Sustainability should be at the forefront of every business’s mind, and Dry Cleaners are no exception if they want to prosper in today’s fast-evolving market.
But trying to switch to a more environmentally friendly business can become a challenging task. From biodegradable packaging to eco-friendly solvents, there are tons of things to address to make your store more sustainable. Here we created a guide to get you started:
Reuse and recycle
Get greener with a smarter use of plastic bags, considering they create an overflow of waste and do not biodegrade, becoming part of the environmental problem we are currently facing. A recent Huffington Post article shared that “each year, the US government estimates that over three hundred million pounds (300,000,000) of single-use plastic dry cleaning bags wind up in America’s landfills.”
Hangers are another essential product for dry cleaners, yet most of them are only used once, thrown away, and not recycled. There are easy solutions out there to be more sustainable, like reusable garment bags and bamboo hangers or ditto hangers, made from post-consumer waste. You can also launch a hanger reuse program to let your customers reuse them whenever possible.
Switch to eco-friendly solvents
As mentioned in one of our past Business Insight Articles, Dry Cleaners have gone through considerable changes when it comes to spotting chemicals, like PERC possibly containing serious health hazards, and being replaced by other washing systems such as PWC, Hydrocarbons, and Carbon Dioxide.
It’s time to replace traditional solvents with organic alternatives that are non-toxic, and biodegradable.
Go for environmentally friendly equipment
Green Dry Cleaners use equipment and processes that have a low carbon footprint. Technology such as Hydro Carbon machines does not produce any hazardous waste or have a negative environmental impact, in addition to leaving the garments much softer and free of color fading or shrinkage.
Reduce the use of dry-cleaning materials
Another sustainable solution is to look for ways to reduce the amount of consumption of materials such as water, paper, or energy. Going digital with documents like going for e-bills instead of printing them can reduce environmental impact significantly. Ozone technology can reduce high-temperature washing and methods such as Wet Cleaning can save more water than conventional dry cleaning.
As for energy, replacing regular light bulbs with eco-friendly ones in the facilities can make a major difference in minimizing energy consumption and reducing waste. And with the use of energy-efficient equipment, dry cleaners can reduce their carbon footprint.
Small changes in your business will not only attract new customers aligned with your ethical and environmental values, but they will benefit your employees by creating a safe and hazardous-free environment for them.