Tips to Reduce, Rethink, & Improve Swag in Your Department or Student Org

Swag (originally an acronym for “Stuff we all get” and usually refers to promotional or marketing items) is used across campus for tabling events in order to draw people in and to offer them inexpensive marketing and physical reminders of organizations, clubs, departments, companies, and vendors who want to catch the attention of the campus community.  Swag is often plastic, cheap, and disposable.

The college’s Zero Waste Action Plan recommends that collectively we work to drastically reduce cheap, disposable swag and replace it with either durable, reusable swag or no swag at all.  The Zilkha Center has developed this swag guide to help your department or student org keep your swagger but lose the swag.  (Click on the images below to enlarge.)


Easy Tips to Reduce Swag in Your Departments & Organizations #1 Offer experiences instead of things #2 Give food or other natural products #3 Use raffle prizes for larger giveaway items #4 Pay attention to what your items are made of

#5 Cut out toys and gadgets -- Only give out durable, useful items #6 Rethink tabling #7 Reduce the variety of swag items #8 Foster meaningful connections before giving swag

#9 Give subscription trials #10 Reach out to other departments if you need swag #11 Avoid branding dates or specific events on swag Need more ideas? Not sure what to do? Contact your friends at the Zilkha Center ( and we will help you!