Yes, the idea of reducing, reusing, and recycling is nothing new. For the founders of Natural Grocers, it was a habit of necessity. Growing up in the Great Depression, it was engrained in them to keep costs down by reducing, reusing, and recycling. They passed those values on to their children, the current owners, who have carried on the conservation ethic. Also, learn about our sustainable agriculture practices here.
Click here for the national database of recycling and disposal centers at OurEarth.Org
In Our Stores and Offices
As expected, we turn lights off when we leave a room, we recycle cardboard and plastic shipping materials, we keep heating and cooling to a minimum, we buy used office fixtures and, in general, we operate smaller, appropriately-sized stores.
In many ways, we also see our stores and our operating methods as a living laboratory for improving energy efficiency, decreasing energy use and deploying renewable energy sources. We're focusing our current experiments on next generation technology such as hybrid vehicles, geothermal heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, and improved insulation materials. Compact fluorescent lighting, reduced packaging inputs, and energy efficient heating, cooling, freezing, and transportation equipment have already passed our tests.
Check out NBC coverage of our
Cedar Park store's green building standards.
Sustainable Non-Toxic Construction Materials
An important part of building a sustainable business is using materials whose production is sustainable. All of our new buildings are constructed using plant based materials, recycled materials, and materials that are non-toxic, creating a healthier, irritant-free shopping and learning environment for our customers and employees.
It is now understood that the volatile compounds used in the manufacture of plastics, industrial finishes, paint, composite woods and coatings continue to leach or gas-out from their substrates for years after their manufacture. Many people report skin, breathing and neurological problems from exposure to these chemicals, and so they appreciate being able to shop in a store that keeps irritants to a minimum.
On a much larger scale, it is clear that the manufacturing and use of these types of chemically manipulated materials has led to a pervasive problem with byproducts and waste disposal. It’s one thing to bury industrial waste to make it disappear from view, it’s another thing to make sure the toxins inside it do not contaminate the soil, ground water and air – especially for future generations. As a company in a fast-paced business that depends on fossil fuel to make its wheels turn, admittedly we make drastic compromises every day, even as we work towards further lowering our energy footprint and environmental impact. Whenever you see an opportunity for us to do better, we please know that we are counting on you to give us a nudge.