“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
When you shop with us, you have an opportunity to make a difference and reduce your impact on the world around you, in a number of ways. We hope you will take the journey with us to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible, including helping us to create little to zero waste. Reusing and recycling are just two of the most important ways you, our customer, can help our co-op achieve its environmental goals, to the benefit of all of us and the planet we all share.
There are a number of ways you can do that every day at the Co-op.
- Drop your bottle caps, bread clips or twist ties into the provided containers (bin at the front end under the stairs for milk caps, small plastic bins for bread clips and twist ties in the bread section), they will be taken to Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District’s Additional Recyclables Collection Center to be recycled.
- Sort your waste in our café, putting all recyclable items and all compostable material in the appropriate bins.
- Bring in your used paper shopping bags and egg cartons (not styrofoam), drop them into the provided bins in our exit way so they can be reused or recycled.
- Bring in a reusable container to use for any bulk items in the bulk or wellness departments.
- Purchase one of our Eco Containers (made of polypropylene homo copolymer, and BPA-free) in the deli and bring it back in to be reused at our hot and cold bar. At checkout, you will be charged a one-time fee of $7. Learn more about our Eco Container program here.
- While you are shopping, recharge your electric vehicle at our charging station under our carport in the parking lot.
- Use a free empty box at the front end rather than shopping bags when you check out.
- Use any reusable shopping bag whenever you shop, including our logo bags (learn more about them here). Every time you do, five cents will be donated to the Montpelier Food Pantry through our Bag That Bag donation program. In fiscal year 2018, that program raised just under $11,000 for the Food Pantry.
- Use your own coffee mug every time you get a hot drink at the deli. When you do, you will save ten cents on your drink.
- Recycle your batteries by dropping them off at customer service, just make sure they are not leaking, we can’t accept leaky batteries.
- Recycle your corks by dropping them off in the ReCork recycling box by customer service. They will be recycled into yoga blocks, shoe soles, and more.
- Ask if we have any packaging materials, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts that you can reuse.
- Purchase items in bulk when you shop, opt for larger containers rather than single serve.
- Purchase items in more environmentally friendly packaging, such as glass instead of plastic, whenever possible.
- Shop local whenever possible, potentially reducing the carbon footprint or environmental impact of the products you buy.
- Shop our bulk section rather than buying pre-packaged items, which allows you to buy just how much you really need and greatly reduce the amount of packaging. For example, buy bulk granola rather than a box of individually wrapped granola bars.
- When shopping in the bulk section, use our BioBags, which are compostable in industrial facilities and offer another alternative to plastic bags. Read more about them here.
- Customers can also opt out of getting paper receipts and opt into having their receipts emailed to them. You can opt into eEreceipts using the form found here.
- Check out our Green Team’s list of available eco-friendly products here.
While our customers can work towards sustainability and zero waste in all these ways, the Co-op also prioritizes environmental responsibility and stewardship in everything we do. Read more about the numerous ways we achieve our environmental goals here.