The first day of spring is the perfect time to think about making a fresh start, especially when it comes to your store's impact on the environment. So don't wait for Earth Day! Start making some small changes today and you can make a big difference for tomorrow. The following tips were selected from a post by Nicole Reyhle for Retail Minded — let us know if you've tried any of these in your store in the comments!
As a small retailer, it’s easy to be green!
It seems that no matter where we look today, everyone is talking green. The retailing industry is no exception. So, what exactly is green retailing? In a nutshell, it can be defined as 1) what you sell and 2) how you sell it.
There are some relatively easy steps we can take to cooperate with the movement. Here are a few suggestions that can be incorporated into any retail business model quickly and inexpensively:
Encourage employees to recycle. This includes everything from their lunch and snack items to all product packing materials.
If you ship products, use Earth-friendly packaging materials such as craft paper. Please, please, please, no more Styrofoam packing peanuts! Another idea? Re-purpose packaging your vendors ship products to you with.
Provide customers with bags that are reusable. By now, we all know that plastic bags are bad in so many ways including polluting the environment, littering the landscape, killing animals and requiring petroleum for production. Even though they can be cheaper to buy, more durable, and more sanitary than some of the alternatives, plastic bags are not a good idea. In the long run, offering your own reusable bag, or rewarding customers to provide their own, isdefinitely becoming the norm. Another benefit? If you’re branding is on them, they add more visibility to your store as your customers tote them around town.
Buy from local companies and artists. In addition to cutting down on the pollution of transportation costs, many of these artists will make organic products which gives you a green bonus. Remember that organic products aren’t just food items. Almost any clothing, accessory or soft-goods item can be made from natural materials. And while most retailers cannot rely exclusively on locally produced goods, nearly all merchants can make this part of their entire inventory mix.
Participate in Earth Day. Find, or sponsor, an event in your local community. If you do not have the time to physically participate in the activities of the day, offer to sponsor an event through a donation. But even more importantly, lead by example. Incorporate green into your world everyday vs. just this one day to truly help Mother Nature.— Nicole Reyhle, Retail Minded
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