Sustainable Corporate Promotional Items for Earth Day

Earth Day is a great cause to participate in as a corporate business. Whether you host an annual event or volunteer for others’ causes, your company can play a big role in encouraging your employees to participate and have a positive impact on the environment. One of the best ways to get employees excited about sustainability and motivated to make changes is by gifting them Earth Day promotional items. From water bottles to hats, there are numerous ways to sustainably promote your brand.

Learn more about Earth Day and get ideas for sustainable promotional items you can give your employees or clients.



What Is Earth Day?

Earth Day occurs annually on April 22 to support and advocate for environmental protection. Former Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970 to help raise awareness of the deteriorating environment. For 150 years, industrial developments were harming the environment and causing human health problems. The first Earth Day drew awareness to those impacts and encouraged people to take action against it. In 1990, Earth Day was celebrated globally when 141 countries helped raise attention to environmental issues around the world.

Today, the fight for local, national and global policy and human behavior changes mobilizes over a billion people each year. As younger generations enter the conversation about the climate crisis, settling isn’t an option and they’re thirsty for change. Digital channels and social media have made globally sharing Earth Day simpler, uniting a global audience like never before.

The Significance of Earth Day

Over 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day, which helped lead to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later that same year. Before that, there were no regulations regarding the release of harmful substances and toxins into the air and environment. Pollution from factories and power plants, oil spills, freeway construction and dumping raw sewage, toxins and pesticides harmed the environment and resulted in the loss of wilderness and entire species.
In addition to the extinction of animals, the toxins and pollution made people sick, leading to diseases and even death. Along with the establishment of the EPA, the Clean Air Act, National Environmental Education Act and Occupational Safety and Health Act were passed following the first Earth Day. In the years following, Congress worked to pass the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. With these policies in place, humans, environments and wildlife have more protection than before.

Despite the success of these policy changes, the fight is far from over. Long-term use of nonrenewable resources and abuse of our planet caused significant damage that will take years of work and major changes in many areas of society. For example, finding more sustainable ways for companies to operate and taking advantage of renewable resources. There are numerous improvements that need to be made, and they won’t happen overnight.

Earth Day holds its significance today as the largest secular observance worldwide. Continuing to use this day as a global opportunity to push for new policy changes surrounding the climate crisis and sustainability will help make environmental improvements possible today and in the future.

How Can Companies Participate in Giving Back?

Companies can play a large role in Earth Day celebrations, whether big or small. From encouraging employees to celebrate to giving them opportunities to take action, your brand has the potential to be very influential. How can your company leverage its power to give back for Earth Day? Here are some company Earth Day ideas to get you and your employees involved.

Launch a Recycling Program

If your company doesn’t already have a recycling program, Earth Day is the perfect time to launch one. Whether you realize it or not, your employees produce significant amounts of waste, which can quickly add up over weeks or months. Establishing a recycling program helps ensure that waste is properly disposed of and can help save you some money.

Create recycling stations for various types of waste, including paper, plastic and food waste. Set up multiple stations in designated work areas so employees can easily find the right bin. Be sure to communicate with your employees so they’re aware of the program and know how to properly recycle their waste. The more people you can get on the same page, the more beneficial the program will be for your company.

Another important aspect of launching an effective recycling program is partnering with the right disposal company. You recycle with the intention that the waste will be kept out of landfills and disposed of properly. Be sure to use a waste removal company that is conscientious of your recycling efforts and does its part in helping you recycle.

Invite a Speaker to Share Expert Advice

Getting a corporate sustainability expert to do a presentation or talk for your employees is a great way to motivate them to be more mindful of sustainability in the workplace. There are numerous topics and possibilities for a talk on Earth Day, like energy efficiency, climate change, responsible recycling, carpool programs, eco-friendly cleaning and more. Relate these topics to the workplace so your employees can feel inspired to make changes to their specific workflows.

When inviting a sustainable development expert to speak to your company, consider how you can take the information they provide and apply it to your corporate sustainability efforts. For example, if you know your business could improve on energy efficiency, find an expert who can speak on that topic and apply what you learn!

Host an Earth Day Event

Earth Day events are great corporate Earth Day ideas because you can include the community, your employees and your customers or clients, motivating even more people to participate in the cause. Your event could be as simple as gathering and playing Earth Day bingo or doing a scavenger hunt for commonly littered items, or it could be something bigger like planting a community garden or creating flower beds along your street.

Hosting your own event can benefit the earth and increase brand awareness for your company. If community members are unfamiliar with your brand, an Earth Day event can be a great way to connect with them. Plus, taking action may bode well with your current clients, driving them to do more business with you.

Encourage Your Employees to Volunteer for Other Causes

If hosting an event isn’t the right option for you, consider volunteering your employees to participate in an existing event or Earth Day cause. Groups and organizations hold their own clean-ups, recycling drives and more every year. These can be great opportunities for your team to be part of a bigger cause. For example, there may be a group arranging to plant several hundred trees throughout the day. Asking your employees to volunteer to help gets them out of the office for the day and supports a good cause.

Look for Earth Day events in your area to find ways to get involved. For example, in 2021, a Girl Scout troop in Iowa hosted a park clean-up and encouraged the public to participate. Encourage your employees to go out on April 22nd, or consider participating in an event as a company.

Recognize Employees Who Took Action

To get your employees excited about Earth Day initiatives, give recognition to those who participate or take action. Provide awards or incentives to motivate employees. Incentives can even be year-round to keep people motivated before and after Earth Day. For example, consider turning your recycling program into a competition for different departments within your company. The department that has recycled the most by the end of each month or quarter will earn a prize.

Prizes can really motivate your employees to continue their green efforts throughout the year, hopefully making them habits. At the very least, provide recognition or shout-outs for your most sustainable employees. You can apply this to your clients and customers as well! Ask them to share what they’re doing to be eco-friendly and spotlight them in your newsletter or on social media. Doing this shows your employees and clients that you value their sustainable efforts.

Sustainable Promotional Items to Give Employees for Earth Day

Earth Day is certainly one of the best ways to draw attention to environmental issues, though there are little things you can do every day that can help make a difference. Earth Day promotional items can feature your brand’s logo or name, and are great items to use as incentive prizes. Gifting the right items on Earth Day can help encourage sustainability throughout the year. Here are 10 promotional items your employees can use to make your workplace and their lives more eco-friendly.

1. Tote Bags

On average, each American uses a plastic bag every day. Each year, Americans use 100 billion plastic bags. Tote bags are a perfect alternative to single-use plastic bags, which can end up in the ocean or sitting in landfills for years at a time. Tote bags have many uses and are growing in popularity as sustainable replacements for grocery bags. Encourage your employees to carry their belongings with a reusable branded tote instead of plastic bags.

2. Reusable Straws

Plastic straws are another form of single-use plastic that can be extremely detrimental to wildlife. Reusable straws eliminate the need for plastic straws and come in various materials like metal, silicon and bamboo. They can be washed, and many are even collapsible so they’re easy to pack in a bag and use on the go. Reusable straws are a great promotional gift for your employees because they can use them at home or in the office.

3. Water Bottles

The recycling rate for plastic bottles in 2018 was only 29.3%, meaning that nearly 70% of the plastic bottles used during 2018 weren’t properly disposed of. If they’re not recycled, plastic bottles can take hundreds of years to decompose, releasing harmful toxins into the environment in the process. Reusable water bottles are a fun way to promote your brand while supplying your employees with an alternative to single-use plastic bottles. Encourage employees to bring them to work and reach their recommended daily water intake with a filtered water station!

4. Travel Mugs or Tumblers

Travel mugs and tumblers can help your employees be sustainable in several ways. They can replace single-use straws, bottles and even those to-go cups from your favorite coffee shop that just end up in the trash. Give your employees the chance to support a sustainable future with reusable promotional travel mugs or tumblers.

5. Recycled Note Pads

Many employees tend to write themselves reminders or notes on slips of paper, which leads to a lot of paper use. Instead of purchasing brand new note pads that require new trees to be cut down and produced, consider giving your employees recycled note pads. You can even take your gift a step further and supply recycled pens too!

6. Re-Tee T-Shirt

If your employees participate in an Earth Day event as a group, promotional t-shirts are a fun way to promote your brand while uniting your team. Re-tees are a great way to provide an eco-friendly t-shirt option. Re-tees are made of recycled materials so your employees can do good for the environment as soon as they wake up.

7. Recycled Computer Backpack

Some employees may travel on behalf of your company or have long commutes to the office each day. Computer backpacks are a traveler’s best friend because they help protect electronics a bit more than standard backpacks. Give your employees the functional yet sustainable gift of a recycled computer backpack. Made of recycled water bottles or cotton, this gift is sure to please.

9. Eco-Friendly Golf Tees

Golf tees are sure to litter a golf course. If you know of any employees who enjoy golfing or perhaps you participate in company outings, consider gifting promotional eco-friendly golf tees for Earth Day. When golf tees are made of more organic materials like cotton and corn plastic, they’ll be less harmful to the environment if they get lost on the course or thrown away.

10. Recycled Hat

If you’re looking to stick with an apparel theme, consider pairing your recycled t-shirts with an eco-friendly hat. Organic and recycled materials can make a statement with your logo on the front. Whether your employees wear it for an Earth Day cause or wear it work, they’ll be able to promote your brand sustainably.

Shop Sustainable Promotional Items From ePromos

At ePromos, we partner with 1% For The Planet, which means 1% of every EcoSmart sale will be donated to nonprofits promoting sustainability and working to protect the earth. When you buy eco-friendly products from us, you’ll be encouraging your employees to be sustainable while also supporting dedicated organizations.

Explore our wide variety of promotional products and get inspired by our promotional ideas. For more information about pricing and products, contact a knowledgeable member of our team so we can help you promote your brand.

Additional Sustainability and Earth Day Resources

About Author

Katie Salerno Avatar

Katie S.

Reviewed By: Kaite S. - Marketing Brand Specialist

Tenacious brand warrior who is laser-focused on boosting our brand through effective social media presence and multiple resources. Principal producer of marvelous messages and email exposés. Message + Creative maestro who has an opening for a puppy co-worker with the expectation they stay clear of her pommes frites.