Friday, March 14, 2008

Doing it Green

As a business owner I had to decide philosophically how to run my business, making choices not only about what is important to me, but also to what my customers, and prospective customers, need and expect from a company. With the heightened media coverage on Global Warming, the Live Earth Day Concert, and everyone making adjustments, on both a corporate level as well as individuals committing to sustainable practices everyday at home, I feel that we can no longer deny that there is a long-term problem. If each person doesn’t do their part, we will experience devastating consequences. With this in mind, I made the decision that EclipseSpa would be a green company, one that people could trust to have high regard for both its customers and the planet.

Committing to being a green company was a full-time job. In addition to creating a compelling product line that’s made from natural ingredients that are free from known toxins, I had to source materials such as recyclable containers, business cards, stationary and gift packaging made from environmentally friendly materials. I spent hours of research online in order to make good, sustainable choices for every aspect of my business. Initially, I was worried about the quality of my stationary when considering green printers for my brochure and business cards. Would they look cheap if I had them printed on recyclable material? I haven’t seen a quality difference at all. In fact, they look better than the chemical based products. And the process of using recycled paper and soy-vegetable inks is much less harmful to the environment than their petroleum based counterparts. My stationary is made from tree-less materials, which I find far more interesting than stationary printed on ordinary paper.

The decision to invest a considerable amount of money on environmentally friendly gift packaging was a hard, but necessary decision. I could have stayed with ordinary white gift boxes, which would have been a lot less expensive, but I felt I would be cheating my customers if I did so. So with careful research and the help of a great green business organization called Coop America I found the most amazing gift packaging for my organic bath & body products. They have become the gateway to my products, adding drama and elegance to every package. And the purchase of the gift packaging was made using Fair Trade Practices, with the money going back to help provide livelihood and education to economically disadvantaged artisans.

It’s going to take a global effort to sustain our planet, and if each one of us can do our part personally and professionally, I believe we can make a difference. Giving a “green” gifts this year may be your first step in going “green”.

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