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The environmental impact that advertising promotional products have on the environment, and how the industry has changed over the years.

Awareness of promotional products' environmental impact surfaced about fifteen years ago. At that point in time, the marketing world was ruled by advertising campaigns that employed the use of items like flyers, cardboard signs, brochures, printed maps, and cards. Companies sent affiliates on quests to distribute flyers in parking lots, place ads on doorknobs, and tack brochures on public bulletin boards. Business soared in the promotional materials market, but the environment suffered as a result of heaping landfills. After the ad campaigns ended, mounds of throwaway materials grew into mountains of trash. The excessive waste culminated from this throw-away trend made it clear that a solution was needed...and quickly!

Corporations that used wasteful advertising methods were rapidly brought to their senses when environmental agencies began to circulate information. The evolving environmental consciousness began to reshape the way in which we perceive commercialism. Corporate responsibility has become mainstream, partially because of the public demands for more eco-friendly products. The leading targets in this "green" movement are the advertising industry and the manufacturers of promotional products.

This boom in environmental consciousness has flooded the industry with "go green" slogans to increase awareness of the issues. Many companies have changed the focus of their marketing campaigns to emphasize the importance of recycling and of eco-friendly products. In step with this new environmental consciousness, the advertising industry has joined the "green" efforts with its production and use of eco-friendly promotional products.

Organic fibers have also grown in popularity; once people realized the environmental impact of chemicals and toxins, they began to seek alternatives. This marked another drastic change in the production and consumption of certain products and brought the commercial industry to yet another turning point in the way it presented products to the consumer. Again, promotional materials altered their printing methods by using toxin-free inks and dyes and by switching from disposable or plastic to biodegradable or recyclable materials. Companies that advertise these changes as they're implemented are likely to maintain consumer growth and commercial success.

Creative alternatives to plastics and disposable paper products were discovered through research and collaboration between the environmental and the scientific worlds; as a result, new promotional products entered the marketplace and began to replace many of the old products. One example of this is the promotional cloth bag, because it is reusable and durable. Cloth bags are probably of the most successful attempts in the eco-friendly transformation.

If all goes well, every environmentally conscious company and green-minded consumer will bring us one step closer to a less toxic world!

Article By Jill Tooley
Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. In addition to managing the QLP blog, Jill also manages the content development team, assists with the company’s social media accounts, and writes like a fiend whenever given the chance. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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