How to Ensure That Your New Retail Space Is as Green as Possible

A green shop is not necessarily one that sells environmentally friendly products (or plants, for that matter). Shop fitters have a range of materials on offer, and by making the right choice when outfitting your new retail space, you can ensure that your shop is environmentally friendly (regardless of what you might be selling). This also helps to establish your company's environmental credentials, which can be appealing to a large number of consumers. So what are some easy ways to put together a green shop?

The Paint

As paint dries, its solvents can be released through a process that is similar to evaporation. This process is known as outgassing, and the gas that is released is considered to be a volatile organic compound (VOC). Despite being made of naturally occurring components, it's thought that prolonged exposure to these VOCs can have an adverse effect on your health. This outgassing can continue for many months after the paint has been applied. The exact time is difficult to determine, and it depends on the type of paint that has been used. Of course, VOCs have less impact when only used to cover a small area, and when the area is well-ventilated. You can request that your shop outfitters use paints containing a water-based solvent (known as an aqueous solution). Outgassing contributes to indoor air pollution, and if your retail space is a standalone structure that is painted with VOC emitting paints, this can also contribute to air pollution.

The Furniture

Why not reuse old shop fittings when it comes to larger items? There are a range of restored counters and shelves available, and these can be refinished or painted as necessary to achieve the desired look. You don't necessarily need entirely new shop fittings, although using recycled fittings can make it difficult to achieve uniformity throughout the retail space. You might be lucky enough to find exactly what you need (in the quantity that you need it), but you might also need to use a combination of recycled and specially-constructed fittings. Ensure that any custom-made fittings are made from sustainable forests. Your supplier should be able to provide you with this assurance.

The Lighting

LED (light emitting diode) lighting is almost a necessity when it comes to effective, environmentally friendly lighting in your retail space. Fluorescent lighting is one of the more popular options when it comes to lighting a retail space, largely due to the appealing price and the amount of light that is produced. You must remember that a fluorescent light will last for 7000 to 15,000 hours (as opposed to 750 to 1000 hours for a traditional, incandescent light bulb). LED lights offer anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 hours of use. They also require significantly less electricity to achieve a high level of brightness, and can reduce electricity use for lighting by up to 95%. This can greatly reduce your operating costs. With less waste (due to the longevity of the product) and less energy being used, LED lighting for your retail space is an obviously environmentally friendly choice.

So by making the right choice about your shop fittings, you can ensure that your retail space is as green as possible. For more information, contact a company like William Waters Shop Fitters.