Retail stores cycle through countless products every day; some items leave with customers, and others go to waste. This constant flow of items in and out of the store leads to a lot of negative environmental impacts. However, this large impact on the environment is preventable by adopting simple and effective best practices. Our article details ten ways retail stores can reduce, reuse, and recycle for a smaller carbon footprint and other eco-friendly goals.
The Benefits of Being Green
While improving the environment is important, there are more benefits to using green methods for your business. That’s why more stores are adopting at least a few policies to better their environmental impact. This section will cover some of the benefits of practicing environmental friendliness.
One of the main benefits of switching to green methods for your business is the public’s opinion of you. Many like to purchase goods from companies that use these environmentally-friendly methods. Switching to these eco-policies is a great way to draw in more customers, as they want to support companies that benefit the environment.
Many eco-friendly practices don’t just benefit the environment; they help you save money and resources over time. Green practices epitomize the reduction of the use of resources, so businesses that implement them end up saving more money after their initial setup costs. For example, you can use wood pallet pickup services to trade in old wooden pallets for recycled ones to lower the cost of buying new pallets.
Prioritizing Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
It’s important to know that the saying “reduce, reuse, and recycle” doesn’t mean that all these processes are equal. In fact, it’s best to first reduce what you consume, reuse anything you can, and then recycle anything that is left over. Following this hierarchy helps you decrease your environmental impact while increasing your overall benefits.
The 10 Tips
This section details the ten specific ways retail stores can put into effect reduce, reuse, and recycle practices in their business. These tips will help retail store owners lower their environmental impact and help them determine the next best steps to further their efforts.
Start with an Audit
The first thing you should do is conduct a waste audit. Figure out how much waste your business produces daily and the triggers of that waste to help you target how much environmental damage your company causes. The results are vital to make efficient progress with your eco-friendliness.
Reduce Packaging and Storage Waste
One area where most businesses see much waste is their packaging and storage processes. Many companies can reduce their waste production by making some minor changes to their packaging and how they store their goods. Making these changes can also help limit your business’s environmental footprint.
Another change your business can make is to carry and use products from companies that emphasize a positive environmental impact. Many products have eco-friendly options you can use, and switching to these products in your stores will help you reduce the consequences of your company’s carbon footprint.
Switch To Green Energy
Excessive energy usage and reliance on the city’s energy grid can contribute to the consumption of non-renewable natural resources. That’s why integrating green energy alternatives can help your business save on energy consumption and lower your resource usage. This switch can help your business save money and stop your reliance on the grid.
Try Reusable Bags
When customers leave with their products, many retail stores put their items into bags to make their things easier to carry. If you can incentivize customers to use reusable bags—either those they already have or ones you provide—then you won’t add to single-use plastic baggage waste.
Many companies throw out their goods at the end of the day when they can’t sell them, or they have even the slightest damage. If possible, it’s much more environmentally friendly to donate these items to local charities or businesses instead of throwing them out. While some cities and states have regulations preventing this, try to donate whenever possible without breaking the law to lower your impact. You can also donate old tools to certain local programs instead of throwing them out.
Some businesses sell products that stay good even after use and have a second-hand market. Some refer to this second-hand market as a buy-back program, as you can purchase products at a fraction of the price. Buy-back programs are a great way to help your business and the whole community recycle.
One of the biggest hurdles to recycling is how difficult it can be for both customers and businesses. People will always prefer to do whatever’s easy, which is why accessible recycling is so important to stay green. Put recycling bins near every entrance and garbage can, and implement easy-to-use recycling methods behind-the-scenes to help employees stay green.
Recycle Your Waste
While some waste can only go in the garbage, much of the waste people output can go to a recycling plant rather than the landfill. For example, old equipment or tools can go to special businesses for recycling. A great example of this is the wood pallet pickup services previously mentioned. They will take your old and broken wood pallets and reshape them into usable ones customers can purchase instead of putting the waste into the landfill.
Package with Recyclable Materials
Customers don’t normally keep their packages and will throw them out once they open their items. Therefore, more packaging ends up in the trash, adding to environmental pollution. Creating and using recyclable packaging will cut down on this waste and greatly improve your business’s eco-friendliness.
These ten basic steps are ones every company should follow when looking to become a more environmentally conscious retailer. Every store must start making these changes, as it’ll positively influence their bottom line and impact the health of the planet. First Alliance Logistics Management is a great business partner to have in your going green endeavors. We will recycle your old pallets and send you new ones that fit your budget.