A Little Less Paper, Please

Green Spotlight:  Notes from Nancy Grant

Can a food co-op add sustainable ideas to its daily operations? Sure, the co-op encourages food producers to take the best care possible of their land and natural resources. But what about other opportunities for a “greener” approach?

At Valley Natural Foods the hunt is on to find ways to take better care of the environment right here in the store.

The first good idea: Replace the paper towel dispensers in the restrooms with electric hand dryers to cut down on paper waste. The second good idea: Encourage office staffers to use e-mail and other computer technology as often as possible, then print documents on paper only when absolutely necessary. Throughout the co-op, the idea is to use a little less paper, please.

Simple steps like these are part of a much larger effort to put the sustainability concepts in the co-op’s FRESH values statement into daily practice. Each greener choice must also make solid financial success, to support a healthy financial bottom line for co-op member-owners. In every department, managers and employees are making new, greener ideas part of the work day. The co-op recently published its first online Green Report describing these new approaches.

Watch for more ideas about energy efficient lighting, recycling programs, energy-wise choices for food storage and preparation (in the co-op’s kitchen and yours!) in upcoming issues of Healthy Updates.

Energy journalist and blogger Nancy S. Grant is a member of the Cooperative Communicators Association.

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