Thursday, April 14, 2011

Go Green, Save Money, and Impress Eco-Conscious Consumers

Hello again, Booksellers!

As Earth Day approaches, the issue of green takes center stage. How eco-friendly is your store?

I confess that I don’t have the greenest lifestyle. While I use a rain barrel, make an effort to buy local organic foods, recycle (including the plastics that the city won’t take), and keep a chemical-free lawn, there’s a lot more I could do. On my list this summer? Composting!

Taking steps toward a greener business can save a few dollars and win over environmentally conscious customers. Here are some green business practices to ponder.

Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are catching on. Some shops offer a small ten cents discount to customers who use them. Custom tote bags printed with your business name and logo is a great way to advertise your store and encourage customers to bring their own bag. Another option is to simply ask customers (buying only one or two small items) if they need a bag before automatically providing one. Those who are concerned about reducing waste will feel good about supporting an eco-friendly business.

Make the Leap from Print to Digital
Do you have a store newsletter? Think of how much paper and money you can save by switching from print to electronic. There are plenty of free resources for designing e-newsletters. One example is, which offers easy design templates and other services.

Rejuvenate or Update?
Consider ways to fix what you have, instead of replacing it. If buying new is the only answer, research energy-efficient options that will save you money in the long run. Here’s some information on rebates and funding for energy efficient updates from Energy Star.

Starve the Landfills
It’s amazing how many people have a use for what we consider trash. Before sending your junk to the landfill, check with to see if someone wants to take it off your hands.

More Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
• Seal air leaks in windows and doors.
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent.
• Bring in plants to clean the air.
• Opt for paperless billing.
• Reduce junk mail by having your name removed from unwanted mailings.
• Coordinate a staff carpool or encourage employees to commute by bike or mass transit.
• Launch an in-store recycling program.

Have more ideas for reducing your carbon footprint? Please share!

I'll sign off now and leave you with some thought-provoking candidates for a book display.

Voices of the Earth: The Path of Green Spirituality

Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political and Environmental Change

Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future

Ecoshamanism: Sacred Practices of Unity, Power and Earth Healing

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