By: Glaelis Sierra – Account Director at Williams Whittle

The upcoming Earth Day 50th anniversary on April 22nd has us thinking about “greener” event strategies for our nonprofit clients. At most events, you want something to leave behind for consumers to remember you by. Sometimes, these giveaways can result in additional waste with a negative impact on our environment like tossed flyers and brochures on the floor. For this reason, we put together a list of green giveaways that we have successfully used in the past with our nonprofit clients.

Seed Packets

A couple of years ago, our Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) client was attending a series of Earth Day events. Therefore, we had to think of out of the box ideas for giveaways – enter the seed packets!

These were a bit larger than a business card (3”x4”) and included the client’s website, logo and a quick call to action line – simple and straight to the point. At the bottom, it had a grass-looking strip with Forget-me-not seeds and instructions on how to plant them. See what we did there? We certainly did not want them to forget our brand.

Reactions to the seed packets were positive – they were happy to take something home that could be planted and included valuable information as well.

small info card that has paper on it that can be planted

Metal or Reusable Straws

Another giveaway item that has been quite popular recently is metal or reusable straws. A few cities have passed laws to only provide straws to consumers on request – others have banned plastic straws completely. The list keeps growing every day as the conversation about climate change heats up. With this change, keeping reusable straws in your pocket becomes a need and something that consumers will appreciate.

For their 2019 Earth Day events in California and Connecticut, our client MRC decided to give away metal straw kits to consumers visiting their booths. The straws had their website imprinted and were packaged in a nifty pouch with their logo and a cleaning brush as well. Consumer response was great as they received something they could really use, especially in California with the new ban on plastic straws.

metail straws with cleaning brush

Photo Credit: Jo-Ann Stores, LLC, Copco

small canvas bag with MRC and BBM logos that contains metal straws

Sprout Pencil

It’s a pencil that can be used and then planted to grow herbs, vegetables or flowers. They can be customized to include your logo and any other message. Read more about Sprout here.

pencils that contain seeds for planting including cherry tomato, basel, thyme, etc.

Photo Credit: Sprout

The pencil planted and the pencil with the cap open to show the seed contents inside

Photo Credit: Sprout

100% Recycled Paper and Environment-friendly Ink

If you must print something to leave behind, consider using 100% recycled paper. A lot of print vendors around the country are offering recycled paper options. Also, another detail to keep in mind is a print vendor that uses eco-friendly inks, such as soy and other vegetable-based inks.

Seal with an image of a leaf and the words 'printed with vegetable-based inks'

Photo Credit: Adventures in Green Marketing

QR Code

According to a study from the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own smartphones. This means that a large number of people are walking around with access to the internet in their pockets. So, be ready to have a QR code for consumers to scan and drive traffic to your website (or any designated landing page for the event). The good thing is that the majority of smartphones don’t need a QR code reader anymore. People can just open their cameras and scan the code for easy access.

QR code

Photo Credit: Quora

We hope this list is helpful when planning your next event. And we certainly hope you’ll consider green giveaways.