Earth Day Everyday!

Earth Day Everyday!

from The Merc Co+op’s Green Team

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share a few things that we do around the co-op to support sustainability.

Landfill and Food Waste Reduction efforts

  • We give regular food donations to Just Food, the Sunset Hill Sharing Shelf, and the Lawrence Community Shelter

  • Recycling - bale and recycle/sell cardboard; CLO picks up all glass, plastic, paper, cans

  • Composting - local farmers pick up produce and juice and coffee bar food scraps. Missouri Organics picks up three times a week all other food waste along with waxed cardboard boxes. We have also recently provided compost bins for customers' deli food!

  • We only have paper bags and boxes (eliminated plastic bags years ago); the paper bags are made from recycled paper

  • Produce plastic bags are 100% post consumer recycled plastic

  • Unsellable goods (shrink) available to staff to take for free

Energy Reduction

  • Solar panel array - 29% of our energy is from the sun

  • LED lighting

  • New electric vehicle charging stations powered by the solar panels

  • Recent roof replacement with optimal insulation

  • HVAC units replaced with high efficiency models 

  • Night curtains on open coolers

  • Refrigeration rack preheats water for water heaters

Local Producers & Waste Reduction

  • Glass bottles of milk = Over 15,000 Hildebrand bottles are returned each year

  • Water dispenser = 82,195.5 gallons of bulk water sold in 2018 - that's 622,546 plastic water bottles saved (assuming a standard 500mL/16.9oz water bottle)

  • Kombucha/Alchemy tap with reusable bottles

  • 1/2 Day Yogurt jars can be reused

  • Waxed organic boxes in Produce go back to local farms

  • And, of course, any local producer is saving transportation fuel!