These days, consumers and business owners are far more in-tune to protecting the Earth and its mortal eco-systems.
The ‘green’ movement serves as a planet protecting campaign that has begun to change the marketplace and the values of consumers.
For any business to do their part to protect the planet and, as a result, reasonably succeed as a retailer of products and ideas, it must be aware of how its products and practices affect the world we live in.
Fortunately, there are many things that a business can do to be more eco-friendly, here are three:
1. Use Environmentally Friendly Materials
Despite the crucial ‘green’ movement, far too many companies today rely on cheap, toxic, and unsustainable materials for their products.
Synthetic plastics that ultimately find themselves in landfills take far too long to break down and sometimes become a noose or food for some unsuspecting bird or fish.
These synthetic materials are also often far from sustainable due to their need for crude oils for processing. These crude oils exhume toxins that leak into water sources and the ozone creating further issues for our health and the health of the planet.
Fortunately, there are companies out there that produce environmentally safe synthetics, which can be used to create a multitude of products.
Making the shift from cheap but dangerous materials to possibly more expensive but safe materials can bring you in the good graces of your customers and help save the planet at the same time.
2. Use Sustainable Materials
An important issue with retailers today is the use of sustainable practices.
How can we expect to create a lasting market when the materials we use are harvested quicker than we are able to replenish them?
This is a hot topic when it comes to wood in particular.
Many plants that we consume are dying-out due to high demand. The key to fixing this is using materials that are easily replenished like recycled rubber, cork, and hemp, and woods like bamboo, sustainably harvested cedar, maple and elm, and beautiful mindi (marindi) wood.
Rare and stunning woods like ebony and purple heart are endangered, so using a wood like mindi, a crop that is easily replenished, charming, and elegant, is a great substitute to the common unsustainable luxuries.
3. Choose Local When You Can
Opting for local materials or supplies is a great way for your business to build a close community, reinvest in that local community, and lower your carbon footprint. Shipping costs are usually a large factor in obtaining overseas or cross-country materials.
Also, the use of gas increases the further your vendor is from you. It makes sense then, to invest in a product that is created locally. Not purchasing mass quantities of something from distant communities also helps to keep their communities stable.
The demand for quinoa around the world, for example, has made it difficult for Bolivians – the primary growers of the plant – to afford the growing cost of their staple crop.
So you can see, unless the materials are easily sustainable or transferable, it is most moral to access them locally.
Choosing to make your business eco-friendly can become a bit involved and tricky. Sometimes the cost is greater than if you succumbed to the old methods of obtaining the most for the cheapest.
We can all appreciate that this may not be the best way of doing things now. For businesses to operate responsibly, measures must be taken with the Earth in mind.
And, whether retailers like it or not, consumers are becoming savvy in the ways of ‘green’ living, and they expect that their favorite shops will be like-minded.