Green Gifts Ideas From An Ecopreneurist

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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 Ecopreneurist 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 a very basic green gifts idea. 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.

Ceramic Coffee Mugs – yes, corn plastic and other fancy biodegradable plastic mugs might be hipper, but basic ceramic mugs still get the job done. Norwood makes two great basic mugs, the 11oz Budget Mug runs EQP $1.04 and the 18oz  Oversized Budget runs EQP $1.99. These mugs will last a long time and be used again and again by your clients, and each morning they use the mug they will see your company name.

Glass Coffee Mugs – for a little more money glass coffee mugs also make great gifts and are both reusable and recyclable. This 13 oz. Mediterranean Blue Glass Coffee Mug by Glass America is as low as $3.39 EQP with branding.

Like ceramic mugs, glass mugs come in all types of shapes and sizes. A popular holiday shape is the hot toddy shape of the traditional Irish Glass Coffee Mug. Glass mugs from recycled glass are also available from our industry, however they do cost 10%-20% more and choice is still a bit limited.

Corn Mugs – We have written about corn mugs before. I will say they are gaining in popularity but they are still a bit more than their ceramic and glass brothers. They also have two drawbacks.

They are normally not dishwasher safe and they are only good to 160 degrees. However they are US made from US corn and very sturdy in their own right. The 10.5 oz Corn Mug Koffee Keg from QuickPoint is likely the most popular mug on the market currently, at an EQP price of $3.69.

Of course this same idea would work with BPA free and aluminum water bottles, and there are many holiday sets available pairing mugs with coffee or candy. If you want to do something like adding candy or coffee we encourage you to go local or buy free trade.

Please see these companies websites or contact me at john@proformagreen.com if you would like more information on any of these items.