Eco-Friendly: Tips for Retailers to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
There’s no doubt about it that people are becoming much more socially conscious than they were in previous decades. Growing concerns about how our power and chemical usage is affecting the Earth and our daily lives have ignited a new spark in consumer behavior. A study conducted by Nielsen found that millennials in particular have demonstrated extreme interest in becoming eco-friendly. The survey found that three out of four people would be willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings.
Other studies commiserate with this. Another survey from Tandberg found that more than half of consumers would rather purchase from a company with a reputation for being eco-friendly, and if two companies are alike, the one with an eco-edge would be chosen over their competition. However, while there are many resources online regarding how to make your home more eco-friendly, making your business more eco-friendly can be a little more challenging. Fortunately, if you put in a little effort and think outside the box, your retail business can be eco-friendly, too.
Switch Your Lighting
This is one of the easiest, most cost-effective changes to make to your store. By using eco-friendly lighting, you’ll not only be creating a greener space, but will save on your electric bill, tool. LED or fluorescent lights over traditional bulbs will make all the difference. Don’t like how fluorescent lights look? You might consider fluorescent light covers; there are hundreds of different options that add stylistic flair to your lights. Additionally, LED lights are a great accent choice to make your retail aesthetic truly pop. They work especially great for displays, outdoor areas, and bathrooms.
Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Support the eco-friendly movement by purchasing green cleaning supplies. This is another small change that makes a big difference. By using biodegradable cleaning products, you contribute to the elimination of these substances in the air, and also prevent harmful toxins and chemicals from you and your staff. Just as with mainstream products, you can usually buy eco-friendly cleaning supplies in bulk.
Reuse Your Plastic Pallets
Reuse the material your products come in for organizational purposes. Many products come packed in sturdy plastic pallets, giving you the perfect organizational tools. Use it in your stockrooms for quick, easy access to your materials. You can also replace wood or metal racks with these versatile plastic containers, and label them accordingly. For example, if you run a clothing retail business, why not organize discounted or discontinued items in a stackable manner, rather than allow them to take up valuable retail space?
And don’t be afraid to get creative here, either. Spray paint it any color you’d like — or even paint it to look like wood to reap the benefits of durable material with wood aesthetics. Take a look at these plastic repurposed projects for inspiration. And if you don’t already receive products in plastic pallets, you might want to consider contacting a warehouse. Sometimes, local warehouses would be happy to give these away for free (depending on how they use them) or even lease them out. Otherwise, you can purchase some on your own.
Encourage Green Behavior
Explain to your staff that you’re making efforts to go more green, and educate them on how to do so in the office. Have a separate bin for recycled materials, and purchase recycled products, like paper towels. Opt for tubeless toilet paper, paper bags, and even BPA-free receipt paper. Whenever you make a purchase for your space, consider the most eco-friendly alternative. Chances are, there’s something out there that can replace your current methods.