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It’s Cold and Travel Season

4 Dec

Time to head out to grandma’s. Except to see a number of sick fellow travelers. Here is a fun flyer that just can to us from Raining Rose – the first in the promotional items industry to offer a USDA certified organic promotional lip balm. All Raining Rose items are made in the USA. Even the casings of their lip balms are 33% recycled (plastic) material.



If you are interested in made in these items to promote your own business, contact Proforma Green Marketing or email for information and pricing

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable if possible.

BIC® Ecolutions® Gets Better

23 May

BIC® Ecolutions® Round Stic®

When I first wrote about the BIC® Ecolutions® Round Stic®, the pre-consumer recycled plastic version of the ubiquitous  BIC®  Round Stic®, the recycled content clocked in at 67%.

The new 2011 flyer from BIC® that the office just received has that count up to 74%. So that is better, good job BIC®, where can you go from here? I know, make the pen part of your Buy One Get One Free second quarter promotion. Oh wait, you already have. Brilliant.

Like many other companies in our industry BIC® is taking some of the designs that have made them famous and offering those items from more sustainable materials. Look at the BIC® Ecolutions® Round Stic® in terms of a very easy win to making a small change to a more sustainable collateral materials mix.

Simply put. It is a BIC® Round Stic®. You already know it. Heck you likely have one sitting around the office. These things are everywhere and the public trusts them. That is huge. This is not just another recycled content pen, it is a recycled BIC® and for conservative industries that buy a huge amount of writing instruments, like banks, mortgage lenders, realtors, schools and colleges, being able to offer a known brand that is eco friendly, helps a lot in making the pitch to move to eco friendly collateral.

BIC® Ecolutions® Round Stic® comes in a white barrel with black, forest green, navy, and red trims. Ink colors offered are black and blue in a medium point with the BIC® Easy-Glide System® Fine Point available at an additional cost. Again, it is the same Round Stic® you have known for years, except, you know… different.

So save some money, save some plastic bottles from the landfill, and go buy a handfull of BIC® Ecolutions® Round Stic® pens. With the Buy One Get One Free deal now running you really don’t have anything to lose in finally trying out a recycled pen for the bank’s lobby. And your customers will likely appreciate the change.


If you are looking for more information on BIC® sustainable products options send a quick email to Pam Cote at BIC®. If you are interested in the BIC® Ecolutions® Round Stic® to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Why Calendars? (repost)

17 May

{Our friends at Norwood sent us this bit of information on the power of calendars that we wanted to re-post. Regardless if you are going the traditional route or the sustainable materials (printing) route, the marketing appeal of calendars remains the same. See blog post Calendars, Calendars, Calendars.} 

goingreen® Contractor | Triumph Calendars

goingreen® Contractor | Triumph Calendars

Need a reason to order Calendars EARLY this year? How about 5!

Check it out!  PPB put together a great analysis of wall calendars as ideal promotional products.

All that being said, why should you order your calendars from Norwood by July 1, 2011?

1)  Save Money – take advantage of early order pricing

2)  Best Selection – the styles and themes you want are guaranteed to be in stock

3)  Free Storage – we’ll store your orders until Fall – FREE of charge

4)  Peace of Mind – your calendars will be ready for distribution when you are (and isn’t it nice to cross things off your list?)

5)  Be First – get your calendars on your customers’ walls first!

If you are an ASI distributor Jim Munkittrick is the contact to talk to at Norwood about calendars. If you are interested in goingreen® products to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Two New Bamboo Promo Ideas

15 Mar

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of  Proforma Green Marketing, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Bamboo as a material was a big mover in 2009. The industry saw bamboo cloth being used in caps, shirts, towels, jackets, heavy totes and even robes. As a replacement for hardwood, bamboo is used in awards, cutting boards, umbrella shafts, and any number of tool handles.

For 2010 the move to bamboo does not seem to be slowing down. As a quick-growing, renewable, natural resource bamboo seems here to stay in the promotional products market. Here are two quick ideas in bamboo new for 2010.

The KIVA Ball Point from LogoMark is one of the first bamboo body pens to hit the market this year. I suspect there will be more. Like most items from LogoMark this pen has a little more style and flare than its peers.

The bamboo pen body gives the KIVA a natural feel and the black, blue or green plastic tip and clip is biodegradable plastic. These pens EQP for $1.45 with one color imprint. With PLA pens for Shepenco running at around $0.50, the KIVA is not meant to be competing in the cheap eco-pen field, but rather as a nicer, client or employee gift pen, perhaps as part of a package with  LogoMark’s bamboo office picture frame or bamboo business card holder.

A number of basic bamboo shopping totes are also coming to market including a bamboo version of the very popular Big Thunder tote by American Ad Bags.

This Bamboo Thunder is 100% Natural Bamboo – which is naturally biodegradable and an eco-friendly sustainable resource – and has a incredibly soft touch that you just do not get with poly or canvas bags. For added strength the Bamboo Thunder offers stitched seams in the sides and at the bottom gusset.

One issue might be price. The Bamboo Thunder by American Adbag runs EQP $3.00, which is more than the $2.10 EQP price of the screen printed polypropylene Big Thunder by Bag Makers (yes different manufacturers, same name, go figure). Both bags measure in at a whooping 13″ x 10″ x 15″. Yes that is a 10 inch gusset.

If you are an ASI distributor Dustin is the contact to talk to at LogoMark. Want more info on the Bamboo Thunder, talked to Courtney Rasmussen at American Adbag.

If you are interested in the these items or other bamboo ideas to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Total Branding By Express Line

13 Feb

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of  Proforma Green Marketing, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Pre-printing for bags is becoming more and more popular in our industry, and I have written about that in the past. Something new gaining speed is pre-printing for drink ware. Established in 1986 and dedicated to only drink ware, The Express Line has a “total branding” program for 2010 that I think is certainly worth a second look by the Ecopreneurist looking for a marketing edge.

Stainless steel and aluminum water bottles are quickly becoming a preferred promotional item for Ecopreneurist because these bottles fit many eco themes such as reduce & reuse and the movement to stop buying plastic water bottles. Also, just like caps and tee shirts, it seems everyone has a favorite water bottle they take everywhere, so bottles give great brand exposure at little cost.

What using a pre-printed program from a company like Express Line provides is more design for the money as it simply adds the client’s art or logo to an already available, and professionally done, stock design. For a full overview of this process take a look at the Express Line Total Branding PDF on their website.

Since Earth Day is right around the corner I want to use as an example the Express Line design #203 which plays to the Earth Day theme.

In this sample we have selected EXPRESS LINE item number #4479, the olive stainless steel 44oz BOLT, with an EQP of $8.99. As seen in the sample image, the pre-print wraps the entire bottle, and would do so on the BOLT 18oz (EQP $7.59) or 24oz (EQP $7.99) as well. In this case the logo being added is ECOLAB.

Color splash motifs, cherry blossoms, flower petals, dots, and pinstripes, are all samples of ideas represented in the 12 pre-designed art overlays in the Express Line Total Branding program, and can be applied to most every item in the Express Line catalog.

Changes in both bottle color and artwork colors are possible. Also most bottles in the Express Line can take a full, multi-color art rap, so if their designs inspire full wrap designs of your own, Express Line bottles can be printed with 100% custom wrap artwork as well.

Again, if you are already spending on stainless steel and aluminum water bottles, and you want the artwork on those bottles to be more impactful, take a look at this line and this program. It is a great way to stretch your marketing budget in 2010.

If you are an ASI distributor Nicki Russo is the contact to talk to at Express Line about this great program. If you are interested in the Express Line to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Recycling Bottle Caps Into Signage

5 Dec

is is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Simonetta Freelance, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

The following is an interview with Ecopreneurist Alan Harris.

Alan is an artist based in DFW and the founder of The company uses used bottle caps to created one of a kind corporate signage and objets d’art for clients.

Alan’s creations are a great idea for any company whose product uses a bottle cap – here I am thinking brewers of every size and style –  and for restaurants and bars looking for unique storefront and point-of-purchase signage. For more information visit

QUESTION: So bottle caps. How and why?

ALAN HARRIS, FOUNDER BOTTLECAPARTWORK.COM: My endeavors with bottle caps started in college, mostly on a whim. It’s easy to throw away a bottle cap; they are so small and seem inconsequential.  But even all those years ago, I recognized in bottle caps their capacity to be a brilliantly colored part of a larger whole.  Some friends and I had been saving our bottle caps for awhile (mostly beer), and I began to experiment with patterns and colors on a large scale on a flat surface. I was a sophomore in college at Baylor University when I had my own delusions about making a “bottle cap table”.  Unlike many of my counterparts, though, I actually had the time, energy and audacity to follow through with my ideas.

Continue reading

Made In USA RPET- Recycled Cotton Blend T-Shirt

25 Aug

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Simonetta Freelance, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.


Oh happy day. I cannot tell you how many clients and fellow Ecopreneurists have in the past gotten very excited about recycled material shirts just to have that excitement evaporate when they are told the shirts are produced overseas.

Well, I am very happy to announce the “discovery” of Concept Eco, which has been cutting, sewing, printing,and embroidering environmentally friendly products for over 16 years in West Palm Beach, FL. And it is Concept Eco who is offering this 50% Polyester from Post-Consumer Recycled Clear Plastic Bottles (PC RPET) & 50% Waste Cotton Tee.

The shirts come in natural and white in youth sizes small through large, and adult sizes small through 3XL. The shirts are a very high quality athletic cut, 1 x 1 rib crew neck, with double needle cover stitched sleeves and bottom hem, taped shoulder to shoulder.

All of which means it looks and feels like a t-shirt, same as any other high quality 50% poly & 50% cotton blend shirt. But this shirt was once a water bottle.

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Eco Friendly Thread?

17 Feb

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Simonetta Freelance, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Ok, so bamboo shirts, e.c.o fleece jackets made from recycled water bottles, soy flax polos and organic cotton t-shirts. We all have seen the great environmentally sustainable and sustaining apparel products that are now available to help promote your business. If you are an Ecopreneurist running a green business then eco-friendly apparel for your promotional items and uniforms is pretty much a given.

Last year the race was on to figure out the best, safest and most sustainable printing methods for t-shirts and caps. Is it water based inks or veg/soy based dyes, or another option? That debate is still out there.

Well Docufinish is one of the companies in the middle of figuring out how to make the “greenest” production shirts possible and today they sent our office a box of samples of shirts they ran for us with water based ink for the City of Plano which included the letter on the right.

What caught my eye in the letter however is the statement in the second paragraph, “Please also keep in mind that we just recently got the ability to produce green embroidered apparel with 100% Organic Rayon thread made from tree pulp.”

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Green Gifts Ideas From An Ecopreneurist

29 Nov

My editor asked me to post a few more ideas on what an Ecopreneurist or any business interested in giving green gifts this year, might give customers for the holidays.

I wanted to approach the idea from two points. First, I am in the promotional items business. For our industry the main purpose of gift giving is to say thank you to the clients you have done business with in the past year, and to keep your name in front of those clients so that they do business with you next year.

Second, as an Econpreneurist gift giving gives my business a chance to show off our green credentials but also – maybe – influence our clients, not all of whom are green, about becoming more green in their own businesses.

So I decided to start off with something very basic. Mugs.

A basic mug cost little and can normally be printed on both the front and back, so there is a lot of room for both your logo and a message.

Perhaps “Thank you for your business in 2008. Think of XYZ company in 2009 for all your ABC needs” on the front and maybe an eco message like “Americans throw away an estimated 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year. The same Styrofoam cups will be sitting in a landfill 500 years from now. Please re-use this mug each day to lessen your impact on the planet.”  Yes that will all fit on a mug.  And trust me a case of mugs showing up at your client’s office goes a lot farther than a fruit basket. Continue reading

Looking For Eco Customer Gifts? Try Bamboo

15 Nov

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of ProformaGreen, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

A number of clients and readers have asked us about ideas for eco-friendly customer gifts – it’s the season after all. I wanted to write a couple of posts talking about items that have done well in the past for clients or that are new for this year and doing well so far.

I also wanted to break this blog into categories so I will start out with BAMBOO.

Top 3 Bamboo Ideas.

1) Flash Drives – Bamboo flash drives, along with their less green brethren in maple, cherry and walnut have been very popular as client gifts this year. At about $9.50 for a 1GB drive with your company or organization’s logo they are a low cost high perceived-value gift. Some clients have gotten very creative and recorded greetings or short videos to their customers and placed them directly on the drives. Again, no one ever throws away a flash drive, they are very useful for office and home, business and recreation. Continue reading

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