Tag Archives: proformagreen

Visstun Grow Kit Earth Day Flyer

15 Mar

Visstun is sending around this flyer on their grow kits as an idea for Earth Day promotions. I actually really like this idea for school Earth Day events because teachers can build a lesson around the grow kit that can take the Earth Day message beyond just one day. From Visstun, “These unique custom Grow Kits printed with Hi-Definition, 4-Color Process help your business grow along with these fun plants! Printed in stunning Hi-Definition, Full-Color Print. Drain in Bottom of Cup supports proper health of plant. Durable WHITE Plastic cup is Recyclable. Made in USA item.”

Visstun Grow Kit Flyer

If you are an ASI distributor looking for knock out cups talk to Joe Davis at Visstun. If you are interested in Hi-def Visstun Reusable Clear Plastic Cups to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.


6 Aug


There is no getting around the fact that the last few months have seen some really terrible weather in the U.S.  Floods, fires, tornadoes, all have been issues in the first half of 2011.

Something that often proves invaluable in bad weather situations is a good radio, preferably with a shortwave (SW) band.

The Emergency Self-Charging Dynamo from Sweda is a good example of a small, portable, self-charging emergency radiothat at the right place, and at the right time, can go way beyond “just another promo item”.

The Emergency Self-Charging Dynamo from Sweda features a sleek metallic silver case and a matte black rubberized body. The radio also contains a three bulb LED flashlight. Both the radio and the flashlight run off an internal wind-up generator, so the Emergency Self-Charging Dynamo will never need batteries.

The imprint area of the Dynamo is 3/8″H x 2-1/4″W smack on the center front of the unit, total size of the unit is a very portable 3”H x 6”W x 2”.

If you are a credit union in Tornado Alley still handing out toasters, I suggested you think about switching to the Emergency Self-Charging Dynamo from Sweda. The Dynamo is also a good fit for storm awareness programs or organizations promoting weather awareness and educational programs.

If you are a distributor and want more information on the Emergency Self-Charging Dynamo from Sweda contact Lakisha Higgins, Sweda Strategic Accounts. If you would like to purchase this item for your own business please contact your local promotional items provider or email info@proformagreen.com for pricing and samples.

Teslin® Substrate Equals Printing on Sand?

15 Jun

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

Ever heard of Teslin?  I was helping a client with a run of key fobs, you know those customer loyaly cards that you place on your key rings, and noticed a curious link on the SSI website.

SSI Technologies boasts on their website that they are “the leading technology-based gift card manufacturer in the world”. That is likely very true as the work they produce is outstanding. Something the website does not particualry boast about is that SSI is using Teslin for many of their products, workhorse items of the promotional products industry like gift cards, library cards, loyalty cards, gaming cards, key tags.

And just what is Teslin and why is it considered an eco-friendly material?

Teslin is produced by PPG Industries and is used in many commercial, retail, and it seems, promotional items. The PPG website lists uses ranging from “specialty print, tag and label use, to technology-focused applications, such as e-Passports and radio frequency identification (RFID) cards and labels”.

Teslin is a non-toxic, non-cellulose, recyclable material that is 65% by weight inorganic filler (silica – derived from sand). In our industry I think of Teslin as a printable, durable material that is not plastic (no petroleum pollution)  and not paper (no trees destroyed).

The material is currently recycled in bulk to form items such as plastic lumber and industrial signs and according to the PPG datasheet, “incinerates in an atmosphere of excess oxygen to yield only water, CO2, energy, and a clean ash (from silica filler)”. If products made from Teslin do reach a landfill there is really nothing to leach into the groundwater, as the material is mainly sand and is free of heavy metals.

PPG does not give a lot of background on the manufacturing process of Teslin, saying only that “Teslin grades are manufactured under strict corporate guidelines for environmental compliance and waste minimization.” A vague enough statement that additional questions should likely be asked by Ecopreneurists looking to use this new material.

However on the whole Teslin seems to be one of the new materials like Repreve® recycled polyester that is slowly changing the way promotional items are produced.

To learn more about Teslin itself contact PPG. If you are ASI and interested in the full list of Teslin products offered by SSI Technologies, I suggest you email Jeff Ames. If you are interested in items printed on Teslin to promote your own business, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Organic Cotton Umbrellas From Stromberg

6 Jun

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

Stromberg Brand has been selling umbrellas since 1942 and is recognised as a leading manufacturer of umbrellas for the promotional products industry.

This year Stromberg has entered the eco-friendly promotional products field with their first green umbrella, the Eco Umbrella – Automatic Folding #82ECO.

Stromberg is known for their quality products and imprinting – indeed Stromberg has won 3 Gold Medals for screen printing – and the Eco Umbrella does not disappoint for quality or craftsmanship.

The 46in  canopy of this automatic folder is made of 100% natural, 100% biodegradable cotton. The  steel shaft and frame are recyclable metals and the handles are made of wood instead of plastic. I would have liked to have seen an organic cotton canopy and bamboo instead of hardwood used for the handle, but all in all this is a very good first try from an industry leader.

At EQP $11.50 with one color imprint the Eco Umbrella is competitively priced to similar quality traditional umbrellas.  The umbrellas have a 7in x 7in good size imprint area, and come in Enviro Green, Black, and Natural.  As the name suggests this is a one touch automatic opening umbrella. A matching case, which can be imprinted, is included with each unit.

The umbrella might be an overlooked idea in the promotional items market, however it must be said that umbrellas offer a large, highly visable graphics area, and are practical as giveaways, since a quality umbrella is often an item that is held onto for years.

The ECO Umbrella would work well as a giveaway or even branding tool for Ecopreneurists working in the hotel and travel industries, as well as a nice item for corporate retreats. Good quality. Eco-materials (looking for better in 2011). Large imprint to cost ratio. Certainly worth a look.

To learn more about the long history at Stromberg and their reasoning for the ECO Umbrella, contact President Helen Stromberg. If you are interested in umbrellas to promote your own business, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Poly-Pak 400% Solution Bag

7 May

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

Poly-Pak Industries has come out with a basic event tote they are calling the 400% solution bag. The bag is designed as an option to the more common poly-propylene bags that are just about everywhere in our industry. Don’t get me wrong, I like the reusable, #5 recyclable propylene bags. The problem, as we have learned and some readers have pointed out, it is very hard to locate a recycler that can actually recycle #5 bags. So #5 are still strong and reusable, but in reality, currently, not so recyclable.

Enter the 400% solution bag. Why the name? Because these bags are being marketed by Poly-Pak as 100% reusable, meeting all state and local US laws for re-usability, 100% recyclable, so drop in any collection bin, 100% degradable made with D2W degradable additive, and 100% economical at less than half the price of a non-woven bag.

The 400% solution bags have an enormous imprint area at nearly the full size of the this 18in x 20in x 4in bag. The 400% solution bags are offered in three handle styles, soft loop handle, patch handle, and fold over dye cut (so handle is cut into the material itself). With only a 4in gusset this is really not a shopping tote, but it is a excellent promotional or event bag, especially with that huge imprint area.

This is the first time I have come across the D2W degradable additive (see the D2W website for an explanation of this material). Basically this is an additive that does not weaken the bag but does allow it to break down, even if the bag simply becomes litter. From the D2W website, “The degradation process commences with any combination of heat, light and stresses acting as catalysts and affecting the speed with which it progresses. Once the process is initiated it will continue even in a landfill, if the plastics are caught in the branches of a tree or in a fence, or if they are under water.” Also adding D2W does not effect the recyclability of the material it is added to. Interesting.

Poly-Pak was the first company to bring this new D2W to my attention, and I am interested to see what the industry will do with this material moving forward. The 400% bags are actually so new they are not yet even listed on the Poly-Pak Industries website. Minimum runs on these bags start at 5,000 units at a cost normally less then same size nonwoven bag.

If you are an ASI member with questions Melissa Cantor at Ploy-Pak is the contact to talk to.  If you are interested in the 400% Solution bag to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

70% Recycled EcoButton From Buzzline

29 Apr

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

In 2008 we talked about the eco button or ebutton from Hirsch Gift. Buzzline is now selling two updated versions of this product which they are calling the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub.

So what is new after two years? To start with the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub are made of 70% recycled plastic. That is a nice upgrade over the ebutton. And the EcoButton Hub provides four USB ports which makes it a more useful item on the desk and therefor, as a promotional products item, more likely to stay on the desk promoting your brand.

The EcoButton and EcoButton Hub also come with a standard splash screen which displays on the users’ computer screen a daily and cumulative dollar and carbon savings for the time the computer using either device is placed into “ecomode.” So actual feedback to the user, again, a nice upgrade.

So what is it that the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub actually do? The claim to fame on the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub – and other like products – is that pressing the button puts a computer into the “most efficient sleep mode available, reducing your carbon footprint and saving money spent on electricity”.

Picture a corporate HQ with a couple hundred or more active computer users. Someone goes to lunch, they hit the EcoButton. Someone goes to a meeting, they hit the EcoButton. The idea is that when people are away from their desks their computers will power down beyond the simple screen saver mode, to a point that actually impacts the electrical use of the computer. Multiply that by a few hundred or thousand users, and the saving will add up.

At EQP $10.25 for the EcoButton and EQP $14.19 for the EcoButton Hub I think these are a great idea for any Ecopreneurist targeting clients in the IT or corporate world. Also a  great giveaway for software firms (might be nice to include with software releases) and computer companies themselves. Full color imprints are no problem.

Anywhere computers gather, the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub should be a hit. And again it is not just green but also a money saver.

If you want some estimates on how much money might be saved or more information on the working of the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub contact Jen Muzzillo of Buzzline.

If you are interested in the EcoButton and EcoButton Hub to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Videos From ASI Dallas

18 Feb

ASI is the Advertising Specialty Institute, the trade organization for the promotional products industry. This year at ASI DALLAS (one of several yearly ASI trade shows) I was joined by Brady Anderton of FUELED FILMS (http://fueldfilms.com/). Brady is working on a project related to the greening of the promotional products industry, so similar in topic to my writings here at ecopreneurist.com.

Since Brady is a film guy he didn’t take notes so much as have his team film me while we talked. What we ended up with was a kind of rambling dialogue about industry changes for 2010 and the evolution of green in promo.

I figured we would edit some of these conversations into more manageable bits and post some of the footage here. For more visit http://www.youtube.com/ProformaGreen.










If you are an ASI distributor talk to the vendors directly about these new items. Items seen are from AMERICANNA, ASH CITY, NUMO, LEEDS, QUICKPOINT, SHEPENCO. If you are interested in these items to promote your own business contact your local promotional items distributor or email info@proformagreen.com 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 proformagreen.com). 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 info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Recycling Bin Tote Set From Norwood

9 Feb

Once again Norwood takes a basic idea and makes it a whole lot better. Laminated woven polypropylene bags are not new to the industry. Nor are pre-printed totes. However Norwood took these two basic ideas, added a bit of Velcro, and presto, a brand new product idea is launched that is going to get your brand noticed in a hurry.

To be honest it took me a moment to get this concept. Really this is just a set of three bags, right?

Wrong. What the Recycling Bin Tote Set really accomplishes is a portable recycling station and a very smart promotional idea for any Ecopreneurist targeting office workers, parks, college dorms, any area where people collect in small groups.

Think about it, what does a dorm or office really need to kick start a recycling program? First step is a place to put the materials to be recycled. The three bags in the Recycling Bin Tote Set come pre-printed with the text PAPER (green tote), METAL (orange tote), PLASTIC (blue tote). Easy to understand.

Then – here is the genius – they attach to each other with Velcro on the top outer edge of each tote. And presto you have an instant recycle station, branded with your logo, for any indoor or outdoor space. The PAPER, METAL, PLASTIC text is even in multiple languages for that whole act local, think global ideal, and each tote is pre-printed with a symbol of the recyclable for that bag.

Each tote is a huge 11-3/8″w x 16-1/4″h x 11-1/4″d in size, with a 8″w x 6-1/2″h imprint area on the orange center tote only. Each set can also connect to another set since the Velcro runs the outside of the totes as well, so setting up multiple sets as needed is possible. And of course the fact they connect makes the totes freestanding as well.

Say you are an eco lodge that does picnics on your property, but away from the main building. Set up the picnic and then set out the Recycling Bin Tote Set. So you collect all the recyclables from the picnic, unlatch the Velcro, pick up the individual totes for easy carriage to your main recycling center. Done.

Repeat this idea at the college dorm-room, office meeting room, home, etc. Genius.

At EQP of $10.89 per set, wherever the Recycling Bin Tote Set is setup, there stands your logo as well, telling the crowds who is providing this great on-the-fly service (and yes they also make very nice shopping totes).

If you are an ASI distributor D’Anna Zimmer is the contact to talk to at Norwood about this great idea. If you are interested in the Recycling Bin Tote Set to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Can Promo Help Save The Reefs?

3 Feb

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

I like the beach. A lot of folks like the beach. And this time of year dozens of cruise ships are taking people from cold northern climes to warm southern waters. Indeed an item as basic as brandable sunscreen is a big seller for our industry at this time of year. Believe me, cruise ships hold a lot of sunscreen.

However, over the past few years the world has come to learn that traditional sunscreen kills coral, indeed many places like Cancún in Mexico ban traditional sunscreen all together. So what is an Ecopreneurist targeting the snowbirds supposed to do?

Enter Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products. Aloe Up offers a natural, biodegradable (reef friendly), hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) sun and skin care line produced from aloe organically grown in Harlingen, Texas and sold in over 60 countries worldwide.

Aloe Up biodegradable SPF 25 sun lotion holds a minimum of 25% pure Aloe Vera Gel, is alcohol, mineral oil, and PABA free, is independently tested, and complies with FDA standards. Aloe Up products are fragrance free as well.

What does that all mean to the Ecopreneurist? Simple. This is the good stuff, and placing your logo on this item is the safe bet when it comes to brandable, upscale sun protection.

“Our products are biodegradable,” says Dan Ohlson, Vice President of Sales for Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products. “In the case of the screen this means it may be used in and around all coastal regions, including resorts in Mexico which have strict regulations banning screen due to the fact that it kills coral by killing plankton (its food source).” Ohlson went on to say that an item like Aloe Up SPF 15 Pro Sport will stay on in the water for up to 8 hours, will not sweat into your eyes on the golf coarse, it will not soak into your skin. {see video clip}

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