Sunday, April 15, 2012

Indie Handmade Business: Marketing Green by Going Green

This month on the TrashN2Tees blog I challenged my readers to make 1 green resolution today then tell me about it. In honor of Earth Day (the whole month long!) I've dedicated the blog to inspiring & encouraging the changes you share & together we'll go green one baby step at a time! Today, let's discover some ways that you can color your indie handmade biz GREEN!

 Going green can boost your customer base. Believe it. I'm sure you've noticed the growing trend with eco-friendly marketing- but it's not just a trend. I hope these innovative & earth friendly biz concepts are going to set the pace for future generations. Like any other aspect of successful marketing, your reputation as an eco-concious business is only as good as your credibility. You can talk the talk, but customers want to see you walk the walk. The first step to marketing yourself as an eco-friendly biz is actually becoming one! You can do it- and I want to help.

The Basics:
  • purchase recyclable or biodegradable mailing supplies (& reuse packaging when available) I love www.ecoenclose.com  
  • streamline your packaging, do you really need to use floral printed cellophane bags? ...if so maybe include a note with suggestions for reusing it? 
  • ship from home/office
  • eco friendly biz cards
  • use recycled paper products & print on both sides of the paper
  • install Eco-Font or use draft printing option to save ink & toner
  • buy second hand: office furniture, tables, machines, cameras etc: it gives new purpose to used items and helps reduce demand for new
  • change incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting
  • support environmental charities - tip: be authentic to your brand and self! spread the goodness but do your research & find out what the organization does and where the donations actually go.
  • source your materials locally if possible 
  • use earth friendly cleaning supplies
 I know, that all seems like a ton of work + additional costs. Your kids (mine, too!) and the planet will thank us later. Pinky swear. Since you're already a creative genius, allow us to get a little more innovative. This is the fun stuff! How will you integrate your greenieness into your buyers shopping experience? Mayi over at Heartmade has a pretty spiffy collection of Eco Tips for Your Indie Business that includes this tutorial for thrifted pattern gift wrap via Creature Comforts. 

Once you've got all this stuff in the bag- tell people about it!  Be sure your eco initiatives get noticed by hanging them in a prominent place on your website (and any marketing materials.) Get involved in a grassroots green community- online & locally. A few great Twitter hash tags include #greentweets #greenmarketing #greenmeetings #ecofriendly. Your transition from “business” to “awesome green business” is big news. Treat it as such by crafting and sending out a press release introducing your eco-friendly biz, perhaps as the first of its kind in your area!  

 I promised baby steps, didn't I? Okay, lets start small. Crafty McCraftersons- I want to know what 2 changes you're willing to make. You've got tell me so I can celebrate them with you and for you! If you have any ideas, sources, or questions please let me know in the comments below. Happy (almost) Earth Day!

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