Our Sustainability Commitment
We take our commitment to sustainability seriously and we think about it broadly:
We care about our planet
- Supporting local producers first reduces the carbon footprint of the food on our shelves (and all our plates!). We work with almost 200 local vendors and have over 600 locally grown or produced items in the store.
- Supporting organically produced products protects our land, water, air, and wildlife (and our own bodies!) from harmful chemicals.
- Supporting producers who choose less or thoughtful packaging reduces our contribution to landfill (and usually also means less energy to produce). Bulk items, bottle deposits on milk, kombucha, and water, as well as our Poker Chip Program for bringing your reusable shopping bag all encourage less waste.
- Speaking of waste: grocery stores make lots of it, but we try to reduce ours. In fact, we send more volume to the recycling center than we do to the landfill! We donate thousands of pounds of unsellable grocery, produce, and dairy items each year to local nonprofits who can use it to feed folks in need. Produce waste we cannot sell or donate gets composted.
We care about our neighbors
- Partnering with local businesses supports our local economy. Sometimes that’s working with a vendor and sometimes it’s coming together with folks in our Community Business Partnership Program.
- Participating in community events contributes to a vibrant city. Whether it’s sponsoring a race, tabling at a festival, or donating to community event, look for us at Takoma Park and Silver Spring community events.
- Identifying organizations as recipients of our Round-Up program. Shoppers can choose to ‘round up’ their grocery bill to the nearest dollar (or as much as they like!) to donate to particular efforts in our community and beyond.
We care about our people
- Compensating employees fairly makes the Co-op a sustainable place to work. Generous benefits and paid time off make it a humane one.
- Offering training and opportunities for advancement are an investment in our employees.
We support producers who are being thoughtful about the waste produced in purchasing their products. That’s why we stock and accept DrinkMore water bottles, Trickling Spring Creamery milk bottles, and Hex kombucha bottles. There is a one-time deposit fee for each bottle at the time of purchase which is returned when you bring back the bottle. And, don’t worry about carrying those bottle around while you shop - just let a customer service representative know you have a bottle to return and we’ll get you a (much smaller) ticket to hold onto while you shop.
Poker Chips and Grocery Bags
We work with member-owners and shoppers to reduce waste and support local nonprofits. When you bring your own bags, you receive a Poker Chip (per bag) that has a value of 5¢. Select one of our annually chosen charities to donate you 5¢ to on your way out. It adds up! This year’s featured charities are: