Today is #CoopsDay and this year’s theme is #Coops4ClimateAction as cooperatives around the world highlight their efforts against climate change. 2020 has been full of challenges and that includes our ongoing efforts to be thoughtful stewards of our environment during a global pandemic.
Just before this crisis began, we were poised to launch a completely local/organic salad bar and hot bar, but sadly those plans have been put on hold. Reusable containers and shopping bags are not currently allowed inside the store and all of our current deli and bakery items are packaged individually, as are many items in our bulk aisle. These are frustrating and hopefully short-term developments.
But, with an eye to the long term, we are still getting our electricity from 100% renewable sources and the air curtain we installed in our entryway lowers our natural gas consumption by 21% among other benefits. We stopped selling single-use plastic water bottles last fall around the time we also swapped out outdated fixtures and bulbs with LEDs. Our comprehensive composting and recycling efforts are still in place and we’re working with National Grid to upgrade the efficiency of our coolers.
Most importantly, we continue to source more than 2500 of our products from within 100 miles of the store, which strengthens our local food system and reduces the emissions related to long-distance food transportation.
As a co-op, making choices that value local, organic and sustainable is fundamental to everything we do and we look forward to a time when it will be safe to once again minimize packaging and continue to meet our goals for responsible climate action.