Reducing Waste

Central Co-op’s Principle #8 is Concern for Ecosystems: Recognizing our dependence on the Earth’s natural systems and resources, we respect animal habitats, human habitats, and the Earth’s biological and physical equilibrium in the course of our activity as a cooperative. This is Part 2 in a series that highlights some of the many ways we act on this principle, including through what products we sell, how we run our business, and our participation in community projects.

Plastic packaging waste is an immense problem in the world’s oceans, and food waste is a major source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Central Co-op strives to be a business that not only reduces our own waste, but helps our shoppers adopt a more waste-free way of life.

We do several things to reduce food waste. First of all, our Produce Department works to order just what we need and treats the produce with care once they receive it. Then they divert large amount of product seconds to our Deli to be used in their recipes. All produce that has been culled due to defects is offered to employees and then to a range of local food banks. Finally, any food waste deemed unsuitable for food banks is available to customers upon request for those needing scraps for their chickens or bunnies.

In addition, all the packaging and utensils used for our Deli-made products can now be composted or recycled, with a majority of it being compostable (except for the price stickers, for which we continue to look for a compostable option). We also avoid the practice of needlessly packaging produce.

One effective way for shoppers to reduce waste is to buy in bulk! We stock a large variety of bulk products, including dry foods like grains, nuts, granolas, flours and candy; beverages like coffee and tea; bulk liquids like oil, syrup and honey; and body care products like soap, shampoo and conditioner. And, of course, we also offer plenty of reusable containers to put your bulk products in!

We’re proud to be a favorite store of many members of Seattle’s #zerowaste community and aim to continue to find more ways to reduce waste in the future!

Part 1: A Greener Building

Part 3: Supporting Sustainable Agriculture

More on how the Co-op supports our ecosystem


Date: Wednesday May 01, 2019

Category: In The Co-op

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