More and more companies today are taking the initiative to "go green" by reducing unnecessary waste and shifting towards sustainable, renewable practices. Coca-Cola and the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) recently teamed up to preserve freshwater resources. Furthermore, Coca-Cola says it plans to use 30% organic plant-based material for its product packaging by 2020. Even if you aren't able to team up with the WWF, however, you can still take action to promote a greener business.
When was the last time you checked to see what type of light bulbs are being used in your retail store? Most stores use incandescent bulbs simply because they cost the least amount of money. Unfortunately, though, incandescent bulbs are the least efficient, consuming significant amounts of power; thus, raising your monthly utility bills. A smarter and more Eco-friendly type of lighting for retail stores is compact fluorescent lighting (CLF), which lasts longer and uses less power than its incandescent counterpart.
Of course, you shouldn't overlook your store's heating and cooling. It's not uncommon for retail stores to waste hundreds of dollars per year due to inefficient HVAC systems. Perhaps the coils or clogged, or maybe there's not enough insulation in key areas. The bottom line is that retail store owners need to perform an inspection of their HVAC system to ensure it's running efficiently. And if you aren't familiar with the workings of heating, ventilation and cooling, hire a professional technician to come and inspect it for you.
You can also reduce the power consumed by your store's heating and cooling by investing in a programmable thermostat. Conventional wisdom should tell you to turn off the heat/air condition when there's no on in the store. Without a programmable thermostat, however, you may forget to turn the system off, resulting in tons of wasted energy. This alone can make a world of difference in your store's energy usage, so don't underestimate the importance of a programmable thermostat.
Last but not least, sit down with your store's employees to come up with new ways to reduce waste. One idea is to use shopping bags made of recycled materials, or another idea is to sign up for a recycling pick-up service. Think about how your store uses its resources and whether or not you can reduce the amount of waste produced. With a little bit of ingenuity, most stores can dramatically reduce their total waste.
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