Saturday, June 6

Help solve this eco-dilemma:

I recently received an e-mail from a small general store owner who is looking for some ideas on how to provide better alternatives to water bottles for her customers. I have a few ideas of my own but I know that brainstorming is a great way to come up with ideas so I thought that I would ask all of you to help too. Please read the following letter (for the complete details) and leave us a comment with your suggestion/ideas. The more suggestions the better!

My name is Sharie Newmark and I have a dilemma for you to ponder. I’m the manager of a general store (very small), which is located inside a senior retirement community. The average age of our seniors is 80 – 85, and as you can imagine they’re not so fond of change. In my store I offer all the basic necessities, candy, drinks and lots of water. Our big seller is the little water bottles (disposable), and I sell everything at a reduced price. The store is not here to make a serious profit, simply to provide what people need, as opposed to going out to a regular store.

So here’s my issue, I want to provide a better alternative to our residents, in regards to the water bottles. I sell the small bottles, the 1.5 liter, and the gallon bottles. Again because it’s not something that I charge a huge profit for, I don’t have a very big budget L I’ve pondered over the idea of encouraging them to purchase safe plastic, reusable water bottles, and buying a water dispenser for the store, so that they can come and pay to refill their bottles. This obviously cannot work out though, when they buy the larger water bottles I can’t expect them to be able to come down, fill it up, and lug it back up to their apartments. Also, because of my own workload (I don’t only run the general store, lol), I can’t carry all the bottles to their apartments either.

My other idea was purchasing the platapus water bottles, as they’re made of safe plastic, but they are so expensive! I usually pay around $3.99 for 24 water bottles, and at the rate they purchase them, I can’t imagine the platapus fitting in our budget..

Either way, I was going to start encouraging them to bring their empty water bottles back to the store to be recycled, but as I said above, it’s not only hard to get them used to change, but they all tend to forget EVERYTHING!

If you have any suggestions, or ideas, I would love to know them!

Thank you,

Let's start brainstorming for Sharie!!!


Lisa Sharp said...

Maybe she could make up (or have someone do it for her) some posters with facts about water bottles and have some reusable bottles for people to buy near by and also offer some deal where people can fill the bottles at the store.

As far as recycling if there is anyway she can offer like for every bottle you bring in you get ____ or the person who recycles the most bottles each week will win a reusable bottle or something like that.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Those are all GREAT suggestions Lisa! thanks a bunch.
I thought of a few of the same ones (great minds must think alike) ;-)