Going Green Without Going Broke: 2 Brands That Maximize Eco-Friendly Potential

In the modern world we live in, there has been a spike in eco-advertising: both controversial and inspiring. Today there is all this worry about global warming and non-renewable energy. Well I have a solution, an explanation, and assurance that’s guaranteed to promote your business!

Many companies are becoming increasingly progressive with their green attitudes, and many companies have made the news lately with their inspired ideas for cleaning up the planet. One of these companies is none other than Coca-Cola, who is responsible for the world’s greenest advertisement: a green billboard that helps the environment (check it out — it’s really cool!).


Coca-Cola's newest billboard is about as green as you can get!

How did Coca-Cola do this, you ask? They made a 60’x60’ billboard covered with Fukien tea plants that absorb air pollution. Each plant absorbs 13 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. There are 3,600 plants total, which means 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide are absorbed! To top it off, each plant is nestled in recycled Coca-Cola bottles and has a drip irrigation system which creates a self-sustaining water system! So, not only are they creating an advertisement (and memorable one at that), but it also helps draw attention to the possibilities of innovative advertisements.

Coca-Cola isn’t the only company making the most of the green movement, though, There is also an innovative green business concept right here in the suburbs of Chicago! There is a restaurant in Saint Charles, IL called Prasino (which I have dubbed my absolute favorite place to be) where the environment and the food is all sustainable — and not to mention amazing. How are they so eco-friendly and sustainable? Their motto is “Eat green, live well,” and boy, do they mean it! From the amazing and unique décor that draws the eye in makes you wonder what it is, the extremely friendly and informative servers as part of your dining experience walk you through what it is to be Prasino.


Prasino is 100% committed to sustainability.

Prasino’s commitment to sustainability is incorporated in each cafe’s eco-chic design. Everything wooden in the restaurant, from the tables to the floor, is all reclaimed wood. They even reused all the sawdust from the wood by having it pressed to create beautiful trellises all over the restaurant. The light fixtures are crafted from recycled wine bottles and corrugated cardboard boxes. The food is prepared in kitchens designed to reduce energy and water use, to incorporate recycling, and they use eco-friendly cleaning products. They also support local growers, sustainable fishing, artisanal food producers, and organic agriculture. They even offer a fruit smoothie that, if you buy one, they’ll plant a tree!

Those are two businesses that caught on to unique ways of going green while still promoting their businesses. You can, too! I know it isn’t easy going as far as these two companies went, especially in the economy we live in, but there are many different ways you can promote your business and still be green. There is an extensive line of reusable shopping bags and totes that are eye catching and eco-smart. They are handsome, and a constant reminder of where they came from: your business!

We can’t all afford to go as green as Coca-Cola or Prasino, but here are some happy-medium promotional items to include in your green giveaways:

Eco PenEvery business needs the almighty pen to spread the word about you, and what better way than with an awesome line of eco-friendly pens and pencils? Not only do they catch your attention, but you can feel great knowing that little barrel is biodegradable!

Alpine BottleOr, if writing utensils aren’t what you need, there is an amazing variety of eco water bottles and tumblers that would look classy while flaunting your business in a creative way. With the world being as trendy as it is, don’t be left behind and feel the guilt of knowing that every disposable water bottle you use adds to landfill clutter. These unique tumblers and bottles not only class up your image, but are sure to make your customers and the planet smile!

Eco Garden KitNow, for those of you who dare to take your mean-green attitude to a whole new level and want something even more impressive to wow your customers…I have just the right thing for you! What is more sustainable than BAMBOO? There are a number of products that are not only eco-friendly but promote eco-friendly habits. The first up is the eco-shower coach; these unique products would make great company gifts. Nothing says “I love the planet” like water-conservation! Next up, there is the recycled cardboard garden kit; put your logo on this and your customers will learn to cultivate and be constantly reminded that green can be fun!

Tree in a BagAnd last but certainly not least, we’ve got the mother of all green giveaway items. Whether you are looking for wedding favors that last a lifetime or you simply want a distinctive product that will certainly surprise your customers, you’ll love this one: the digitally printed Tree in a Bag! The planet can always use more trees. These surely will catch the attention of anyone who receives this exceptional promo product and you can be satisfied you took one more step to make the world a greener place. Be it for Earth Day or any day, slap your logo on these bad boys!

As you can see, there are many alternatives to going green without breaking the bank or having to make a record-breaking billboard. When you incorporate your love of the planet and the well-being of your customers, you’re not only participating in great marketing but you’re also demonstrating a positive long-term message! Your customers are sure to always keep you in mind.

Do you know of any other brands or organizations taking environmentally-friendly to the next level? Are you going green? What is your favorite green promotional product?

Image credit to Prasino, woodleywonderworks, and Svadilfari.

Serenity Morris

Serenity is on the support staff for Quality Logo Products. Cynical and straight to the point, this no-nonsense gal is loveable and passionate about her various nerdy interests. When she is not geeking out about music, British television, and politics she is usually doodling her troubles away! Her artistic abilities are often commissioned for internal and external QLP promotional materials. You can also connect with Serenity on Google+.


  1. Eric

    You had me sold on the “You buy a smoothie, we plant a tree” promotion.

    It’s nice to see public venues like restaurants become advocates for environmentally-friendly design and operation. Hopefully a few diners there will realize that, if an entire restaurant can make themselves as “green” as possible, that it shouldn’t be too hard for the rest of us to.

    Interesting stuff! Never even heard of a Fukien tea plant until this post!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Yeah the smoothie is awesome and you feel awesome drinking it, knowing you did a good deed for a small tasty treat! I like that businesses are a going green inside and out also. It is one thing to sell reusable totes, but when your entire operation is green through and through, that is an accomplishment. Every small step counts but everyone should maximize their green attitudes, it is the future after all! 🙂

  2. Joseph Giorgi

    Coca-Cola’s sustainable billboard looks pretty nifty, if I don’t say so myself. The fact that it has its own irrigation system is cool as heck!

    And Prasino looks like a really cool place! I’ll have to try it sometime. 😉

    As for your product recommendations, I’m not sure how much I like the idea of an Eco-Shower Coach, but the Eco-Friendly Pens are definitely the way to go when it comes to giveaways. To be honest, I those pens look cooler than a lot of the traditional metallic or plastic ones. Good call.

    And great post! 🙂

    • Cybernetic SAM

      I agree all eco-friendly products seem a little cooler when they are earth friendly! As for Prasino I bet some edamame and a steak wouldn’t be half bad here, eh?!

  3. Bret

    I recycle by lighting my farts to help heat my house!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Hooray for burning methane!! People have actually run businesses and farms off of cow methane that’s released from waste, and they also use their poo for products as well. Just something for you to ponder, you could start a business selling your gas to fuel homes!

  4. Jen

    Great post Sam! I didn’t know about the Coca Cola billboards, they are soooo Awesome! The restaurant sounds really cool too. I love smoothies, and I would love them even more if I knew a tree was being planted every time I bought one.

    The promo products you picked out are super amazing. The eco-friendly water bottles are a great give away item. There good for the environment and for business!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks Jen! They actually do plant a tree for every smoothie – you could buy 1 or 1 million and they will plant them! This place is not joking around, they mean sustainable! Plus it is really beautiful inside, and welcoming. As for the products, I just wanted to pick some unique products that really catch people’s attention!

  5. Mandy Kilinskis

    I love the Tree in a Bag! Those would make perfect wedding favors for spring or summer weddings!

    I love that brands are taking steps towards going green. You’re absolutely right, even if you can’t deck our your entire restaurant and offerings to be sustainable, you can certainly use eco-friendly promo products. There are so many great products – many for almost the same price as they not-quite-so-eco-friendly counterparts!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Yeah, the tree in a bag is one of my favorites! I was so excited to mention it. It truly would be the best wedding favor, every time people see the tree you gave them they will remember you and the happiest day of your life! I agree, I am totally drawn towards the eco-friendly brands and businesses. Going green says a lot about a brand, if they go through that much extra effort to take a good step!

  6. david k waltz

    Since I have a blog I felt it necessary to do a Steve Jobs post, and in one of the articles I ran across for my research they talked about not accepting “either/or” but insiting on “both/and” as being one of the qualities that resulted in the breakthrough type of innovations.

    The Coke billboard seems like an illustration of “both/and”. Pretty cool!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      I agree, well put! These innovations definitely allow you to get your eco-cake and eat it too! There are so many sustainable options that brands could/should opt for and don’t. Being eco-innovative is so amazing to see, and it’s fun to learn about the amazing sciences behind them. More often than not, people underestimate how easy it is being green!

  7. amy

    Great post, Sam! I’ve heard of restaurants going after the “green” movement, but they’re always in LA or somewhere else in California. How cool that there’s one in our backyard 😀

    The products that you mentioned are great too. The shower coach product seems kind of cool actually. My family and I go camping each summer and the campground we stay at actually has you pay to take a shower (to conserve water and to make sure they can pay someone to clean them – both of which I’m not complaining about LOL). It’s .25 for 5 minutes and it’s amazing how long 5 minutes can be. I never think I’ll make it, but I typically always do. We waste so much water that that shower coach would be a great eye-opener for many.

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Oh I totally agree, people don’t realize how fragile and and in need of water conservation. Just like that old saying, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” As for the sustainable restaurants in our own backyard, I think that if they exist in the Midwest, that is saying A LOT! I was sooooo excited when I found this restaurant, the atmosphere, food and cause all add up to the most guilt-free night out! I just hope that this style catches on like wildfire, this is one trend I don’t mind jumping on the hybrid-band wagon with! 🙂

  8. Jill Tooley

    I’m so glad you mentioned Prasino! I love that place, too. It’s gorgeous and the food is tasty.

    According to articles I’ve read lately, many people aren’t as willing to spend a little bit more on eco-friendly items as they may have been a few years ago. That has something to do with our economy, of course, but it’s kind of a shame. If you look at the prices of some of our eco-friendly items vs. the prices of the regular ones, you’ll notice there’s not that much of a difference in many cases. I’d definitely opt for the eco option if there was one!

    Great post! 🙂

    • Cybernetic SAM

      That is good, as everyone should buy organic, fair trade-, local whenever they can. Most people don’t realize that if everyone bought this way it would be more cost efficient. Supply and demand, baby!

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