Sustainability: it’s what consumers want. Adopting a greener approach to your everyday business practices is not only essential to doing your part to help the environment, it is vital to earning a loyal customer base as well.
How can you make your own small shop more sustainable as a business owner? Here are 10 tangible ideas for inspiration:
- Verify your sources: Whether your small business sells food, clothing, or another type of goods, ensure you are sourcing products that are made both ethically and responsibly.
- Get creative with design: There are many ways your business can “go green” when it comes to the design of your space like incorporating sustainable materials in your decor or reusing fixtures from prior tenants rather than buying new.
- Offer reusable shopping bags: offset usage of plastic bags and help make a positive environmental impact by offering or selling reusable shopping totes.
- Reduce paper waste: It may not be possible for your business to go 100% paperless, but consider ways you can reduce its use. For example, cut back by offering customers the ability to receive email receipts instead of a printed copy.
- Opt for LED lighting: Switching to energy efficient LED lighting in your retail space will not only save on energy costs, it will also have less of a negative impact on the environment.
- Take action behind the scenes: While your backroom or break space isn’t customer-facing, from restocking employee amenities to pickout out storage materials, you can still take steps to make your back of house practices more sustainable.
- Go digital: Utilize your website, social media, email and other digital channels to effectively market to your customers, while cutting back on the need for wasteful print marketing handouts.
- Clean green: Swap out your store’s cleaning products for non-toxic, greener supplies.
- Shut down nightly: Eliminate unnecessary energy consumption by properly shutting down your shop each night: power down all cash registers and other devices, and turn off all lighting.
Spread the word: Get your employees and customers excited about sustainability! Be open and transparent about the efforts your small business is taking to go green - you never know how it may inspire future actions.