Local social enterprise charity SHAX is one of Dumfries & Galloway’s best-kept secrets – a veritable ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of great value second-hand furniture, vintage and retro items, hidden away inside a 4,000ft Dumfries warehouse. Now, however, the secret is out – thanks to the charity’s new ‘Revolve-accredited’ status, awarded by Zero Waste Scotland. Wherever displayed, the Revolve logo assures customers that they are buying from a great re-use shop with a commitment to providing only the highest quality second hand products and excellent customer service.
Joyce Harkness, SHAX’s Social Enterprise Manager, said “SHAX helps people affected by homelessness and poverty in Dumfries and the surrounding area by providing them with minimal cost, good quality furniture and white goods.
“Local people have been very generous with their donations of furniture and other items so far, which has allowed us to open our warehouse on Bankend Road to the public to help us raise additional funds for our work. There are loads of great value second hand and vintage goods to be discovered there.
“Last year we were able to help more than 200 local people by making sure they had the basic household items when they moved into secured tenancies.
“We’re delighted to receive Revolve accreditation and to display the brand around the store. This way, we’re able to demonstrate to both customers and to those who kindly donate goods, that we have excellent processes in place to ensure the quality of our goods, the training of our staff and the delivery of great customer service.
“Although we are a bit tucked away, we’d urge people to come and discover the huge range of re-use goods we have available and help us to continue to provide support to vulnerable people in our community. Not only that, those who kindly donate goods to us are also doing their bit to help the environment, reduce their carbon footprint and prevent perfectly good items from going to waste.”
SHAX relies on furniture donations to provide two key services: Emergency Starter Packs to provide basic household items for people moving to new permanent tenancies and its Homemaker Scheme, which allows delayed payment for people to get essential household furniture and goods for their new homes.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland said:
“SHAX is an outstanding example of a very effective social enterprise organisation. Its work not only has a positive impact on the environment by reducing waste, it also helps vulnerable people in the community and saves people money on what can be normally expensive items for the home.
“I’m delighted to confirm its well-earned Revolve status, which gives a clear sign to the local community that they can have confidence in the products that SHAX offers.”
As well as saving customers money, the Revolve accreditation also aims to create a more sustainable approach to retail and promote re-use in Scotland. Customers wishing to pass on their unwanted items to their nearest Revolve store can call the national re-use phone line on 0800 0665 820 to have their items collected.
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.
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