Swag Connection Blog 
Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Reusable Bags: Too Much Of A Good Thing??

The hot swag item of the moment - reusable shopping bags - is quickly becoming a subject of controversy. Well-meaning companies with green aspirations have been giving them away at record rates at events and for promotional purposes. We at Swag Connection get calls almost daily from companies looking to hop on the reusable bag bandwagon and our suppliers are scrambling to keep up with demand.

Trouble is, so many of these bags have flooded the market that a bag backlash is beginning to brew. Friday's Wall Street Journal article entitled "An Inconvenient Bag" was the first to expose the unintended consequences of all these green intentions (click the highlighted text above to read the article online). A Google search today confirmed this subject is all over the blogosphere now, and savvy marketers need to be aware of it.

Long story short, so many companies are giving out so many of these bags that people simply can't or won't use them all... and they're ending up in landfills instead. They take more energy and resources to produce than the plastic disposable bags they're designed to replace, and they don't decompose all that quickly. So instead of being the solution, they're quickly becoming part of the problem.

Another thing to consider is that the big retailers providing these bags are getting the best price on large quantities by sourcing them from China. These cheap bags are made from non-woven polypropylene, which takes about 28 times as much energy to produce than the plastic used in disposable plastic grocery bags (and about 8 times more than paper bags). Very few of these bags contain much recycled content and their 'green' status may be overrated.

Lastly, it's the old "you can lead a horse to water" problem. No matter how many reusable bags you give to people, it isn't really earth-friendly swag until the people actually RE-USE THE BAGS! And that's the problem. The WSJ article sites a survey of 500 viewers done by a San Francisco TV station that found 58% never took reusable grocery bags to the store with them. And this is in one of the greenest cities in America! Other sources in the same article estimate the percentage of shoppers reusing bags is as low as 10%. Sounds like we need to change people's habits... not hand out more bags.

So if you're looking for earth-friendly swag ideas, I suggest you look beyond the bag. You'll find a lot of green swag ideas right here on my blog, and even more on our searchable website: www.swagconnection.com. My Swag Team and I are also here to give you great green ideas... all you need to do is call or email us.

Thanks for reading and please tell others about my blog!

Diane Nudelman - "The Swag Queen"



Posted by: Diane Nudelman AT 01:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 22 September 2008

Green Giveaway Idea: Recycled Aluminum Carabiner Clips

Here's another popular swag item that's now available made from recycled materials. These recycled aluminum carabiner clips are handy to use as a keyring or to clip items to a purse, pack, bicycle or belt loop. They're laser-engraved with your logo or message and come with a pre-printed notice on the clip noting it is a recycled product.

Priced well under $2.00 each, these are a fantastic earth-friendly swag idea that can be used as a giveaway for events and tradeshows. The miminum quantity is a low 50 pieces with a turnaround time of about a week plus shipping.

Custom Corporate Color Option: One especially cool feature is that you can have these recycled carabiners made in any Pantone Color you choose to match your company's color scheme. This option is available on orders of 2,700 pieces or more (4-6 week lead time applies on custom color orders).


You'll find information and pricing on this item on our e-commerce site - here's a link to the collection of items featured on our blog:


Thanks for reading & keep coming back for more earth-friendly swag ideas!

Posted by: Diane Nudelman AT 05:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 18 September 2008

New Eco-Swag Idea - Organic Fair-Trade "Mug Stuffers"

Since I've featured several different mug ideas on the blog lately I wanted to give you an earth-friendly swag idea to put in those mugs to promote your business. These mug-stuffer packets of ground Fair Trade Organically-Grown Coffee brew a perfect pot of 10-12 cups of delicious coffee you can feel good about giving to your clients and prospects.

Organic coffee is grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, reducing the amount of pollutants in the environment. Fair Trade Certified coffee assures that family farmers receive a fair price for their harvest. Environmentally sustainable farming is encouraged and forced child labor is prohibited.

These air-tight packs keep the coffee fresh and feature your custom artwork on a professionally printed, pre-affixed label. Choose from a 1-color foil imprint or use 4-color process graphics for maximum visual impact. Minimum order quantity is 144 packs and they're priced at around $2 per pack, making them an affordable earth-friendly swag idea for tradeshows and marketing events.

Here are just a few ways you could use this swag idea creatively:

-Insert packs in custom-logo mugs and leave behind after sales calls

-Financial Planners, CPAs & Insurance Agents - mail to clients with a reminder for annual account reviews

-Outside Salespeople - deliver coffee packs along with bagels or doughnuts on office calls

-Banks & Credit Unions - mail to people moving in to your area with an invitation to come down to the local branch and get acquainted

-New Product Launch - it's easy to tie coffee to the message of "Creating a Buzz" about your new product or service

-College Recruiters - this is a great giveaway since students LOVE coffee!

-Churches & Christian Schools - a nice way to promote fellowship activities & events


These Fair Trade Organic Mug Stuffers are offered for sale on our e-commerce website:


You'll find information and pricing as well as have the option of ordering online. You can also call or email us if you prefer personal service. These packs are part of our Richards Gourmet Coffee line, which has many other great products as well.... http://www.richardsgourmet.com/. Any products you see on their site can be ordered through Swag Connection.

Thanks so much for reading & please tell others about my blog. Keep coming back for more great swag ideas!



Posted by: Diane Nudelman AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 15 September 2008

Our tagline is "Cool Stuff + Your Logo" and this is the kind of cool stuff we love to show our clients. This new North Beach Cafe Mug features an innovative double walled design. The double wall gives extra insulation to keep beverages hot while providing a very cool & unique suspended visual effect.

This mug is made of GLASS, not plastic, with a deep-etched logo that will never fade or wear off. It can be washed in the dishwasher and is microwave-safe. The minimum quantity is a low 12 pieces, it's priced around $15 and comes gift-boxed.

This is a great mug for any firm with a hip, urban brand vibe... design firms, ad agencies, PR companies and high-tech companies immediately come to mind. Use them in the conference room to impress visitors, give them to key clients and stakeholders or use them as an employee incentive item. These would also make a great holiday gift!


We offer this mug for sale on our e-commerce website - here's a link to the items featured on our blog:


If you're looking for a good company to work with for your swag needs we'd love to hear from you. Many of our clients find us through my blog. Please feel free to call or email us if we can be of help & keep coming back for more great swag ideas!

Posted by: Diane Nudelman AT 01:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 11 September 2008

Go Green without Spending a lot of Green

At under $3.00 these Biodegradable Plastic Travel Mugs are a great choice for earth-friendly companies on a budget.  They're made in the USA from special plastic that biodegrades in a managed landfill in 1-5 years. FDA approved and Proposition 65 compliant, this is a great giveaway idea for your Fall events.

The version shown here has a handle, and there's a non-handled style also available. These double-wall insulated mugs keep 16oz of liquid hot or cold and feature a spill-resistant, sip-thru lid. They fit in most car cupholders and come in a nice variety of colors. They can be imprinted on either one side or with a full wrap, and the minimum order is only 96 pieces.

Travel mugs are a popular swag idea for chilly weather and they help keep disposable coffee cups out of landfills.  One reason I love mugs with lids as tradeshow swag is because it's easy to tuck a brochure, coupon or business card inside before handing them out.


We offer this item, in both the handled and non-handled version, for sale on our website:


If you need other good earth-friendly swag ideas we'd love to help you. Please feel free to call or email us and we will reply promptly. Many of our clients find us through our blog - check out our Testimonials page to see what they say about our products and service.

Thanks again for reading & please share this blog with other people you know who need earth-friendly swag ideas!

Posted by: Diane Nudelman AT 11:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 04 September 2008

We recently ordered samples of Aladdin's new ECycle recycled travel mugs to try out before I blogged on them. I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how a recycled plastic travel mug was going to look and feel, as I'm rather picky about travel mugs (being a swag queen and all).

We got samples of both styles pictured here... tried them out... and LOVED THEM! They're well-made, they feel great in your hand and have a cool matte finish that resists scratching and doesn't show fingerprints or smudges. The innovative twist & sip lid design works well, and best of all they keep hot drinks hot without imparting any off-flavors from the plastic.

For those who want the technical details, Aladdin's eCycle(TM) Polypropylene is a proprietary, custom formulated food-grade plastic made from 100% recycled material (25% post consumer). It's fully recyclable anywhere plastics are collected that are marked with a Resin Code 5. All of the recycled plastic use to make it comes from FDA food-grade containers and it's been formulated and tested to meet FDA food material safety standards.

Like many Eco-Swag items, the pricing on these is a bit higher than on non-recycled travel mugs. They're priced between $9-$14 each depending on quantity, with a miniumum order of 36 pieces. Here's a picture of the one without a handle:

They come in two colors - a nice powdery light blue or a soft gray. They come gift-boxed and are a great idea for a nice business gift or employee incentive.


We feature most of the items on our blog for sale on our e-commerce website - check it out:


If you like these, but they're more than you really want to pay for a travel mug, we do have other earth-friendly choices to offer you. Stay tuned, as I will feature a biodegradable plastic travel mug on my next post that will appeal to those with a smaller budget who will want to be earth-friendly.

Have a great day & keep coming back for more earth-friendly swag ideas!


Posted by: Diane Nudelman AT 12:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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