Eco-Friendly Ideas for Retail Businesses

Many small business owners want to do their part to help the environment, not just because they want to do the right thing, but also because their customers expect it. There are several changes you can make to create an eco-friendlier business.

Eco-friendly Shopping Bags

Packing Material

When a customer makes a purchase, train your employees to ask if they want a bag. Often a customer will be happy to put small items into their purse or backpack. Bulky items often don’t need a bag either. It’s just as easy to carry out the item bagless. When customers do want their purchases bagged, provide them with environmental shopping bags that are easy to recycle or reuse. Even though colorful tissue paper is pretty, consider wrapping delicate items in newspaper or shredded paper.

Receipts and Coupons

Receipts can easily be emailed to customers, cutting down on unnecessary paper use. Some customers are wary about agreeing to this because they fear their inbox will be flooded with unwanted emails. Assure customers that receipt lists are kept separate from business promotion email lists so that they are more willing to try out this paper-free service. In addition, create scannable coupons that loyal customers can use via text or email. This will enable you to bypass or cut down on mail-outs.

Lighting

Get rid of incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-saving light bulbs which can last up to 25 times longer. When possible, use natural light in your store and turn some of the overhead lights off completely.

Break Room

In the break room, ditch the soda machine in favor of a filtered water system. Encourage employees to bring refillable water bottles and provide package-free snacks such as fruit or even homemade cookies. Provide large clear storage jars and refill them with pretzels, nuts or anything that can be bought in bulk.

There are several things you can do to be more eco-friendly. Even one small change can be responsible for getting rid of large amounts of waste.

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