GROTON — At Barbara and Ian Scofidio’s downtown gift store, crystal beaded jewelry and silver trinkets sparkle under the spotlights, making shoppers turn and look.
The Scofidios aren’t just using any lights to create the ambiance. The track lights have a newly installed transformer that makes 25-watt bulbs shine as brightly as the 75-watt ones the store once used.
With more than 20 bulbs on the track, the energy saving amounts to whopping 1,000 watts for just one section of the store.
The semitranslucent gift bags the store has used to wrap products are also about to disappear. The store is switching to more earth-friendly bags and has already begun using packaging boxes made from recycled paper.
Green business practices aren’t about big corporations constructing an expensive, super-energy-efficient building and “making it all new and fancy,” Ian Scofidio said.
“We wanted to set ourselves up as an example so that (we can show) you can be energy-efficient and recycle at a relatively low cost to your business,” Scofidio said.
Scofidio’s store, noa jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts HSato 11/4/09 (the name is ALL lower-cased), on Main Street has recently gone through a “green up” transformation. The goal of the project is to show fellow small- business owners that they don’t have to spend a fortune to help curb their carbon footprints. Local mom and pop’s with small profit margins could be green, too, Ian Scofidio said.
The couple came up with the idea when they were talking about how much they try to recycle at home and be energy-smart to save on utility bills. They thought, Scofidio said, there is no reason they couldn’t do the same for the gift stores that they own in Groton and Concord. The business has had a focus on local artisans’ products, and being green fits the store’s philosophy to promote sustainable economy and environment, Scofidio said.
They first replaced all of the incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. The Concord store has 11 bulbs that have been reduced from 100 watt to 25 watt and 23 bulbs reduced from 50 watt to 15 watt. They also changed packaging materials and have bought store furniture from a Marlborough company that takes fixtures from businesses that are closing down and refurbish them.
Scofidio said he was surprised to see what a big difference changing light bulbs alone can make on the environment — and what that means to small businesses that spend hundreds of dollars on electricity every month.
The Scofidios’ next goal is to calculate the store’s exact carbon footprint, meaning how much the energy and products they use have contributed to greenhouse gas emissions. And, they are hoping that will help inspire other local business owners to follow in their green footsteps.
For more information on noa jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts, visit www.noagifts.com.