Recycling at home has become the norm, but have you ever thought about ways to be more environmentally friendly in your business? What exactly does Eco-friendly mean? It simply means earth-friendly and not harmful to the environment.
You might be asking why is it important to do this as a business owner? Because consumers are asking for it. Going green isn’t a fad. Shoppers are embracing this practice and retailers should, too. You might be surprised at how many of your customers will appreciate your efforts!
Here are 10 ways that you can be more environmentally friendly and help your shop or business go green.
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Something as simple as placing a Recycling box in your shop or workspace is one easy way to get into the practice of being Eco-friendly. Ask your customers, and anyone else that uses your space to recycle plastic, paper, cans and whatever else can be recycled in your area.
2. REUSE POSTAGE SUPPLIES
Reuse boxes and materials that arrive with packages of products. When I receive packages, any large boxes are disassembled and used as protective surfaces for painting on in my craft workshops, and small boxes and bubble wrap reused for orders that I’m sending out to my customers.
3. THINK GREEN WHEN CLEANING
Use cleaning products for your store that are natural and do not contain toxic or harsh chemicals in them.
4. USE RECYCLED MATERIALS
From home decor to jewellery, there are many designers and makers who use recycled materials to both create and package their products.
I’ve used pallet wood to craft beautiful wall hangings, sea glass to create stunning jewellery pieces, and all of my jewellery comes beautifully packaged in a recycled Kraft Jewellery box. There are many materials so readily thrown away that with a bit of ingenuity and a creative touch can be given a new lease of life as something completely bespoke.
5. GO PAPERLESS WITH E-RECEIPTS
Many Point-of-Sale systems offer technology that sends receipts via email or text and I’ve had this implemented sic e day one of my business. I’m more than happy to provide my customers with a paper receipt if they ask for it, but also take pride in going paperless, and most people are completely on-board with this.
6. GET CREATIVE WITH SHOPPING BAGS
- Ask customers if they actually WANT a bag before assuming they need one
- Use paper bags instead of plastic bags, and even better use recycled paper bags
- Sell a reusable tote – why not give your customers an added incentive with a discount each time they shop in your store with the tote?
7. SUPPORT AN ECO-FRIENDLY CAUSE OR BRAND
Many shop/business owners are hosting in-store events. Maybe think about hosting or even taking part in an event where the proceeds go to a local eco-friendly organisation doing good things in your local area.
8. BE MINDFUL OF STORE DECOR
I’m certainly one for housing a collection of supplies to help merchandise my shop space, ready for creating a new window display or to style for special events. I do try my best though to reuse and recycle as much as I can; my shelving is all scaffolding boards and offcuts, my workbench is offcuts from the shelves in the shop, and many of my displays are framed in old apple boxes and crates!
9. IMPLEMENT AN ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESS MODEL
This one might seem extreme and it won’t work for everyone, but there are many retail businesses whose actual business model is based on being Eco-friendly. For instance, giving old beads and pieces of jewellery a breath of new life, or upcycling of pallets into wall art with some stylistic brush lettering and a splash of colour.
Want to take it a step further…
10. MAKE SUSTAINABILITY A PART OF YOUR BRAND STORY
I try and make conscientious decisions so that my business is as eco-friendly as possible. From recycled bags to reusing packaging, unloved buttons, pebbles and stones instead of beads for jewellery and beautiful pieces of art; I even use empty jars to store products and bottles to display handmade flowers.
You might be surprised at the number of ways you can help improve the carbon footprint of your business. Better yet, maybe you’re surprised at how many of these good practices are already in place at your shop.
Either way, I feel like we can always do more. Is there any ways to be more environmentally friendly that you have put into practice at your shop that wasn’t mentioned above?