The Eco Friendly Business Guide

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In today’s world, the modern green movement has been a money maker in the marketplace. Retailers, grocers, independent shops and even restaurants try to appeal to the growing trend of being eco friendly. A little competitiveness from business to business can bode well for the environment and contribute to conservation of our earth’s resources. Today I examined some of the ways that companies advertise or use their green credentials to boost their sales.

There are a number of ways a business can approach environmentally friendly practices within their store. Some take a smaller green initiative approach and others go all the way. The following tips can steer your business to be environmentally correct all while improving revenue.

Waste Wisely
A company’s participation in recycling and efficiency with waste disposal is one of the most important things they can focus on. This is most popular in the restaurant biz but certainly is not limited to it. Not only is it the right thing to do for the earth but it will save money by avoiding all those disposal fees and possibly create new revenue through selling recovered material. Regardless of what kind of business it is, they can benefit from recycling. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a free service called WasteWise that helps to improve cost savings, improve efficiency, and reduce their footprint all with waste reduction in mind. It can also help boost national recognition for businesses through their efforts in being less wasteful.

Energy Conservation Saves the Big Bucks
What kind of eco friendly business guide would be complete without energy conservation on the top of list for business owners. The simplest changes can save a lot of money on energy bills at the end of the month and will be ultimately be kinder to the earth. Switching from regular light bulbs to CFL’s can save up to $200 for every five light bulbs replaced according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Lighting makes up for 50% of the average commercial building so this can definitely give the atmosphere a break. Also setting computers to energy efficiency standards under the CPU usage and turning off printers and other devices can save up to $50-$150 per device every year.

Ditch Lawns – Embrace Gravel
If there is an area for landscaping in front of your building or office, investing in low maintenance foliage can help with water savings especially for water-heavy things like grass. Eco landscaping can increase productivity and help the environment all at the same time.

Futuristic Bookkeeping
Reducing materials by going the e-business route can go a long way in reducing company waste. Papers are stacked high in offices, folders are filled into cabinets, and all that clutter eventually makes its way into the paper shredder. For a company interested in being green they should consider using a paperless accounting and book keeping system. Just don’t forget to backup all your e-docs on an extra hardrive or server.

Fair Trade is Only Fair
If you have a restaurant or food based company consider using fair trade products since it promotes environmentally sound shopping and eating. Undertaking a promise to shoppers to use only fair trade products has a long-term benefit for all the people who are concerned.

Fragrant O’ Natural Shopping
Cleaning with eco friendly products is important to me and many other shopping enthusiasts. There is nothing worse than walking in a store and being hit in the face with a powerful bleach smell or other toxic cleaner. By using natural cleaners, employees will not be subjected to air pollutants and customers will likely leave with a good naturally fragrant experience.

Consignments R’ Us
Using recycled or salvaged materials to decorate and provide functionality to your business is another way to check off a bullet point in our eco friendly business guide. Buying recycled furniture from thrift shops or consignment stores can really score a business some green points.

Hate on Plastic – Promote Canvas
Promoting the use of cloth or reusable bags is a great way to greenify your company. If a retail shop offers options to buy reusable bags than that can get people to spread the trend of using canvas bags in the shopping world today.

The People’s Choice
As long as customers continue to prefer eco friendly products and services, than stores and places of business will adhere to the growing popularity and make many of these changes listed above. A great way to know if your favorite retailers are practicing green business models is to ask questions or do your research. If they aren’t, your investigation may inspire them and make a difference in waste or energy output in the world, you never know!

Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by trilliumartisans via Flickr.

Angie Tarantino
About Angie Tarantino (148 Posts)

Angie Tarantino is a contributor and part founder of The Environmental Blog. She covers animal rights, green tips and general green news topics She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Follow @EcoChic314

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