Greetings from the Co-op! In these times, I think a lot of us are considering - even struggling with - what we can do to make a difference. One area in which we all want to have a positive impact is the environment. The good news is that our cooperation makes it possible for us - individually and collectively - to make a real difference for the environment. Let’s pause and take pride in that we have built a food cooperative that has helped us express and take action on these core values.
For Hunger Mountain Co-op, it starts with product sourcing. Our co-op has long valued organic and local foods, in large part because they help to build a sustainable food system and protect the planet. A testament to our ability to make a difference, last year, 34% of our co-op sales were in organic products and 40% were in local sales, amongst the highest figures for any food co-ops. By supporting regenerative agricultural practices, we support perhaps the most critical effort of our times: to sequester carbon back into the earth as we sustain our population (check out thecarbonunderground.org for more information, including further ways to futher support regenerative agriculture).
Our co-op is also committed to sustainable operations. Each year, we have made progress in achieving our goals in sustainability by upgrading with energy-efficient equipment and/or lighting. We compost and recycle over 150 tons of material annually, minimizing what we send to the landfill. We support customer efforts to reuse shopping bags, bulk food jars, and deli containers. This year we constructed our first solar canopy in the parking lot to begin generating renewable power while offering free electric car charging. For our efforts, our co-op has been recognized as a Green Grocery Environmental Leader by the state of Vermont and a Sustainability Star by National Cooperative Grocers. We are excited to achieve even greater levels of environmental sustainability in the upcoming years.
This April 22, we get to celebrate this amazing planet of ours and our role in sustaining it. I hope you can join us at the Co-op with our awesome community for a day of fun activities, tasty samples, and cool prizes. It will be a particularly fun day in a year of Earth Days.
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