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Choosing Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

As businesses increasingly recognize the importance of sustainability, the demand for eco-friendly promotional products has surged. Companies are now seeking ways to align their brand with environmental values. 

Paul Painting, Product Solutions Specialist at Strategies, said he’s seen increased interest and growth in sustainable products through his work at Strategies and his niche micro-site,

“Pens are just one of many growing sustainable product categories including fashionable apparel, fun electronics, functional bags, and designer drinkware,” he said.

Let’s explore the key considerations if you’re looking to make a positive impact with eco-friendly promotional items and keep products out of landfills. Whether you’re a seasoned advocate for sustainability or just beginning your green journey, these insights will guide you toward making conscious choices that resonate with your brand, your customers, and the planet.


The foundation of any eco-friendly promotional item lies in the materials used. Opt for sustainable alternatives like organic cotton, recycled plastic, bamboo, or biodegradable options. 

These eco-friendly materials not only contribute to a healthier planet but also offer durability and reusability, ensuring a longer life cycle for your promotional items.

“We have supplied hundreds of companies with tens of thousands of pens over these years,” Paul said. “The quality and variety of pens available improve each year, with eco-conscious materials ranging from cardboard, bamboo, recycled water bottles, corn-based plastic, cork, and recycled aluminum.”

Certifications and Standards

To verify the environmental claims of your products, look for reputable eco-labels, certifications, and company connections such as:

Adhering to recognized standards ensures the authenticity of your commitment to eco-friendliness and builds trust with environmentally conscious consumers.

Functional and Practical

Be sure to select items that are not only environmentally friendly but also practical and useful in daily life. Products that are easy to use as part of your customers’ daily routines are less likely to end up in landfills. 

Things like reusable tote bags, stainless steel water bottles, eco-friendly notebooks and stationery, and other branded merchandise made from recycled materials are useful on a regular basis. These types of products enhance brand visibility and promote ongoing eco-friendly habits among users.

Local and Ethical Sourcing

Look for products sourced locally to reduce transportation emissions and support local economies. In addition, ethical sourcing practices ensure fair labor conditions throughout the entire supply chain.

“A vast majority of our business each year is done using the suppliers in a group called The Partnering Group,” said Payton Dahlke, Director of Business Development at Strategies. “To be in this group, there is a vetting process that includes ethical sourcing and ensuring safety and quality.”

As an Appleton, Wisconsin, company, the Strategies team loves working with other Fox Cities businesses like the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh and Miron Construction in Neenah to help them incorporate locally-sourced products into their branded merchandise strategy. 

“Another thing we do for non-local orders is ensure our packaging for our orders is all recyclable and bought from local sources,” Payton said.

Education and Storytelling

Educate the recipients of your branded merchandise on the environmental benefits of each eco-friendly material, how to use it, and the positive impact it has for the community and beyond. They’ll appreciate the extra effort you put into selecting the products, as well as helping them make the most of them.

As you distribute your branded merchandise, you can include insights into how to properly recycle or reuse it, how the materials were sourced, and the overall environmental impact it has. 

If your company is looking to go green or has been pushing sustainability, focusing on quality and useful eco-friendly product really helps to reinforce the message, build company culture, and foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among your team.


At Strategies, we’ve found that many businesses and customers have misconceptions about the affordability of eco-friendly promotional items. It’s important to note that investing in sustainability is an investment in your brand image, customers, and the future. 

With more and more consumers focused on sustainability initiatives, opting for these products could translate to long-term sales and brand loyalty, resulting in big wins for your business.

On a personal user level, folks can save money with reusable products, rather than having to constantly buy single-use items that add up over time. 

On a large scale, taking small and big steps toward a greener future ensures that our businesses, employees, and customers have a beautiful, thriving world to look forward to. If you ask us, that’s well worth any amount of investment.  

Let’s Go Green Together

For more than 30 years, Strategies has been helping businesses find just the right branded merchandise and promotional products that align with their brand values, budget, and sustainability goals. 

If you’re looking to take steps toward a greener, brighter future, we’d love to work with you. We have a wide range of eco-friendly promotional items and sustainable options that customers and employees are sure to love. 

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At the end of the day, we want to help you find a product that resonates with your audience and is something they’ll use (not something that is thrown away)!    

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