Everyone has something they have received for free from some sort of convention, fair, conference or event. Most of us let these free giveaways and trinkets pile up in drawers and desks until they are eventually thrown out.
Once they are thrown out, they pile up in a landfill somewhere and the resources that went into making them end up being wasted as well. Many of the popular promotional items chosen to be giveaways are not recyclable, things such as stress balls, flash drives, and other tiny plastic oddities.
When the world starts back up again and large-scale events with promotional giveaways start happening again, check out the DEC’s “Green Your Giveaways” PDF Guide to help plan better promotional items without unintentionally increasing your carbon footprint. The DEC recommends the following tips when purchasing the items that you need:
- Avoid event specific branding so you can reuse extras for other events.
- Avoid individually wrapped items.
- Look for more durable versions of products that will be used longer.
- Buy locally or domestic when possible.
- Purchase recyclable or compostable items.
- Consider items which enhance the recipient’s ability to reduce waste, like reusable water bottles, travel mugs, cutlery sets and reusable straws.
We live in a virtual era as well, and physical promotional items aren’t always as necessary as they once were for spreading the word. Consider digital or social media when promoting your business or product. When you do opt for a physical promotional item, make sure your organization takes waste reduction and sustainability into consideration when choosing one.
From the DEC Greening Document
“Promotional items can remind your audience of your message and encourage them to continue to be
engaged. However, short-lived giveaways can also have a large environmental impact by increasing demand
for petroleum-based plastic and quickly ending up in landfills.”
Can have a large environmental impact????? Really???? Can have an environmental impact yes, Large compared with what else is out there NO.Can we lesson the impact of these promotional items sure
I agree completely…our clients are generally environmentally aware and think about sustainability, so our giveaways at conferences have always emphasized that…sometimes takes a little more effort to find those, like mini-cranklight key chain flashlights, reusable shopping bags (the easiest to find these days) pens with cylinders made of recycled cardboard and recycled plastic with bamboo clips, etc. Thanks for the reminder!
Sorry to be an English teacher-nerd, but how many times should “just” be used in one paragraph? Just sayin’…..