Environmental Opportunities

Promotional Products Going Eco-Friendly

We have reached the mid-point of the first decade of the 21st century and a new social consciousness concerning our environment is gaining momentum at an unprecedented speed. The carefree utilization of the earth's resources, specifically fossil fuels and timber has come to end. We now realize that these resources are not infinite and reduction of their extraction and conversion into products that play a vital role in the maintenance of the environmental balance of our planet. The need for environmental preservation and conservation of resources and the reduction of pollutants is fast becoming recognized as a fundamental necessity.

The majority of Fortune 100 companies have adopted sustainable business practices and issue comprehensive annual progress reports. These practices are becoming far reaching affecting every aspect of corporate spending from the design of buildings to the use of eco-friendly paper in the back office copy machine.

This responsible and popular cause now extends to the selection of promotional products that raise awareness of these initiatives. Giving out a product that promotes a company's name and its commitment to the use of recycled materials has a value added benefit. The product accomplishes the same marketing or promotional goal by providing brand exposure and the same functionality to the recipient as similar one produced with newly extracted materials.

The added benefit is that the promotional gift now sends a message to the recipient about the company's mandate to source environmentally friendly products in every arena of its operations. The surge in popularity of eco-friendly promotional products is now a reality however the history of similar efforts has had a checkered past and not consistently successful result.

We have always recycled materials in the U.S as long as it was practical, cost beneficial and a product could be made that passed minimal quality specifications and appearance requirements. Traditionally, recycled materials cost less to produce, use less energy, and emit fewer pollutants into the atmosphere in their production. The manufacturing of promotional products generally involves the fabrication of basic inexpensive commodities into usable products without high performance requirements attributed to the source materials. They are simply required to look presentable and perform their generally static functions. These functions range from holding desk accessories, housing a writing cartridge in an attractive casing, carrying personal papers as in a briefcase or writing folder etc. Thus there is little need for these products to be fabricated from "virgin" materials without impurities and containing additives that improve their strength, flexibility or performance in extreme temperatures.

American Industry has frequently recycled the trims and tailings of the finished materials it has produced. While accounting for a minimal percentage of the gross weight of produced materials it has nevertheless been used to produced off-grade versions of the original material being produced. Frequently these excess materials were accumulated until a viable amount could be economically re-fabricated into a production run of material. Little attention was paid to the environmentally beneficial aspects of this production process. It was strictly an incremental part of the profit a company could generate. Our resources were perceived as endless and our atmosphere was believed capable of absorbing any amount of particulate debris, and ozone depleting gases. Over the last 20 years our attitudes have changed. It is now generally accepted by producers and consumers alike that every bit of material conservation and reduction in energy output will help protect our earth for generations to come. While promotional products represent a small part of the global energy footprint, public awareness of our environmental crisis is such that every object produced in an eco-friendly manner is looked upon favorably. We are willing to forego the whitest whites or the most perfect color characteristics of a promotional item if it bears a recycled symbol. The product will sacrifice little if any functionality to the end user while enhancing the image of the company whose name or logo appear on the product.

Companies with major "green" initiatives now build their corporate buildings with preservation of the environment as an integral part of their design. By capturing solar power and utilizing wind power and energy saving lighting and electrical systems they are spending more up front in order to reap the economic and social benefits of their efforts in the near future.

From the mug you drink from, to the t-shirt you wear, and the paper that you write on, promotional products made from recycled materials can make a difference. As our commitment to sustainability grows, one paper writing pad, becomes tens of thousands of pads and hundreds trees saved in the process.

Almost daily, we are seeing new environmentally responsible items coming to market. Ekleinfeld.com searches the promotional products supply chain to find products for our customers that meet these criteria. Lot to lot, the products may not have to have the brightest and consistent colors of those made from original materials but they are certainly up to the task they were designed for. In fact, the more muted recycled look is even becoming desirable and a sort of fashion statement. These products have few if any performance standards that require them to be made from new raw materials. Plates, coasters, vinyl padfolios, tote bags, journals, clothing, mugs, pens and the like, can all be made from recycled materials and produce better promotional returns now that our society perceives this added benefit.

EKleinfeld.com offers a ever increasing range of sustainable, eco-friendly, recycled products that companies can proudly advertise their logos on. Visit our site frequently if you are interested in having you company or organization distribute promotional items with an eco-friendly composition. There will be new choices, improved quality on existing ones and a growing promotional opportunity for your organization.

Best Regards,
Eddie K

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