25 Tips to Green Your Boutique
25 Tips to Green Your Boutique
credit:by Bright Sparks
Last week, I shared Tips to Green Your Craft/Design Business. Today, I share more tips, but from the perspective of independent boutique owners.
According to the Small Business Administration 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. At the same time, according to an IDC report, “U.S.Small Business 2005-2009 Forecast,", 83.9 % of those small businesses have fewer than 9 employees. The point? The effect of small businesses collectively instituting green measures in their businesses could be very impactful!
Ready to commit to greening your boutique? Here are 25 tips to help get you started.
- Encourage customers to bring their own bags by offering a monthly drawing or other incentive program.
- Sell striking and unique reusable bags that customers will want to purchase and use.
- Use recycled paper bags instead of single-use plastic bags for those customers who aren't into bringing their own bags.
- Consider using e-receipts instead of paper receipts or make receipts optional.
- If you own your own shop, install a smart thermostat that will automatically turn the thermostat up or down on a schedule. If you rent, talk to your landlord about adding one.
- Turn off and unplug all appliances, electronics and other equipment when not in use. Use power strips to make this task easier.
- Consider offsetting your carbon footprint.
- Get involved and support green initiatives in your town or city, like adding bike lanes, adding curbside recycling programs and more.
- Buy Energy Star-certified equipment whenever purchasing new appliance and electronics.
- Carry locally-made products as much as possible.
- Buy products from artisans/designers/crafters who are also committed to being more sustainable in their businesses.
- For those mass-produced products you sell consider avoiding items made with petroleum by-products and other non-renewable materials
- Green your business model. For example, think about carrying goods that are quality-made and intended to last a lifetime as opposed to selling limited-use throwaway goods.
- Utilize those support and auxiliary businesses which are also green. For example, green printers, green web-hosting, etc.
- Whether you clean your boutique or contract the work out, make sure to incorporate toxic-free cleaning products.
- Utilize day-lighting as much as possible and use energy-efficient lighting fixtures and compact florescent or LED bulbs where and when day-lighting isn't practical.
- Search salvage shops, estate sales and vintage shops for unique display and décor furniture for your shop.
- Include plants in your retail space. Plants help to improve air quality.
- Focus on e-marketing like e-newsletters and e-postcards and reduce the amount of traditional paper mailings you do.
- Consider more online advertising as opposed to advertising in print publications.
- Offer environmentally-friendly gift-wrapping. Use a higher percentage of recycled paper content gift-wrap or even reuse old maps, newspapers, calendars, shredded paper and paper bags wrapped with bakers twine.
- In the break-room, use a water cooler to encourage employees (and yourself) to use reusable water bottles.
- In the water closet, install low-flow commodes, water-saving faucets, air hand-dryers and put the lights on a timer.
- Use an inventory-control program, so you don't over purchase supplies.
- Remember your business plan when purchasing products to sell. This will help you keep from purchasing products that won't sell, which would be bad for your bottom line as well potentially adding to landfills.
Jen Wallace shares her indie life at Indie Fixx where she writes about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, loving, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy.She’s also a freelance writer who writes about everything from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.