10 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR STORE GREENER
1. Look for Good Wood: The best protection against deforestation is FSC-certified lumber, but plantation-grown species such as Mango and Rubberwood and rapid renewables such as Bamboo are also options.
2. Ask for Low VOC Finishes: Indoor air quality is a top consumer health & wellness concern, and no formaldehyde glues, water-based sealers and bee’s wax are much better than varnish, lacquer or shellac.
3. Find Better Foams and Fabrics: In upholstery and bedding, latex and bio hybrid cushioning reduce reliance on the standard petrochemical polyurethane, and organically-grown natural fibers are the answer in textiles.
4. Use Better Paper and Less of It: The average office tosses out 350 pounds of paper per employee per year. Switch shopping bags to brown paper with 30% recycled content. Send digital receipts. Pay bills on-line or over the phone. Use waste paper printed on one side for internal copies.
5. Recycle Packaging: The U.S. produces 250 million tons of trash, of which approximately 30% is packaging and only 30% is recycled. That recycling prevents the release of 49 million metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of 39 million cars annually. Recycle ALL of the paper and plastic waste in your operation.
6. Rent, Lease, or Buy Used Equipment: Using existing equipment instead of buying new saves money and reduces the use of virgin materials, harmful emissions, and toxic landfill waste. When discarding electronics, always find a local recycler.
7. Reduce Energy Use: 85% of carbon dioxide emmissions come from burning fossil fuels, primarily to produce electricity. Get a free energy audit from your power company. Replace light bulbs with more efficient options. Compact florescent bulbs (CFL's) last 4 times longer thank incandescents, reducing energy bills by about $32 per year and cutting carbon emissions in half.
8. Choose Renewable Energy: Purchase energy from suppliers producing the highest percentage from water, wind, solar, or other clean sources. You may also purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) to support green energy sources. Your power company probably offers several options.
9. Form a Green Team: Recruit a cross-departmental group that meets regularly to brainstorm ideas, research options, create a plan, establish measurable goals, and monitor results. Make sure the topic is one of your regularly reviewed agenda items.
10. Join the SFC: We are nearly 400 members strong, including materials suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, designers and media. Join the cause, learn a lot more and let us help you grow your green business.