Monday, April 22, is the 49th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 inspired millions of Americans to become more aware of the environmental and the impacts their daily lives had on it. Today, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
The lesson from Earth Day is simple, yet profound: When we come together, the impact can be monumental. Small changes can make a big difference. Some ideas of small things you can do on a daily basis that make a big difference include:
Valley Natural Foods believes that our practices have an impact, too. That’s why starting on Earth Day this year—Monday, April 22—we will no longer offer plastic bags at the registers. This single action is significant. Currently, Valley Natural Foods uses nearly 114,000 plastic bags a year. That goes into the 100 billion plastic bags used annually in the United States (and the 12 million barrels of oil it takes to produce them).
We feel this is a necessary change for the co-op. However, we are also aware of the potential reuses plastic bags have. Single-use plastic bags will still be available in Produce and the Bulk department, and we offer several alternatives to plastic bags. We will be introducing a special Valley Natural Foods branded canvas bag (pictured) for sale. Additionally, we also sell a variety of affordable reusable bags from NCG.
Green Stamp Program
This is also an opportunity for us to draw attention to our “Green Stamp Program.” Through this program, shoppers receive a 5-cent rebate for every reusable bag they use. This rebate can either be redeemed at the time of purchase or donated to our monthly Register Round-Up recipient—a food shelf or local nonprofit organization.
We feel the decision to eliminate plastic bag at the registers is in alignment with our commitment to being a sustainable business. We hope this one small change will have a positive impact.
Recycle Your Plastic Bags!
Did you know you can recycle your plastic bags at Valley Natural Foods? We have a dedicated receptacle by the exit doors. All the plastic we collect is taken by our distributor UNFI back to manufacturers for use in packaging.