The promotional product world has had to closely examine the quality of branded products they choose as the world focuses more on eco-friendly choices. Sustainability is defined as meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

Only 40% of the waste in the United States is recycled or composted, meaning the remainder of the waste is incinerated or dumped in a landfill. What doesn’t go into the landfill often finds its way into the ocean, creating ecological problems for marine life and habitats.  

The promo world has been seen as a potential problem in this area due to the perception that many promotional products have a short shelf life. Swag doesn’t have to be cheap gimmick products people easily throw away after an event. A plethora of options are available to promote businesses without relying on materials that could harm the environment.

Taking care to select these products is an attractive option to potential consumers. ASI reports brands that get more than half their sales from products with ESG-related claims had a repeat customer rate of 32% to 34%. So, when choosing products for your brand, investigate items that replace single-use plastic products and migrate toward materials that have been given a new purpose by recycling or upcycling practices. Here are just a few examples of items that can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Tote Bags 

Consumers are turning to reusable tote bags to eliminate that stash of plastic grocery store bags people tend to have hiding in a corner of a cupboard or pantry. Americans alone throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year. It is prime real estate to have your brand emblazoned on the front of a bag that will be used every time someone walks into the store. It has the potential to have more impressions than any other promotional product. 


Some businesses and restaurants have begun to limit their distribution of plastic straws. Single-use plastic straws have been banned in at least eight states in the US and other initiatives around the globe have moved to eliminate the pollutive product. Help provide cleaner options with biodegradable paper straws or a reusable straw kit. Metal or silicone straws are a great alternative as they lend themselves to wash and reuse opportunities.

Office Supplies

Traditional supplies like pens, pencils and journals have multiple options when it comes to sustainability. Look for options that use post-consumer recycled plastic to make the barrel of the pen or a journal with a bamboo cover and recycled paper. It allows a company to maintain a supply of the traditional merch consumers have learned to expect while keeping your eco-impact at bay.

Vernon’s efforts

The Vernon Company is committed to having the lowest impact on the environment by utilizing recycling programs throughout all facilities. Vernon’s suppliers are constantly working to find ways to reduce packaging waste and find sustainable and/or biodegradable options. Learn more about our efforts to go green on our website as we maintain a conscious effort to reduce our impact.