Business Guide to Eco-Friendly Promotional Items and Materials

Helen Davies
Helen Davies
- 11 min read

Eco-friendly advertising is one of the biggest marketing trends of our time. The eco-industry is growing at a blazing-fast pace. The move towards more sustainable promotional merchandise isn’t going away anytime soon.

In this article, we’re going to examine eco-friendly promotional items and materials. But first, let’s go over the concept of eco-friendliness.

Nowadays, we hear expressions like ‘organic’, ‘going green’ and the like on a regular basis. People think they’re just fancy words for sustainable promotional products and materials. They think companies use them to gain favor from consumers with no substance to show for it. But there’s more to the story.

Wooden sustainable decor element used in interior space

Тhe alarms first went off in the 1970’s when scientists realized that our planet was and is in dire straits. The earth is suffering from all types of pollution – air, noise, water, soil, light – you name it. This concern is high in the advertising industry. Namely, it affects the waste and overconsumption of resources. 

To contribute to conscious consumer choices, many companies are offering green solutions. Eco-friendly business signs and biodegradable promotional products are some of these solutions. Below, find a list of sustainable marketing materials and products for conscious advertising.

Sustainable Marketing Materials and Products to Reduce Waste

There is a growing push to make LCAs (life-cycle assessments) available to businesses and individuals alike. Including eco-friendly promotional items in advertising campaigns is another push. 

#1. Aluminum 

Many of you might think that aluminum can’t be an eco-friendly promotional material.  But we’re ready to prove to you the opposite. 

Eco-friendly promotional item displaying company name made of aluminum

This highly durable material is endlessly recyclable. It makes aluminum a good choice for sustainable promotional merchandise. In fact, 75% of all the aluminum ever produced is now in use because it was recycled.

Aluminum is commercially viable and versatile. Many biodegradable promotional products for advertising are made using this abundant element.

It’s widely used in the sign making industry. Pylon signs, yard signs, high rise signs, sandwich boards and many other outdoor signage types are created with this material. It’s also present in everyday products like cans, pots, wrapping foil and many others.

Directional message showcased on a sign board made of a sustainable marketing material

Related: Eco-Friendly Advertising Ideas

#2. Dibond 

Next on the list is dibond. Dibond is a choice material for eco-friendly promotional items. It consists of a polyethylene core bonded between two aluminum sheets.  Both aluminum and polyethylene are recyclable. This is the reason that this aluminum signs can be fully recycled once it’s served its purpose. 

Aray outdoor advertising made from eco-friendly dibond material

It’s an excellent material to create sustainable promotional products for businesses.  For many years, it’s been a preferred material for making classy and enduring signs flat and 3D signs. Dibond is used for outdoor products such as building signs and architectural signage. It’s also one of the best mediums for sustainable promotional merchandise. 

Eco-friendly dibond material during manufacturing

#3. Fabric 

This sustainable marketing material is the eco-friendly alternative to flex. Flex is a material like plastic which is not biodegradable and emits toxic fumes when burned. Fabric, on the other hand, is biodegradable and organic. To top, it offers the finest finish, patterns and unmatched color combinations.

Advertising banner example made of sustainable marketing fabric material

Fabric is an excellent material for sustainable promotional products or event signs. It enables businesses to meet the growing requirements for eco-friendly promotional items.

You can use fabric for advertising tools such as banners, flags and barricade covers. Fabric is usually made from a combination of canvas, linen and cotton. Even when non-organic materials like polyester are used in combination, they’re still recyclable.

#4. Canvas

Eco-friendly canvas fabrics are made of organic fibers like a mixture of cotton and linen. Historically, canvas was made of hemp and it’s trending in the modern marketplace as well. 

Fashx eco-friendly marketing done with canvas material

Canvas is a sustainable marketing material. It can be reused or recycled for creating sustainable marketing products. It’s more often used in canvas prints than huge corporate signage. Still, it has commercial value on large-scale movie productions, for example.

Canvas is a sustainable marketing material ideal for large format printing of art pieces and promotions. Mini promotional items such as canvas tote bags are also a good alternative to plastic bags. 

Wall-mounted canvas example inside a living room

#5. Acrylic

Surprisingly, the next material on our list is acrylic. It’s considered to be a number 7 plastic. Not surprisingly, acrylic isn’t leading the eco-friendly material charts. Even so, it’s the base for many sustainable promotional products. 

Liftique sustainable marketing board made of acrylic material

It’s an excellent sustainable marketing material for outdoor advertising signs. Acrylic signs have a long lifespan and reduce waste by ensuring that the signs won’t need to be replaced as often. 

For internal applications, acrylic can be used for door plaques, nameplates, table stands and so on. In bars and restaurants, acrylic menu boards are widely popular. Recycled acrylic is also used for making baby incubators and surgical devices. 

#6. LED 

Prominent custom signs used for advertising, such as light box signs and channel letters,  are illuminated. The most common types of sustainable light bulbs used for these products are LEDs. So what makes them eco-friendly?

LED lights as eco-friendly promotional items used in a bank interior space

First of all, they waste significantly less energy. Compared to incandescent and fluorescent lights, LEDs use electricity more efficiently.  LED lights convert about 90% of energy to light. They require less energy to produce the same amount of light.

LED lights are organic component for light up signs as they don’t contain any toxic elements. Other types of light bulbs contain mercury which is considered to be a harmful chemical. 

LED light bulbs also have a much longer lifespan. This means lower carbon discharge and less money and materials spent on replacements.LED lights as biodegradable items

Related: Check out our article on lightbox signs and their unexpected benefits for your business.

“What we are doing to forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”    – Mahatma Gandhi

#7. Wood 

Wood is a sustainable marketing material that’s natural, biodegradable and non-toxic. By using this eco-friendly marketing material, you’ll add a sense of nature and nurture your space. 

Wood as a green promo product

If you’re looking for eco-friendly promotional items, choose wooden signs. Wood is the top choice for organic promotional products. For instance, wooden welcome boards in front of cafes are classic. Likewise, hanging wood items in stores add charm as well as visual appeal.

Invest in sustainable promotional merchandise that enhances your business. Show that you take social responsibility. Make the shift towards  environmentally-friendly promo items.

We offer a great variety of eco-friendly products to boost your business. Contact us!

#8. Bubble Boards 

Bubble board is a sturdy material made of polypropylene. It’s waterproof and can be used both indoors and outdoors. 

Bubble Boards as eco-friendly promotional materials

This brand new substrate serves as a sustainable marketing material that’s recyclable. It also releases less toxins than other types of plastic. It proves a reliable alternative to foamex or rigid foam PVC products.

Waste can be a concern if signs need to be replaced on a regular basis. Recyclable materials are the least companies can do to combat this issue.

#9. Corrugated Cardboard 

Corrugated cardboard is a green promotional item. It’s composed of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two linerboards. It’s the best alternative to signboards often made from petroleum-based resins.   

Corrugated Cardboards as organic products

For price and the environment, go with corrugated cardboard. This organic promotional product is extremely low-cost, biodegradable, recyclable and reusable. Custom coloring is extremely easy to apply to this material. 

Sustainable products made of corrugated cardboards are very lightweight and easy to display. They’re effective to use as hanging signs to raise awareness. Welcome lobby signs right at the entrance of an establishment are often made of corrugated cardboard.

Note: They’re intended for indoor use as they don’t withstand harsh weather conditions.

#10. Eco Boards 

One of the best green alternatives to regular signboards are eco boards. They’re chemical-free and biodegradable promotional products. They’re made of agricultural fibers such as straw or reeds that would otherwise be burned as waste products. 

EcoBoards as green promotional items

Eco boards are perfect for achieving excellent printing results. They can be customized based on the design specifications to overcome various challenges. 

Eco boards have a relatively short lifespan. They can be used for an average of twelve months indoors or for shorter displays outdoors. The upside is that the organic material can be thrown into the green recycling bin right after use! 

#11. Eco Vinyl 

This new billboard skin is a 100% recyclable material for sustainable promotional products. The quality is comparable to PVC while being non-chlorinated. This makes it a lot less toxic and much more affordable.

Eco-vinyl as an eco-friendly material

Eco solvent is a biodegradable ink often used for eco vinyl prints. The medium is best suited for quality prints for event signage, exhibitions and trade show displays, stadium branding and other purposes. Eco vinyl is perfect for exterior usage and will serve for a long time. Once the mission is completed, it can be recycled into a variety of products. 

Related: How to Become an Eco-Friendly Business

Let’s take a break with a fun quiz and then continue with the second half of the article.

Eco  Quiz on How Environmentally-Friendly Your Business is: Advertising Material Choices and More  

Are you concerned about our planet? If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably responded with a resounding, “Yes!” The good news is that there are many ways to make business habits more environmentally conscious. 

Eco-friendly promotional items illustration

Take this quiz below and find out how eco-friendly your business is! We’ve included the results at the end of the blog. Let’s start:

Eco-friendly business quiz

ATTENTION! The results of your quiz are waiting for you at the very bottom of the article. Keep reading! 

Mini Eco-friendly Promotional Items to Assist Your Brand in a Wholesome Way 

There is a whole collection of eco-friendly swag everyone will love. Biodegradable, recyclable and reusable, these cool knick-knacks are gaining popularity. Let’s check the list below. 

Item 1. Tote Bags

Tote bags are tremendously useful to customers. They also provide a tangible form of advertisement for a brand’s identity. They’re well-known as sustainable promotional products among environmentally conscious consumers.

Tote bags as eco-friendly promotional items

These eco-friendly promotional items make an excellent gift item and spread your business name along the way. You can use them to improve your reputation and the health of the planet simultaneously.

Item 2. Wooden Pens

The role of pens as sustainable promotional products is also popular. Everyone appreciates a good, high-quality pen. Giving away eco-friendly pens will help distinguish you from competitors. Conscious consumers will especially love them. 

Wooden pen as an eco-friendly promotional item

Item 3. Biodegradable Dishware

Recent bans on single-use plastic encourage companies to use sustainable promotional products. Reusable or biodegradable dishware is another practical solution for businesses. They can replace single-use plastic and feature your logo. They’ll reduce ecological harm, raise awareness about your brand and promote the green movement all at once. 

Reusable dishware displaying the brand name

Item 4. Environmental Notepad

Notepads are always favored giveaway items. But these eco-friendly notepads are unique because they’re made of recycled paper. They’re another sustainable promotional product destined for daily personal use or gifting. They’re not only stylish but also biodegradable. Your customers will love them.

Eco-friendly notepad displaying the brand name

Item 5. Reusable Water Bottles

Plastic reduction in all business ventures is crucial now more than ever. Stainless steel and glass water bottles are smart alternatives to their plastic counterparts.

Why eco-friendly bottles? Because they’re stunning, toxin-free, practical, reusable and recyclable. Your clients are going to love them for sure!

Reusable water bottle displaying the brand name

Item 6. Bamboo Power Bank

There is an increasing demand for power banks as everybody likes to have charged phones. This eco-friendly promotional item made of bamboo is a perfect giveaway. Bamboo is among the most sustainable and versatile materials out there. Relieve people of the burden of uncharged phones and boost your credibility. 

Bamboo power bank displaying the brand name

Green promo products are always welcome and serve a valuable example. As their selection becomes broader, the strain on the environment will slowly lift.

11 Reasons To Use Sustainable Promotional Products and Materials: 

Are you unsure about what eco-friendly habits are? Maybe you haven’t found a good enough reason to adopt an eco-friendly business or lifestyle. Read the checklist below to learn more benefits of conscious marketing. 

  • Reducing bills with products that last
  • Reducing waste with durable materials
  • Preserving resources for future generations
  • Improving overall human and ecological health
  • Enjoying a cleaner and greener environment
  • Breathing fresh and healthy air
  • Conserving rainforests and key ecological sites
  • Reducing global greenhouse emissions
  • Leading youth by good example
  • Creating smarter and more sustainable products
  • Driving the future of innovation

The sooner we use eco-friendly marketing products, the faster our reality will improve. 


First group (15-21 points)

1.You’re thinking totally green at work!

Your office is great at turning off lights, recycling and reducing unnecessary plastic. You’re mindful about switching off electricity and contributing to a healthier environment.

Second group (10-15 points)

2. You’re on the right track but could be more eco-friendly

Every little act can help. For instance, try reducing your use of unnecessary plastic. Or switch to a more efficient source of energy. Each of us can make commendable strides towards a more sustainable future.

Third group (7-10 points)

3. You should review the benefits of a sustainable business 

It’s possible you’re not aware of the indirect harm caused by everyday choices we make. The truth is that our planet could be better taken care of. In return, we’ll reap the rewards. Whether you run a small business or a big corporation, we encourage you to start thinking green. It’s for the well-being of all and will contribute to your success.

We provide eco-friendly branding solutions to empower the green industry. Contact us to discuss sustainable advertising for your business today.


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