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