Need your ideas please!

Want to share some knowledge of eco products. Or have you heard about any new eco projects that you want to share with the world?
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margo - newbie
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Need your ideas please!

Post: #140546 cleanup
Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:35 pm

Hi, I am hoping you can help.
I work for a local authority and am slowly persuading them towards the 'greener' side of life! :mrgreen:
We are currently putting together ideas for promotional items such as pens, pads, bags etc. for freebies at schools, community groups etc. and I am working hard to ensure everything is recycled or reusable and USEFULL (most of these things seem to end up thrown in a drawer.)
What is the most usefull and environmentally friendly 'freebie' you've received?
Thanks!!

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140557 Loobyloo
Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:09 pm

A canvas shopping bag from a hotel. Most useful and its only thin fabric so it can't have too expensive for them to produce ( I know all about working within budgets!)


Ooh, also energy saving bulbs from our leccy supplier (about the only decent thing they've ever done!)

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140561 SamBee
Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:14 pm

I think you're doing very good by fighting to reduce this waste produced by freebies. What everyone needs and finds most useful are pens or pencils if you can find a sustainable source or make sure they're able to be recycled or are made form recycled sources.
Other useful things are bags, people will use them if they've got them, especially for the shopping now days. Are non-plastic bags an option, that makes keeping them worthwhile to people.
I think body Shop now do a plastic bad that's bio-degradable within a year if you can look into that.
I'm probably not much help as you've already thought these up but I though it'd be nice for you to get a reply :)

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140562 mamos
Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:17 pm

Please check these guys out http://www.remarkable.co.uk/

They make pencils from recycled plastic cup etc

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margo - newbie
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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140572 cleanup
Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:32 pm

Thanks for the replies so far.

We've opted for pens and pencils made from recycled cardboard and cd cases, rulers from recycled plastic cups, magnets from recycled cd cases, recycled desk-pads and my favourite...a shopping bags. ( I love getting these)

Any more ideas would be great..............

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140573 Clara
Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:48 pm

At the risk of being the old bah humbug......

Would it not be better to consider whether these things are necessary at all? What is the stated aim of these freebies? Is there any evidence to suggest that giving out these things will help you achieve your aims? I suspect a lot of these things are done just because that's the way it is done. Perhaps you could talk to your employers about being truly green and not playing the game of "stuff". They'd save themselves the money which could then be ploughed back into these no doubt worthwhile projects.

I say this because junk is junk is junk, even if it is made from recycled materials. It will no doubt have used fossil fuels in it's creation and transportation, used some non-recycled or non-recyclable materials in it's packaging en route to you, perhaps been created in labour conditions less than favourable to the workforce and so on.

Clearly going about this the way you have is better than doing it conventionally and full marks to you for going with it, i suspect you have had to fight your corner. But your employers should be made aware that the mantra is REDUCE, reuse, recycle - in that order.
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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140579 prison break fan
Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:24 pm

Spot on Clara! pbf

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140667 Rod in Japan
Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:21 pm

The reason why people still buy pens and pencils in spite of the drawerful of free ones is because the free ones are crap. They generally don't write properly. Wobbly, crusty biros and gritty but slippery pencil leads.

Also you need to ask, how many times have you picked up a pen and thought, "Gosh, I must dial these tiny numbers to find out more about the organization that commissioned this crappy pen!"?

And another question -- why does a local authority need to promote anything, and what are they promoting? If it is in fact right to promote what you do in some way, isn't it possible to promote it in a way that is actually related to what you do?

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140671 Ellendra
Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:13 am

Rod in Japan wrote:The reason why people still buy pens and pencils in spite of the drawerful of free ones is because the free ones are crap. They generally don't write properly. Wobbly, crusty biros and gritty but slippery pencil leads.

Also you need to ask, how many times have you picked up a pen and thought, "Gosh, I must dial these tiny numbers to find out more about the organization that commissioned this crappy pen!"?

And another question -- why does a local authority need to promote anything, and what are they promoting? If it is in fact right to promote what you do in some way, isn't it possible to promote it in a way that is actually related to what you do?



I've seen a few promotions that really did work well. One clinic had a stand at a job fair, and their give-away was a little bandaid dispenser that hooked on to a keyring. Just what I needed at the time, as I was studying electronics in college and kept sticking my fingers with the wire, or getting paper cuts.

If you do go with pens, make sure they're good quality. I still keep my TaxCut2006 pen because it works so much better than my others, and its chunky enough you can actually read the name on it.

One advantage with bags, of course, is that if you're giving them out at a fair or an expo, people can use them to carry the stuff from the other tables.

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140678 Rod in Japan
Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:58 am

Ellendra, you accepted the goods, but were you more any more accepting of the products and services promoted as a result?

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140782 Ellendra
Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:34 pm

I haven't needed the services of that particular clinic yet, but if/when I ever become a mother, I will certainly keep the Saint Mary's Birthing Center and Pediatrics in mind :lol:

And I still use TaxCut software to do my taxes with.

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140787 Clara
Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:53 pm

Completely OT - but the only corporate freebie I have in my house is a refillable Parker ballpoint I found on a train, moreover i like the irony of it being lightly engraved with the words "BP Chemicals" on the side :lol:
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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140808 Big Al
Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:00 pm

cleanup wrote:Thanks for the replies so far.

We've opted for pens and pencils made from recycled cardboard and cd cases, rulers from recycled plastic cups, magnets from recycled cd cases, recycled desk-pads and my favourite...a shopping bags. ( I love getting these)

Any more ideas would be great..............



Is it possible to get some groups to make shopping bags for you. I'm thinking of the many groups that are volunteer based and they could have their logo on one side and your logo on t'other.

http://www.morsbags.com/

Hope that helps
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margo - newbie
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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #140911 cleanup
Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:06 pm

Thanks folks,

Yes, in an ideal world, it would be better if we did not give away this 'junk' but I'm only one voice in a crowd all shouting for cheap crap with their service details on it.

What we do have now is eco-friendlier, better quality products that people are more likely to keep.

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Re: Need your ideas please!

Post: #142173 the.fee.fairy
Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:27 am

I have remarkable pens from local businesses that like to go to fetes and country shows and give them to me. Because they're from remarkable, the pens are really good and i use them every day at work. Its saved me a fortune in stationery...

However, from the point of view of businesses, that's the only thing they do. I can't say i've ever favoured one company over another because they gave me a nice pen at the Young Farmers show!

Some things that i have used have come from Recycle Essex - i've got their no junk mail sticker on my letterbox, their recycle magnet on my fridge and i tend to take my lunch to work in one of their jute bags, so i suppose that i advertise inadvertently for them. If advertising is their plan, then they've succeeded. If getting me to buy their products is their plan, then they failed. I use their fee stuff but have never bought any of their 'recycling gadgets' because i don't need them.

Cleanup - please, make an introduction and join in the forum a bit. you might learn a bit more about what people want and why they want it.

Oooh...potato peeler! I got a couple of free ones from someone at the Young Farmer's show. I think it was an organic box scheme that gave them away. i've already got an organix box supplier who i love, but if i didn't my mind might be swayed to those who gave me the peeler!


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