How to Prepare Your Business for Green Tuesday

Tue, Nov 27, 2012


Although it was merely a few days ago, Thanksgiving already feels like the slightest glimmer in the rearview mirror. That is because the holiday season is now in full swing, with perhaps the biggest shopping weekend of the year front and center. People now stand in mile-long lines on Thanksgiving to take advantage of Black Friday sales that begin at midnight and carry on until the dawn. Malls and megastores remain packed through the weekend, until Cyber Monday sales see people planted in front of their computer monitors desperately seeking the deepest discount on any holiday gift you can possibly buy online, pack in a box and ship across the country. New to 2012 is yet another shopping day, but one with a decidedly different focus. It’s called Green Tuesday, and shoppers and businesses everywhere are looking to prepare for this inaugural event with an inspiring environmental focus.

Green Tuesday was launched by non-profit advocacy organization Green America, with the goal of helping support a clean future and a green planet. The goal of Green Tuesday is to encourage the purchase and sale of holiday gifts from within the local community. This both empowers small businesses to maintain competition with the larger chains, while also cutting down on the carbon footprint of holiday shopping. Buying local means no costly shipping and fewer fossil fuels expended to get the purchases from manufacture to the retail stores, and then into a customer’s hands. If you’ve got a lot to buy this holiday season, this is the most eco-friendly way to do it. But what about on the business side? If you run a small business, how can you best take advantage of Green Tuesday?

The first challenge is determining exactly how your business can line up with the goals of Green Tuesday. After all, this is much more than a simple shopping event. With Black Friday and the other holiday kick-offs all you basically have to do is extend your hours and offer some sort of discount that can’t be found on the other days of the year. But Green Tuesday takes much more than discounts. And shoppers looking for Green Tuesday businesses won’t be swayed by marketing techniques.

Your products and methods must align with environmental sustainability, or your customers will suggest your are just trying to take advantage of a buzzword. In today’s market a few bad reviews on the busy social networks can devastate a full quarter of revenue numbers, so tread carefully. Make sure the Green Tuesday products you offer are locally sourced, and never shipped from outside the United States. The ideal is something that is handmade, or manufactured in small batches. Natural materials are a must, and any product that incorporates recycled or upcycled materials will also hit with this market.

Once you’ve got your products in order, how do you connect with the sustainability community in order to draw some attention? Sending out a promotional email or e-newsletter is always a great option, as it promotes your events without using up any natural resources. Once you’ve alerted your key customer base, expand out from there by hopping on Facebook, Twitter and the other social networks where you have some reach and post about the product lines you are featuring for Green Tuesday. Make a point of stopping by popular pages of environmental organizations that have memberships in the area as well. Finally, reach out to the local newspapers and bloggers as well. Any of them should be more than happy to detail a business trying to bring a bit of consciousness to the holiday shopping process. And since this event is fairly new, it should drum up at least a small amount of attention. It’s better to get involved now as an early adopter, and shoppers who prefer to spend their money with sustainable businesses will reward your efforts.

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