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Cynthia Madison posted a blog entry in Environmental decline is at an all-time high – what can YOU do about it?Top companies in nearly every industry- even those from the fossil fuel industry- have recently agreed on their “environmental commitment” as a new selling point for consumers who are becoming progressively troubled about their individual contributions to the deterioration of our natural environment. Environmental awareness is on the rise, and this is only the beginning. Eco-friendly businesses are rapidly becoming industry leaders, and as more individuals become aware of our terrible environmental state, their popularity will only upsurge. What is green marketing? Green marketing isn’t only a trend that many companies have chosen to adopt but also a way of doing business. The global tension on our environment, combined with a consumer desire to opt for eco-friendly products for a better living, creates new occasions for companies for marketing themselves as environmentally aware. In short, aligning businesses with green practices can be a successful selling point for small businesses, and, in some circumstances, the “green” notion has shaped a new line of service and product prospects for businesses to explore. Whether you’re looking to connect with consumers interested in doing business with green companies or you’re running a business entirely focusing on green services and products, green marketing can be an effective strategy for small companies in their overall marketing strategy. In this article, we’ve gathered some of the most common green marketing ideas for eco-friendly businesses in need to offer green solutions for their customers. Make Sure It’s Right Going green ASAP looks and sounds nice on paper, but it’s really for everyone. How so? Green marketing can be hugely beneficial only if it’s consistent with your business’s values and mission. When green marketing is only something you're relying on to be a part of a trend, you won’t likely gain the benefits from it. Even more, you can expect some backlash from your clients is they suspect you’re promoting it for selfish reasons. That said, before taking necessary steps in adopting Green Marketing, reflect upon the pros and cons to make sure it aligns with the type of service and products you’re trying to promote. Green marketing strategy has to be a realistic business strategy and not just a marketing trick. An honest green marketing strategy and idea is actually to develop real eco-friendly selling points for your business. For instance, a strategy can be marketing that your service has a low energy solution. Therefore, a service or a product that produces less waste or uses less energy than a traditional method can be a great differentiator. Brand with Insignias and Green Logos If your business participates in eco-friendly practices or has green offerings, consider using a variety of logos and insignias for branding and company marketing that represents green. This may include your web page, marketing materials, advertising, business cards, packaging, signage and many more. Examples of logos may include various membership logos or the standard recycling arrow logo and Energy Star Rating logo. Businesses can even design personalized logos as an effective tool in communicating their green contribution and separate them from the competition. Print on Recycled Paper Using recycled paper to conserve resources can be both an effective and easy way to subtly validate your business as environmentally aware. Several printing retailers offer an option to have flyers, business cards, marketing brochures printed on recycled paper that is almost as affordable as the regular paper. If you have a business presentation that is strongly focused on green marketing and environmental issues, then spending a few extra bucks on recycled paper can be a very significant step in a green marketing strategy. Ditch Direct Mailers and Opt For Digital Marketing Newspapers and direct mailers are more wasteful than ever. You can switch a lot of your marketing efforts to digital marketing if you want to leave a lower impact in the environment. That said, the elimination of regular paper use and other materials used for advertising can be a huge step in a zero-waste advertising approach. For instance, social media can be a very effective, fast and inexpensive way to promote your campaigns. The best part about marketing your business on social media is that you can play with a wide range of graphics. Not only that, but digital marketing makes it easier for like-minded groups to share your brand’s backing to their circle. Promote Local Vendors and Eco-friendly Events Promoting and using local suppliers and vendors is a very green practice as you help to reduce the impact of carbon emission on the environment by encouraging local delivery of supplies and products. Doing so, your customers will see that your business not only promotes the local economy, but it also helps reduce carbon emission and gas consumption by using local vendors. Moreover, if you work in the food industry, using and producing with fresh ingredients from your local farmers can also be a great selling point. Operate Efficient Fuel Vehicles Most probably, you’ve heard it before, but the vehicle your business uses for delivery, service and sales can have a great impact on your brand image. When your vehicle travels across your local market, they can leave numerous impressions on your local customers and prospects. That said, operating FlexFuel vehicles for sales or delivery and service cars will not only help your business reduce the gas expenses, but it will make it obvious that your business is also green conscious. Environmental Donations and Charities There are dozens of environmental causes that will worth your time and money. Another green marketing idea is to support those initiatives by taking actions that will serve the local environmental purpose and making donations. You clients can also support the cause via environmental incentives for sale- such as donating a part of a sale to an environmentally friendly organization or even planting trees. But before that, be sure you clearly communicate your green marketing action to your customers to strengthen your eco-friendly business practice. These green marketing strategies are small steps that eco-friendly organizations can take to minimize their carbon footprint and prove to their customers that choosing their business can make a difference in today’s environmental state.