The aim is to reduce your shop's environmental impact.
Other benefits include lowering the running costs of your shop and dealing with less waste and inbound orders of consumables.
Step 1: Starting Simple.
Printing unnecessary receipts is incredibly wasteful, unless someone pays by card or cheque then don't print a receipt unless they ask for one, it's wasteful, bad for the environment and cost the shop money in wasted receipt paper which is heat sensitive and not that cheap from what I remember about our old fax machine.
Other advantages include not having to empty your bin box under your till as often and not having as much to pay for waste removal.
Step 2: Electricity...
Make sure they are well stocked, this prevents the cold air 'falling' out and being replaced with warmer air that then must be cold by the freezer or fridge.
Keep the lights in fridges off until they're needed in the evenings, there just sitting there wasting energy when it's light.
Always remember to pull your covers down on the likes of open drinks chillers when the night's up, it saves alot of energy.
Make sure all your fridges and freezers are running well and properly serviced, this is good for both reliablity and keeping them running efficiently.
If you have large backup freezers make sure that you're only using the ones you need and keeping empty ones off.
Step 3: Electricity Continued.
Turn off any unnecessary electronics around the, you'd be surprised how many random machines are on all the time when they don't need to be, this is usually caused by refits of the computer systems and some old stuff will remain but be unused.
Turn off tills that aren't used most of the time, in smaller shops there is usually a third till that isn't used except in times like christmas, it doesn't need to be on all year round.
Make sure any outside signs with lighting aren't turned on when it's still light outside, there's just no point at all, also check the paper shed light isn't left on.
Step 4: Other Things Around the Building.
Make sure you're only using the air conditioning and heating when necessary, on a just kinda warm day opening the doors can be just as effective and attract customers.
Be sensible and efficient when adjusting stock orders, this will help minimize wastage and save energy, money and space used up storing goods that were ordered unnecessarily. It also lower environmental impact by reducing the amount of stuff being driven around the countryside in lorries.
With wastage always do lots of date checking and be careful about how and when to reduce short dated stocks, some things will sell without reduction better because customers can be snotty about reduced goods. Reducing things slightly earlier and reducing less can save money and waste at the consumer end of things.
Always remember to turn off the hot food oven after it's empty, this can be forgotten so easily and is barely noticeable. Lowering the setting of the heat slightly is also better for the environment and sales, by the end of the day the food will be burnt to a crisp if set too high, it can be hot enough to eat at around the middle setting.
Step 5: Plastic Bags.
Recently our shop tried to cut them out and it was getting close to lynchings...
You can reduce the usage of plastic bags in alot of different ways, I tried a little social experiment and found that phrases like:
- Bother with a bag, or just leave it?
- Do you need a bag?
- That be ok like that?
If they have other plastic bags on them it's worth saying 'Need a bag or just chuck it in that one?'
Do remember to suggest bags for life or leave them on display in the till area, you'll find that people will be interested in the likes of the cotton tote bags and will be more susceptible to buying one.
Generally persuading people to part with free plastic bags is hard but if you warn them that you'll soon be stopping them or charging you'll find a sharp rise in customers bringing their own bags or getting a bag for life.
Step 6: The Roundup.
Some final additions are to:
Use a compactor and recycle your cardboard.
Put all plastic packaging in bags and send away for recycling.
Try to lower waste and wastage anywhere possible, the likes of products that don't really go off can always be sold for extremely low prices to recoup some of any losses made and to help keep them from being wasted competely.
Hopefully some of these tips can help lower the running costs and environmental impact of your shop, any suggestions, additions and comments are welcome.