An old time Vermont business is seeing some new, modern day improvements. The Vermont Country Store is retrofitting its stores with new energy efficient lights, to the tune of $100,000. The new lights were suggested by the company's employees. "We used to be out there with miner's lamps on, looking into the shelves and trying to find our way," said George Davis with the Vermont Country Store.
The Vermont Country store is retrofitting its five retail and customer service locations in Vermont with brand new energy efficient lighting systems, expected to save the company about $90,000 a year. It's a change that's been implemented by businesses all across Vermont. "There isn't really a business out there that doesn't want to have a lower electric bill. We're doing a lot more lighting now than we were even five years ago," said Cathy Reynolds with Efficiency Vermont.
Efficiency Vermont saw a record number of businesses make energy efficient improvements in 2007. Many feel obligated to help the environment. Others are merely looking to cut costs. "It's when you can achieve the dual bottom line that I think it really makes sense, when the environment and the economics come together," said Bill Shouldice, CEO of the Vermont Country Store.
Several big box stores are even following suit. Wal-Mart will open its first official eco-friendly superstore next week, one of several national chains looking at some major changes. That new eco-friendly store in Illinois will include features such as floors made from left over coal waste, hundreds of skylights in the roof, and even moldings fashioned from material used to make disposable diapers. Wal-Mart operates more than 4,000 stores nationwide and is one of the largest private users of electricity in the U.S.
J.C. Penney's, Kohl's, Macy's, and Best Buy also opened eco-friendly test stores this past year, touting such features as solar panels, recycled carpet and organic paint.
While none of the eco-friendly box stores are in Vermont, businesses like the Vermont Country Store are proving that large eco-friendly changes can be made, no matter how big the store.
Sunday, December 8 2013 5:16 PM EST2013-12-08 22:16:48 GMT
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