Travel Tips and Green Living

Green Initiatives: Buying Supplies

Green Initiatives: Buying Supplies

I have a special place in my heart for EcoEnclose

They were the first provider of recycled and recyclable shipping materials that I landed on when I launched Local Universe. They seemed to walk the walk, right down to how they market. And they had the goods at a good price. 

I was established in Indiana then; I've since relocated the business to Colorado, which means I can drive up to their plant and pick up my orders. Can you say smitten? They're real people, and really nice. They gave me a tour of their operations, furnished with tastefully upcycled furniture, and they have a giant recycling rollaway outside. Of course.

So I seal Local Universe shipments in recycled cardboard boxes with tape that’s plant-derived, renewable and naturally biodegradable. But my favorite product from their lineup is the poly mailer envelope made from 100% recycled content.

It's SO cool that the last time I went to the post office with orders, the USPS asked ME how to get some.  

Hopefully you’re already using recycled paper. But is it made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, processed chlorine free in a plant that uses less water than other manufacturers? New Leaf Paper is Forest Stewardship Council certified, Ancient Forest Friendly, a B Corp. and offsets energy with Green-e certified renewable energy certificates. They share our care for the environment.

Of course we all recycle paper after we use it...if we even need to print paper at all, amiright? Fortunately, here at Local Universe we have an efficient printer, and I can walk to Office Depot to recycle our used ink cartridges. They give me points for bringing them my junk cartridges, which will be reused. And I walk there--no carbon emitting car involved. It all feels so meta.

Every now and then, Local Universe goes live at some local fleas and First Friday events. So I rang up EcoEnclose again and got some 100 percent recycled paper bags, 90 percent of which is post-consumer content—stuff destined for the trash.

But even better than a recycled bag is no bag—most of our customers just say no when we ask if they need them. Saving money and the environment at the same time—what could be better?

Our displays are green too. Ok, so really, I just raid our house for baskets and shelves. But some of the shelves are “antiques” scavenged from a super funky treasure trove, Wilson's Antiques in downtown Traverse City, so they count, right?

Let your own creativity shine and inspire your customers with upcycled exhibit pieces and furnishings. Pin your heart out and track down some pallets.

If (no, when) we get big, I’ve already doped out a branded giveaway for Local Universe. Bagito makes an inexpensive model from 100% rPet fabric (recycled plastics). It goes on a keychain and can be printed with our logo. Bagito donates a percentage of their profits to Power2Sustain, a program that teaches students about sustainability.

Finally, I try to ask myself that all-important question before I buy anything for myself or for Local Universe: Do I need it? Is it worth the investment of resources that went into making it and buying it? Sometimes I even say no! Or, if it's something like the unique trinkets that we sell at Local Universe, I can always justify a gift for someone. (Because spending on gifts doesn't count.)

Look at it this way: When you’re shopping for green goods and supplies for your business, you can extend the thrill of the hunt by searching out the very best on the market. And if you’re lucky, you’ll meet some very cool people like the crew at EcoEnclose along the way.

(Believe it or not, this post was NOT sponsored nor a paid promotion. Just a recommendation for some really super sustainable stuff I love.)

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