Going “Green” In Your Store Space & Initiatives

Going “green” has left some people with the impression that you need to spend money rather than save money. Whether it’s in your home or for your business, the truth is that going green can be an efficient way to keep your pockets leaner while also providing support to our environment. Specific to retail, there are a few things to consider to help you get started in making your business green.

Cut Costs & Boost Efficiency

Doing your share to save the planet while also saving you money doesn’t have to be hard. Here are few simple first steps:

Reuse & Recycle – As a retailer, there are always opportunities to reuse things as well as recycle things. For example, retailers receive many boxes with packing materials that are often just tossed into dumpsters at the end of the day. There are times, however, when you need to send things out to customers or pack up purchased items to prevent possible damage. Rather than invest in your own packing materials, reuse what you receive from your own shipments. Often I hear from retailers that this looks messy, however I encourage you to simply explain to your customers with a note included in the packing that your store is dedicated to helping save our environment, therefore you reuse and recycle when possible. Another idea would be to use the boxes you receive for seasonal merchandising items, such as holiday displays or product fixtures rather than buy plastic storage containers.

Take a look at your specific store waste and see how you can better use it or when necessary, recycle it. If you have paper that does not include store sensitive material on it, then save it for kids to draw on while their parents shop or you could also use it for your own notepad. If you find people want to constantly toss their beverage containers away in or near your store, offer a recycling container for this. You should definitely recycle what you can’t reuse within your own store, as well, including paper, cans, and anything else possible.

Lighting – Investing in efficient lighting for your store should be addressed from both a presentation perspective and an environmental perspective. Consider how and why you use lighting, then determine which lighting methods will both support your presentation needs while also considering effective green lighting procedures. Energy saving light bulbs often cost more upfront than regular light bulbs, however you save money in the long run because they last longer and your energy bill should be less. Using energy efficient lighting is not only earth friendly, but pocket friendly, too, in the long term.

One of my favorite sites for lighting purchases is In addition, Energy Star offers a retail program designed for retailers that supports both lighting and other energy issues. You can check this out by visiting

Eco Products – Whether it’s the paint on your walls, the floor you stand on, or the insulation keeping you warm, there are eco options that you can consider when planning for your retail space.


Did you know that indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air? Here I was thinking we were safer inside than outside with all the junk in our air from car exhaust, factories, and more! Consider painting your store with eco minded and non-toxic paint that will not only be better for the environment, but better for you. Many local hardware stores sell earth friendly options, so consider supporting your local neighborhood in these purchases.


There are some fabulous flooring options that also respect our environment. In addition, many of these options support high traffic areas, such as that of a retailer. A favorite business of mine that supports this is Eco Timber. Founded to both provide beauty to homes and businesses while also protecting the earth’s forests, Eco Timber respects the highest environmental standards in place for flooring. Their product is sold at various retailers across the country and their website can link you to these retailers by simply providing them your zip code. Visit to learn more.


Traditionally, fiberglass is used to insulate buildings. Over the past few years, however, eco friendly options have become widely available, allowing building planners to consider the environment (and their health since fiberglass is known to cause health problems) when considering their construction. A few options? Recycled denim, wool, icynene, and nanogel.A great article for detailed information on these options is on You can view the article by linking to Here, you will learn about each of these options and what may be best for your specific needs.

Finally, there are many, many more options to consider to help your business become green. Retail Minded will review more of these practices and share other suggestions with you in the future. But to help get your green foot wet, please consider evaluating how you can reuse, recycle, control energy, and eco support your floor space. If you have other green ideas that you use in your retail store or wholesale business, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your ideas and thoughts in the comment section provided below. Thank you!

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