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6 Eco-Friendly Charity Merchandise Ideas for your Next Campaign

10 October, 2018

People today are quite conscious of environmental issues like plastic pollution, climate change and deforestation. They’re looking to do their part, whether through donations to important charities or through their own day-to-day purchasing decisions and behaviour choices. Because these issues are so top of mind among a wide range of people, it’s an important time for your charity to focus on “going green” as you continue to focus on “doing good”.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by focusing on eco-friendly merchandise for your next campaign. The right products will help drive donations and meet your goals while reducing impact on the planet and demonstrating that your charity cares about the same environmental issues that your supporters do. In this post, we reveal six of our favourite categories of eco-friendly products and some unique merchandise options. We hope this helps inspire you to go green while you do good this year!

Biodegradable Pens

One thing to think about when selecting eco-friendly merchandise is function. According to World Environment Day, we throw away enough plastic every year to circle the Earth four times! As people witness the epidemic of plastic pollution in our water systems and landfills, they’re increasingly interested in high-quality, long-lasting and eco-friendly products.

One great way to tap into this desire is with a customised biodegradable pen, as they are highly functional and always needed. There’s a wide range of styles available, most of which are derived from compostable plants. One of our most popular pens is a customisable Bio S pen, which is 80 percent plant-based and available in a range of fabulous colours (think lilac!).

Another creative option is the Vegetal frost pen, which is 80 percent biodegradable and derived mostly from corn! Or consider the Green & Good Indus Biodegradable Pen – instead of being plant-based, this frosted pen is derived from biodegradable plastic. The Green & Good Indus is a retractable ball pen, which makes it a refreshing alternative to the more common styles of biodegradable pens.

Switching from a traditional pen to a biodegradable pen may sound like a minor or inconsequential decision, but it adds up. One source suggests that we throw away approximately 1.6 billion plastic disposable pens a year! That’s a statistic you can readily share with your supporters when you sell or give away your charity biodegradable pens.

Recyclable Bags

A second category of eco-friendly merchandise is a recyclable or reusable bag. The Independent reports that while plastic bags have only been around for about 50 years, it could take up to 1,000 years for them to fully decompose. One eco-friendly solution is a durable bag for life, which can be used in place of plastic bags to cut down on plastic pollution. At the same time, bags also help raise awareness of your charity as your supporters will carry these bags with them while shopping, commuting and travelling.

At Rocket Charities, in addition to our popular “Bags for Life” range of products, we also offer several bags that are completely recyclable, a unique benefit that your supporters will appreciate and remember. Our Andro Shopper and Jackson Shopper bags are two popular choices. Each bag is made from 100 percent recyclable non-woven polypropylene.

When your bag inevitably reaches the end of its life span, imagine the great feeling your supporters will have when they’re able to recycle it instead of tossing it in the bin. Both of these bags come in a range of trendy colours and a large print space to clearly identify your charity name and logo on one or both sides. Think also about where you’ll be selling or giving away your products. Our popular and recyclable Kingsley non-woven bags offer a satchel style with a flap, which is perfect for fundraising events.

When thinking through your eco-friendly options, another recommendation is to think niche. Pick a product that you think will speak to a particular subset of your supporters, be that by age, gender or interest. For example, a popular product from our line of recyclable bags is our Topaz wine bag. It’s the perfect eco-friendly option for your wine-drinking supporters and one that we think they’ll covet and use time after time. And when they’re through with it, they can recycle the entire bag as it’s made from 100 percent recyclable non-woven polypropylene. Now that’s a wine win!

Recycled Notebooks

Recycled notebooks are a practical and popular item ideal for stocking in shops and bringing to events like conferences and exhibitions. Like pens and bags, notebooks are highly functional and can be adorned with your charity message to keep your cause top of mind every time someone writes a list or takes a note.

One popular option is our Mendel notebook, a classic and perfectly-sized option that comes in a beautiful, natural colour that connotes its special composition of recycled paper. Looking for a slight variation? Consider a vertical format notebook with a hard cover and elastic closing band. We offer a popular version with 80 pages of white lined recycled paper.

Bonus idea: Think about the kids! What do the above three products (pens, bags, and notebooks) have in common? They’re all familiar school supplies! One idea to is to package these into an “eco-friendly school kit” that can be sold or gifted to parents and students. This package could include a bright set of biodegradable pens, a backpack made from recycled products and special recycled notebooks for schoolwork, all featuring a youthful version of your charity brand. Eco-friendly parents will appreciate the chance to swap out existing supplies with high-quality, environmentally-friendly options.

Eco-Friendly Keyrings

Keyrings are another great category of eco-friendly merchandise. A functional style we love is our new £1 Oval Trolley Mate Coin Keyring. This one has a larger keyring fob which provides more space for your charity branding and is digitally printed in full colour for a true replica. It also has a snap hook fitting for added convenience. Your eco-friendly supporters will appreciate the fact that it’s made right here in the UK from recycled plastic. Another great choice is our Eco Slate Key Ring, a high-quality keyring also made in the UK from recycled plastic that comes in a unique and striking rectangular shape.

Bamboo Drinking Mugs

Reusable mugs and drinkware have become quite ubiquitous; today, look for something that is just as eco-friendly, but unique enough to set your charity apart. Bamboo mugs are a great option to sell in shops, as your supporters can pick them up and feel their unique shape, size and structure. They’ll feel great about their purchase because these items not only reduce plastic and paper waste, but they’re made from beautiful and natural bamboo fibre.

One of our most popular styles is the Eco Bamboo Fibre Cup, made from naturally grown organic bamboo fibre with a silicone lid and grip. Other in-demand styles include our Insulated Bamboo Mug, made of sustainable bamboo with double walls and a closable drinking aperture or our lovely, clean Bamboo Cup with coloured silicone band and matching cap – it’s simply stylish!

Garden Set

Last but not least, a garden set is a truly green option for your next campaign! Consider a unique Desktop Garden Kit to bring the outdoors indoors. The kit comes with biodegradable soil coins, seeds and growing instructions. The base is made of recyclable aluminium and offers plenty of space to add your striking charity logo. Another popular option is our biodegradable flower Plant Pot.

This comes with mixed-colour petunia seeds, presented in a bespoke cardboard box. Garden sets like these make a perfect special gift. We suggest giving your supporters the option to buy them in shops to give as gifts this holiday season or to use them as an end-of-year thank you for your donors.

This year, consider eco-friendly options for your charitable merchandise, from biodegradable pens to garden kits. Both you and your supporters will feel great about products that help to reduce unnecessary waste and pollution. The above six types of merchandise are just a start; we offer a huge range of environmentally friendly and customisable products, so you can find the perfect product for your target audience or your fundraising event. Please get in touch with us today to talk about how we can help you go green as you do good!

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