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How To Be More Eco-Friendly As A Small Business [AD]

When you start a new business, 101 different thoughts go through your mind. Will people buy your products? What should your logo look like? Where can I buy my supplies from? How do taxes even work? But one of the questions that maybe isn't always at the forefront of your mind when you start a business is how you can be as eco-conscious as possible.

Personally, I quickly aligned 'eco' with 'expensive' when I was starting up. I originally intended to work with epoxy resin (which in itself is not the most eco-friendly product) and, after failing to find an environmentally friendly alternative that wasn't double the price of the standard stuff, I lumped for the non-biodegradable, not so eco-friendly stuff. And I think that whole process is true of a lot of small businesses. We have good intentions at heart when we set out but quickly find that eco-friendly and sustainable often comes with a price tag and, when you are just setting out, it is not that easy to foot those extra costs.

But as I started to settle into the business (and after taking a small detour away from resin after a nasty allergic reaction), I started to see ways that I could be eco-friendly whilst still being on a budget.

Eco-friendly packaging
It is actually so easy to keep your packaging eco-friendly. And, personally, I think it looks a lot cuter too. I mean, cardboard packaging with colourful ribbons and paper stickers and even some yarn chucked in there too - adorable.

Personally, I package my jewellery in reusable bags that have a beautiful, metallic lunar print on them and then I wrap it up in tissue paper and tie them with yarn. All my orders are then posted in basic brown envelopes (the type without bubble wrap). I also hold onto any tissue paper or small plastic bags that I get sent in the post and reuse them in my own packaging.

I would really recommend browsing Pinterest and searching for eco-friendly packaging to get an idea of what kind of style you want to try.

Using local suppliers
This definitely isnt applicable to all businesses but, for me, I found that there are so many places to source materials to make jewellery and things based in the UK  - and the price difference isn't that big from ordering in from China either. For my jewellery, I buy the components on Etsy from UK based craft supplies brands. By reducing that air travel, you are doing a world of good for the environment.

Be transparent
'Green-washing' is a big thing these days as every brand wants to make themselves look like they are doing a great job being eco-conscious but misleading your customers is actually more harmful than anything. If someone is setting out to buy an eco-friendly product and that is their priority then allow them to do that - even if you lose a sale. If you sell something that isn't good for the environment, be open about that. Let the customers choose whether they want to buy from you or not. Be clear about the areas of your business that are eco-friendly and show your customers that you are trying your best but don't mislead them into thinking you're a sustainable brand if you aren't.

Don't over-order
One mistake I made when I was starting out was that I ordered loads of stuff without even trying to create the products first. I didn't even know how to work with resin but I went ahead and ordered loads of silicone moulds and dyes - you name it, I ordered it. But then it didn't work out and I was left with a lot of things that I have no use for anymore. So, don't over-order. Especially early on. Order business cards but not an excessive amount. Order enough packaging but not too much. Basically, don't make my mistake and be excessive or those things may end up in landfill (or thrust upon an unsuspecting younger sister whose room is now full to the brim with silicone moulds).

Let me know your top tips for being eco-friendly as a small business!
You can find my business here: Lunar & Bloom

You may also enjoy:
Tips for embracing a more vegan-friendly lifestyle
The cruelty-free skincare product I am obsessed with right now
Independent business gift guide
Small changes I'm making to become a more ethical consumer

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