This day in age, it's so incredibly important that we're aware of your Earthly footprint. I often find myself asking, in what aspects of life are we wasteful that be can reduced or eliminated? What am I using frequently that is doing more harm than good? In what ways can I be more resourceful in my everyday life and work settings? What can I do to help ensure I leave behind a clean planet for future generations?
While I still have a long way to go and still have many aspects of life where I'd like to make adjustments, I've come up with a handful of ways that I can run a greener, more resourceful and more Earth-friendly business.
Eliminate plastic shopping bags
This is one practice I’ve pulled over from my everyday habits. I don’t go to the grocery store without my reusable bags, so I’m also in the habit of taking them with me to the craft store, paper store, floral shop, and print shop whenever I need to pickup supplies or invitation orders from the print shop. This is an easy one, and something everyone could (and should) get onboard with!
Side Bar: Did you see that Kroger is eliminating the use of all disposable plastic shopping bags by 2025? While I wish it would be implemented much sooner (thus motivating the masses to start using reusable bags), this still makes my heart so happy! Fingers crossed that more big box stores and other retailers jump onboard.
Reuse Packing Material
This is another easy way that small businesses can cut back on waste. As an added bonus, it also cuts back on your packing material costs. It’s a win-win!
You may be thinking that this seems a little generic, and takes away the special style your current packaging conveys. There are still many ways you can carry your brand into the recycled packing! Consider packing tape with your pre-printed logo and/or brand-related verbiage, a lovely colored ribbon tied around the packaged items inside the box, and a personal hand-written note for the client inside (written on branded stationery, of course). There are so many ways to be resourceful in this recycling method AND stay on brand!
I also include a cute little notecard explaining our use of recycled materials, so clients know their wedding stationery packaging is also helping save the world. Talk about wedding invitations with an impact!
To get started: The items we often reuse are cardboard boxes (of course!), bubble wrap, air packs, and kraft paper. We don’t receive many items with packing peanuts anymore, but when we do, we also reuse them! We also reuse cardboard inserts, which often come in our custom wedding paper sheets. They make great backers for laser cut items, as well as for keeping mailers rigid when mailing samples and smaller wedding stationery orders.
Online Invoicing and Bookkeeping
This one seems so obvious. Yet, I still have many suppliers that I work with who still send mailed invoices. A few of them are well known, so you know they are mailing out hundreds a month! Stay green, cut back on paper, and keep your invoicing and bookkeeping to a digital database. Not only does it save some paper, it’s a much easier method of staying organized.
Another way to save paper in this category is to have your store receipts emailed to you, instead of printed at the store. Many stores, such as Office Depot and Michaels, offer this convenient feature.
How do you keep your business running green and environmentally friendly? We’d love to hear your suggestions!
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