Earth Day isn’t just a call-to-action to be more sustainable for one day. Instead, it’s supposed to jump-start your sustainability practices to continue throughout the year, and for years down the line. Even if you’ve fallen off the bandwagon since last Earth Day, don’t worry. This annual event is coming around again on April 22nd, and now is the time to start preparing.
“Some forward-looking companies are seeing it is an issue they can no longer ignore, morally and economically, and that you can go green and succeed in business,” says Hitendra Chaturvedi, a professor at the Supply Chain Department of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and an expert on global supply chain sustainability and strategy. Whether you’re a recycling fanatic or looking to start somewhere small, here are some ways your business can go green for Earth Day:
Be On the Lookout for Sustainably-Sourced Products
No matter what you sell at your booth, it’s a proven fact that consumers prefer to buy sustainably-sourced products. They’re even willing to pay more if it means the product is better for the environment, so don’t worry about your prices going up. And not only are you appealing to a wider range of shoppers, you’re also helping the environment.
This is a great way to start going green, because it requires little effort on your part. Vendors frequently have to stock up on new products anyway, so the next time you’re looking to purchase again, be on the lookout for suppliers with sustainable practices.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Are you regularly recycling paper, plastic, aluminum and ink cartridges at your flea market? Depending on the market policies, keep a separate bag for recyclables that you can drop off once you’re finished selling for the day. It doesn’t hurt to ask if the market recycles. You can also reuse packing materials and cardboard boxes. Reduce paper transactions by going digital for bill payments, vendor orders, invoices, and faxes.
Encourage Reusable Bags
Some states, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont have banned single-use plastic bags for retailers and restaurants, but for those resellers outside of those states, now is a good time to get rid of them at your booth. One way is by using paper bags for purchases, or you can encourage customers to bring in their own reusable bags by giving them a small discount if they do.
To help spread the word about your sustainability practices, decorate your booth with plants and other eco-friendly products to show customers what you’re all about. They also help with making your area look beautiful, so you can’t go wrong.
You can also put up signs in front of some of your sustainable products to let shoppers know exactly what they’re buying. Whether it’s recyclable packaging, all-natural ingredients, or vegan materials, those are definitely features you will want to promote close to Earth Day.
“Businesses can see significant benefits, both economically and socially, from incorporating sustainable practices,” Chaturvedi said. “Some of the steps you incorporate can seem small at first, but day by day, those efforts will produce great results.”