Sustainability in a Small Business - Doing our bit

Sustainability in a Small Business - Doing our bit

As the founder and owner of enamelhappy this subject has been at the forefront of my mind since the absolute beginning.

You see, I wanted a cup that I could take in my bag to the allotment - but also one that I LOVED and totally REUSABLE also of course.

I'd always loved enamel, the vintage timeless feel of it and this fitted the bill perfectly. 

Nowadays, being sustainable isn't just a trendy word, it's a must.

As small business owners, we've got to do our part too in making a greener and friendlier future.

Looking to make your small business more sustainable?

Check out these practical steps I take daily!

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Right from the start of enamelhappy in 2020 I have purchased only recycled packaging even though the cost is much higher to the business.

This was a no brainer in my opinion and where possible I purchase 100% recycled and always choose the best eco option. Such as the white boxes I use for all smaller orders are made of recycled materials of course, are fully recyclable and biodegradable, plus they fold into themselves, which saves the need for lots of tape.

When I do use tape, the small amount I use is craft tape where possible (except for security on very large orders)  but I am always on the look out the for the strongest craft tapes so that I wont need to do that either.

Another example is the tissue paper I use to wrap products in is made with 99% recycled pulp fibres AND 35% of the electricity to make it is from renewable sources too. 

I never include packing slips or unnecessary paper in my orders - they get their confirmation email anyway!

Always choose the smallest box available for the order.

If an order includes say "plastic" bubble wrap its ONLY because I am REUSING packaging in the hope that you may also reuse too ( although bubble wrap can also actually be recycled at local supermarkets too with the carrier bags and plastics)  I have NEVER purchased any plastic based packaging.

I reuse a lot of packaging including the sturdy boxes and padding from meal box delivery companies for instance for wholesale orders, I'm pretty sure these other business owners who receive the orders understand why I'm doing it and possibly do this themselves!

This helps me to balance out the extra costs I pay for the recycled packaging I buy.  

 

Energy Efficiency 

Hard to make a big difference being a small business but....

I don't replace electrical items unless they are broken, then I would rather pay for repair rather than throw away.

I have also used shops recycle schemes for small electrical goods and sold items on facebook marketplace rather than send to landfill.

If I was to need something new I would religiously check the energy star rating. These products use less energy, which saves costs and better for the environment too.

Lights and electrical goods are only on when needed of course, and we have a smart meter. 

We use energy saving LED lightbulbs too.

 

Eco-conscious Sourcing

I actually resent that many products cant be made in the UK and I do my best have items made here where its possible and viable.

These issues nearly prevented me form starting my business initially, but I have overcome this by mixing my producers and they are often made other family run UK businesses.

I always confirm a companies practices before I use them and it is important to me that they prioritise ethical and environmental issues too. I have built up some brilliant relationships with the companies I use.

I am always very careful with the quality of products I sell to as I really want them to be special and lasting for customers. But I do not throw away any products I'm not so happy with, I simply sell them at a reduced price instead.

 

Final Thoughts on Running an Eco Friendly Small Business

My practices on this subject come from the heart.

I see these practices are something I need to do.

But my heart felt so strongly about these subjects way before environmental issues became an essential concern when running a business.

With the addition of sustainable practices within your small business, you are not only making a valuable contribution to the well-being of our planet, you will also appeal to environmentally conscious customers.

I genuinely hope I may have inspired or supported you too in some way.

Tracey x

My small business specialises in beautiful colourful retro style enamelware and more - the website link is here enamelhappy x

 

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