We’ve had many queries lately as our customers become environmentally-conscious, about our commitment to sustainable packaging. We love this! Yet, it’s been, and continues to be a journey to find the appropriate solutions.

For example, In order to reduce waste, we have taken to packaging certain produce items, as they last longer when packaged. We continue to search for environmentally friendly versions of the packages we use; with limited success so far. Either we can’t find the packaging we’re looking for, or at times it can cost up to 10 times more than conventional packaging!

We’ve had some successes as well. We recycle and compost everything that we can. You’d be surprised how little garbage we have in a week. When you hear stories about how much waste a grocery store produces, you certainly wouldn’t say that about ours. We don’t throw away usable product, if it’s past it’s best before date or is unsaleable for other reasons, we have several outlets for those items, we can put them out in the free pantry, or the food bank for starters.

We also use our own products in our Deli; this helps us turn over our products quicker; and means fewer expired products; especially fresh items like meat, produce and dairy.

We’ve found compostable produce bags … which can be used in your household compost. We searched for a long time to find the right bags … so we’re very proud to have replaced our plastic produce bags with these little beauties.

In our hot foods deli, we encourage our customers to bring their own clean containers from home. We’ll happily fill them up for them. You’ll often see Craig and I loading up on dinner in our glass containers!

Also, we have a selection of re-usable bags. We probably need to do more to promote the use of the bags … it’s a work in progress 🙂 We do wonder whether it would be a good move to start charging for our plastic grocery bags, as a way to encourage the use of re-usable bags. It’s a tough decision because not all retailers are doing this and we certainly don’t want to alienate any customers with such a move. We’ll continue to ponder this option.

We feel it’s inevitable that eventually we’ll be using only environmentally friendly packaging throughout the store (and the world). The transition can’t happen too soon for us!

In the meantime, if you see any great sustainable idea; please feel free to share them with us!