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Retailers Going Green

Initially 'going green' was all about offering eco-friendly and organic products in stores.

But, there are various stages of being green. If you can improve a little on what you're already doing, that's great.

Some say that being eco-conscious is good, smart business. Well, if your desire is to be good toward our wonderful planet Earth and also smart in your business, you will start making decisions that include a concern for the environment.

## How Can You Start?

Very easy – find out what’s in your trash.

It may not sound appealing, but it's the quickest, most practical method of starting to build a recycling plan. Professionally called the "waste audit“, it will help you identify which materials to collect for recycling, what size and type of containers you will need, and what waste could possibly be prevented in the first place.

Some of the ways you can recycle, reduce or reuse are:

- Recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, ink cartridges.

- Reuse packing materials and cardboard boxes.

- Reduce paper transactions by going digital for bill payment, vendor ordering, invoices, etc.

- Eliminate disposable cups, plates and utensils

- Switch to rechargeable batteries

To find out more about this, read these recycling tips for retailers.

## Plastic Bags vs. Reusable Bags

Think about eliminating plastic single-use bags from your store. Maybe offer a discount to shoppers who use reusable tote bags. Tote bags could even be branded with your company logo for great publicity.

The more times a bag is used, the more chance that others get to see it. And as far as plastic bags are concerned, we all know how bad they are.

## Improve Air Quality In Your Store

If you want your customers (and your employees) to be happy, don't suffocate them with strong chemical cleaners or sickly-sweet air fresheners.

Skip antibacterial sprays, scented air fresheners and petroleum-based candles in your store. Instead, choose soy-based candles or use natural air fresheners to create pleasant eco-friendly environment.

Also, you could put in your store at least one big plant. They're not only green and pretty but great for recycling the air.

## Your Store Office Going Green

The typical office provides lots of opportunities for going green. Usually they are crowded with shelves full of boxes and paper – with overloaded shelf holders barely hanging from the wall..

So, save the paper by not printing whenever possible.

## Involve Your Employees

Call a store meeting and share the new business practices with staff. Offer employees incentives for submitting green ideas. Keep up the enthusiasm and involvement.

Include your suppliers and all the people that you work with as well. Talk to them about minimizing packaging or choosing recycled packaging materials.

And this will be a good start. Be consistent, enthusiastic and involved. The results will be of benefit to all – to you and your employees, to your customers, to your marketing, and what's most important – to our planet.