may be wasteful with their packaging, you will 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 keep in mind you can always 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 that the water based ink has a much softer feel.

Lifestyle promotions. 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 in to your marketing mix that is both creative and something that can be used 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 vendors 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.

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