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Carbon Footprint: One way of measuring impact on the environment, more specifically an attempt to approximate "the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product" (UK Carbon Trust 2008).

The notion is that by knowing about the relative impact of different actions, you can learn to minimize your direct or indirect impact, and take or support actions with a positive countervailing impact. For example, additional trees can be planted to help the oxygen/carbon balance in the earth's atmosphere.

Eco-friendly, environmentally friendly and nature friendly: often loosely-defined terms suggesting minimal environmental harm or positive impact. May merit looking closer to check for marketing spin vs. actual impact.





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ECO-FRIENDLY OR "GREEN" PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS
Biodegradable: Products that can decompose or be broken down by living organisms, and then absorbed by the environment. Includes most organic waste, including fiber, paper, and other vegetative matter. Does not degrade during normal use.

Some plastics are made from biodegradable materials such as corn instead of petroleum; others are made biodegradable by including an "oxo-biodegradable additive" which allow microorganisms to degrade them, if sufficient oxygen is available.

Examples of biodegradable promotional products: Certain pens, some plastic bags, eco-wipes, seeded paper or music cards, mugs, latex balloons, water bottles .
There are so many "green" terms used it can be confusing figuring out what they really mean and what, if any, differences there are between them. Products can be often classified by more than one term too: for example, many post-consumer recycled products are also reusable and/or recyclable.

Below are many common terms to help you sort out the differences - plus we've provided a few example products of each type, including some you might not expect!.

As always, we have only selected products from manufacturers who are top in quality, service, decoration and reliability.

Want to research a little deeper? Include these terms in the "keywords" field of our Online Promotional Products Catalog to search through hundreds of thousands of items.



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Biodegradable
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Organic
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Post-Consumer
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Recyclable
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Recycled
Click to view Post-Industrial promotional products
Post Industrial
Click to view Reclaimed promotional products
Reclaimed
Click to view Reusable promotional products
Reusable
Click to view Sustainable promotional products
Sustainability
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Organic: Food and other products made from plants grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and free from contamination.

Examples of organic products promotional products: Herb or vegetable seed packets, tea in individual packets, pens, lip balm, tree ornaments, cotton canvas bags, stoneware mugs with organic polymer ink, cotton tee shirts and other clothing.

Post-consumer: Products made from material which previously was used, discarded, and then used in whole or in part for the formation of new products, thus diverting products which otherwise would need to be handled as waste. Generally derived from recycled products, and often providing economic support to recycling programs.

Examples of promotional products from post-consumer use materials: Pens made out of recycled denim, currency, newspapers and catalogs; Rubber Dollar Sign Jar Opener from recycled tires; Fanny Pack from recycled P.E.T.

Post Industrial: Materials left over from the manufacturing process of another product, which are themselves used in a new way which allows them to be reclaimed or recycled.

Examples of products made from Post Industrial products: Shoelace Keepers made from post-industrial fibers & plastic; Eco Die Cut Plastic Bags


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Recyclable: A product which can be recycled and its components reclaimed and reprocessed into more products, instead of being thrown away and ending up in landfill.

Examples of recyclable products: paper products, bags and totes.
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Recycled: Something made from recyclable products. Overlaps with post-consumer and post-industrial.

Examples of products made from recycled materials: Many paper, notebook, journal, as well as plastic products. Less expected: golf balls made from recycled packaging!
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Reclaimed: The product is made from other, pre-existing materials without requiring change to its basic chemical composition.

Examples of products made from reclaimed materials: poly binder, beverage cooler, pens and pencils made from denim and currency.

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Reusable: Either a product which can by used in a new way after its original use, or a product durable enough for repeated use which will reduces or elongates its need to be replaced or disposed of.

Examples of reusable products: Jute, cotton or polyproplylene bags and totes, boxes and tins.

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Sustainability: Refers to the ability of an ecosystem to maintain itself; or the making of a product in a way that uses resources without depleting or degrading them.

Examples of products made from sustainable materials: Bamboo products including cosmetic items, clothing and highly absorbent golf towels; Eucalyptus awards; and Rubberwood Frames.

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