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Easy To Be Green by John D. Powell

Does it pay for a company to be green? Absolutely. According to the inaugural BBMG Consumer Conscious Report, nearly 90% of American consumers are more likely to buy products from companies they believed employed eco-friendly practices. That’s a big number. But to get the attention of consumers who are going green, you’ve got to toot your own horn a bit.

Using promotional products, especially of organic or recycled nature, will not only demonstrate that your company cares about the environment, but will also reduce the effects of harmful materials, pollution and non-biodegradable waste. With that in mind, here’s how three companies spread the word about their environmentally friendly practices.

Greening the (Learning) Scene
When executives at Lindamood-Bell, a learning company, uncovered study after study that drew links between environmental factors and conditions such as autism, its executives decided to adopt dozens of company-wide green practices, included using more energy-friendly light bulbs, video conferencing, a bigger push for recycling and using non-toxic cleaning supplies in its 42 facilities worldwide.

But the company wanted to do more to encourage both clients and employees to adopt the green cause. The solution? Lindamood-Bell launched a week-long campaign last August called “Greening Our Learning Scene,” according to Steve Rossi, a company spokesperson.

“The company’s executives believe it is not only their responsibility as members of this planet but also as members of their community to reduce the negative environmental impact on our planet,” says Debbie Long who helped spearhead the event. For this promotion, the company used a series of eco-friendly promotional products including organic T-shirts, cotton totebags and recycled pencils. “The totebags were given to clients who were encouraged to use them as reusable grocery bags,” Long says. The T-shirts were given to customers and employees throughout the company’s facilities worldwide. All recipients were asked to wear the T-shirts throughout the week.

The promotion was extremely successful. “The entire event created a domino effect,” Long says. Managers passed on their enthusiasm to employees, who passed it along to customers.

Lindamood-Bell was so pleased with the response from employees and clients alike that they have decided to host another Green Week coinciding with Earth Day and the company continues the use of green products to promote the green cause, says Rossi.

“My client’s goal was to create awareness and educate others about reducing the negative environmental impact on the earth,” Long says. “This goes far beyond a simple return on investment or formula for success. Because of the domino effect from this event, the longterm benefits can reach to future generations and change the world one person at a time.” After the week concluded, Lindamood-Bell was honored with a Pollution Prevention Recognition Award from the Air Pollution Control District in San Luis Obispo County for its green-friendly activities.

Toes in the Sand
When snorkeling off the coast of beautiful tropical islands it’s easy to lose track of the time. For hours, backs are exposed to the blistering heat of the sun. Best solution? Sunscreen.

But, before lathering up to protect yourself, take a moment to consider the environment as well. According to leading biochemists, there are four main ingredients in sunscreens that are harming coral reefs by activating viruses that kill the algae that feed the coral through photosynthesis.

Cancun, Mexico, has begun prohibiting the use of certain sunscreens when snorkeling over the coral reefs, says Tom Whaley, president of a sunscreen manufacturer. With this information in mind, the company was able to better serve a promotional products distributor calling for ideas for first-night room gifts for a group of Presidents Club incentive winners from a financial firm vacationing in Cancun. The idea sprang to life in the form of a jute basket filled with eight-hour waterproof sunscreens, lip balms, moisturizers and sunburn relief items. “We provided certificates of biodegradability for our items,” Whaley says. “The recipients were able to use the items while snorkeling at the reefs as well as on the rest of their trip.”

The snorkellers were impressed with the basket of gifts because “the products could be used on the snorkeling trip, kept the recipients from getting sunburned throughout the week and had a high perceived value as they were also sold in the gift shop of the resort at very high retail prices,” Whaley says.

When choosing sunscreen as a promotion, here are some tips to keep in mind.

• Look for the active ingredients in sunscreens. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are minerals that will scatter and reflect UVA and UVB rays, while petrochemicals absorb them

• Always read the label carefully as many “natural” sunscreens contain chemicals harmful to corral reefs.

• Sunscreens that claim to be waterproof may not always be. “In chemistry there is one law: similar dissolves similar,” Ferreira says. “Sixty percent of sunscreen is water. The truth is, when synthetic sunscreen comes in contact with water, it breaks down and washes away.”

• Finally, if you’re planning a trip to a balmy locale, consider offering hats and clothing that offer UV protection or have an SPF rating.

All in the Structure
To welcome employees to a new facility in Texas, a Fortune 500 technology company turned to a promotional products distributor, for gift ideas to promote the new building. The new business campus was designed as an environmentally friendly building, and they wanted the promotion to tie in.

The new offices promote open work spaces for a friendlier atmosphere where the supports and structures of the building are clearly visible. The floors are made of polished concrete and the ceilings reveal the pipe work. Using fewer materials and fewer walls helped reduce the amount of construction dust that would enter the environment, not to mention the preservation of natural substances that would have gone into making the materials. The company also spent $11 million on environmental improvements to the land where the complex was to be housed.

To keep their theme green, they wanted to order a stainless steel mug for each employee, limiting paper and Styrofoam waste at the coffee machines. It was taken one step further by considering a recycled coffee mug.

The 3,500 mugs ordered were delivered just in time for the opening and the promotion went over well with the employees who viewed using their new mugs as “commitments to eco-friendly initiatives in the new building,” .

The client loved the mugs because they went over very well with the employees. They were thrilled. In June, they are planning a grand opening celebration for the community and looked at a variety of eco-friendly items to compliment this family-style event. Eco-friendly items that are being considered include flip-flops, T-shirts, hats, backpacks and recycled USB memory sticks.

Mary Beth Swayne, Advertising specialties Institute, Contributing Writer

This article was published on Wednesday 01 October, 2008.
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View Proofs Before Your Order Is Sent Into Production

We realize that promotional products are an investment - and we want you to be happy with the finished product. Supply your own camera ready art and you'll know exactly how the project will turn out. Can't provide camera ready art? Let our team of designers prepare artwork for you and send you a proof prior to the project being completed. For even more peace of mind, allow us to produce an actual pre-production sample at a small fee. If your budget won't allow for that, many times we can provide a virtual sample at no charge.

Promotional Products and Marketing Gifts

Did you know promotional products and merchandise with your logo not only strengthens your relationships with customers and prospects, they actually have a better retention rate than with many traditional advertising ventures. Promotional products, also known as specialty advertising, build brand awareness, help build corporate identity and promote a positive impression of your business. Let our team work with you in selecting the best specialties that fit your corporate identity. When used, specialty advertising products are a valuable tool in solidifying your position in today's competitive marketplace.

Promotional products are also serve as great marketing gifts to leave with potential customers and clients. Let your sales force leave behind promotional products with your name, logo and contact information on them and you will experience the benefit in increased results. In today's competitive marketplace, "desk time", is an essential element in moving through the marketing clutter of emails, phone calls and mailings. what better way to have your prospects and customers think of you than when they use a pad of Post-Its, pen, mousepad, coaster, cup or calendar with your logo constantly presented to them. Research shows companies that use advertising specialties in their marketing mix outperform those that don't use specialty products.

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Corporate and Business Gifts

In today's competitive workplace, employee recognition is an essential element in retaining your valuable workforce. We are able to provide a wide range of gifts designed to foster morale, provide a sense of loyalty and reward performance. Whether you choose crystal awards, electronics or any of our many corporate gifts they will be sure to please and create a sense of success and job security. As with any corporate gift or reward, employees tend to display or use them with pride.

Business gifts are a standard - especially when you want to thank your clients for their time or business. What better way to leave a valuable impression than with a premium gift decorated with your logo or message. Action Advertising offers a comprehensive selection of corporate and promotional gifts designed to show your appreciation to those you select to receive them.

So, whether you are celebrating a milestone of sales or tenure, our selection of corporate gifts will sure to lend an element of class, a feeling of accomplishment and appreciation. Whatever the need from crystal, glass, leather or electronic, we have a special corporate gift to please and fit any budget.

Promotional Company Shirts

Corporate shirts are a great way to reward clients or to increase your exposure to the public. We are pleased to offer a wide range of shirts including embroidered polo's and custom printed shirts. Shirts can provide your business with free advertising - and what company wouldn't want that?

Whether you are seeking to increase team building, present a unified appearance or create a sense of belonging - promotional shirts can help you accomplish your goal.

Even if you need corporate uniforms, Action Advertising is pleased to offer a wide range of uniform programs. We offer many styles in men's as well as ladies cuts. Worried about stains? Let our selection of stain resistant shirts help keep your employees looking their best. Concerned about the environment? Action Advertising offers many "green" products including bamboo which not only is environmentally friendly, but naturally anti-microbial.

Trade Show Giveaway Items, Logo Pens

Tradeshow giveaways can be a source of stress for those planning what to giveway. Let the helpful and knowledgeable staff at Action Advertising help by offering solutions to maximize your budget. With comprehensive sourcing options, we can find products tailored to fit your marketing objective. We can custom print a wide range of proven tradeshow giveaways including pens, bags, key chains, magnets, huggers and more. We also can provide mouse pads, umbrellas, MP3 programs, banners, candy and flash drives.

By far one of our best selling tradeshow giveaways is pens. Chances are, most of the pens on your desk, in your car or at home have a corporate logo on them. These items can be customized with a message that will be seen time and time again by customers, prospects and employees. So whether you are promoting a message of safety, celebration or location - imprinted pens go a very long way in advancing your corporate message because they usually are so well traveled. Action Advertising offers a pen to fit any budget from sleek upscale fountain pens to more economical varieties.

Printed Materials and Graphic Design Services

In addition to promotional products, Action Advertising offers outstanding pricing on a wide range of printed paper items including business cards, brochures, flyers, doorhangers, postcards, catalogs, CD/DVD inserts and much more.

If you need something designed, we have a staff of in-house graphic designers that help with logo design, print campaigns and printed collateral - including banners and auto magnets. Our rates are far more competitive than traditional ad agency rates.

We understand marketing and corporate branding.


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