Sustainability

We are dedicated to improving human health, the health of the environment and ensuring a robust economy – the triple bottom line of regeneration

From the smallest to the largest, our regenerative and sustainable practices contribute to the positive changes we’re committed to seeing in the world.

  • Sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. We sell only 100% organic produce, 100% non-GMO bulk, 100% pasture-based dairy, 100% free-range eggs, 100% humanely and conscientiously raised meats, and all our meats are raised without antibiotics, hormones and other growth promoters. 
  • Disposable bag-free checkouts. Since ditching disposable plastic grocery bags in 2009, we estimate that we’ve prevented more than 270 million plastic bags from ending up in the environment.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate-free bulk packaging
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of our communities through Nutrition Education. In the last five years alone, we've helped over 26,000 people optimize their health by providing free health coaching sessions. We’ve held over 11,000 free in-store nutrition classes where we educated and empowered over 116,000 lives.  
  • Reducing our carbon footprint. We are constantly searching for and implementing greener practices, here are some examples: 
    • Innovative heating and cooling practices 
    • LED lighting 
    • Pull-down covers on our store refrigeration units 
    • Super-insulated buildings  
    • Repurposing existing buildings whenever possible 
    • Using sustainable, non-toxic construction materials 
    • Motion detecting light sensors in most offices, lights turn off when you are not there

 

  • Solar powered store signs and paper towel dispensers  
  • BPA-free cash register tape 
  • Formaldehyde-free stores. No construction products have formaldehyde in them. We don’t use particle board, chipboard or wafer board as these all contain formaldehyde. 
  • Eliminating and reducing indoor air pollutants by using sustainable non-toxic construction materials, including no and low-VOC (volatile organic chemical) paint
  • Using and selling only non-toxic cleaning and sanitizing products 
  • Minimum sufficient packaging on Natural Grocers brand products  
  • We recycle shipping pallets and the plastic used to wrap them 
  • We upcycle most of the cardboard used to ship products to our stores, reusing it to box your groceries and supplements 
  • Composting at select stores 
  • Community gardens at select stores  

Choices...

Some are so small they’re almost invisible. Some are big enough to redefine the future, but every single choice shapes the story. As a business, the ripple effect of our choices is greater than our individual, personal ones, weaving the tapestry of tomorrow with indelible threads. Our Five Founding Principles drive our business practices, so we are always weaving a tomorrow with the choices we make today to benefit the health and wellbeing of our communities. 

At Natural Grocers, our choice is to make a difference, to support the triple bottom line of regeneration: human health, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy. We choose products and practices that support the health and wellbeing of our communities. (Read More) We choose organic agriculture, managed pasture-based dairy, and grass-fed meats. We choose products that are consciously produced and nurture the health of people and the planet we all share. We choose pricing that makes regenerative, sustainable, healthful choices affordable for all. 

Human health, the health of the environment, and the health of the economy are inherently connected

The question is, can the health of our environment and economy survive the impact of our choices? Our current industrialized agricultural system has been allowed for generations to and is given incentives to, externalize the cost of doing business, forging a future for our planet that is unsustainable without regeneration. Economic health cannot be sustained within a dysfunctional ecosystem, plagued by the increasing cost of natural disasters, and the decreasing availability of life-sustaining resources.  

It's time to make different choices, it's time to make choices that change a bleak future into a sustainable, healthy and happy one. This is our commitment, anchored in our Five Founding Principles and shaped by our everyday actions.  

Transparency is in the details. Find out more about our regenerative-supporting standards here.  

We are committed to choosing products and practices that support renewal, to create a future that is sustainable

Our shelves are stocked with your health, the health of your family, and the health of the planet in mind, and priced so your pocketbook can afford them. 

Grocery stores play a pivotal position in the food chain, a system that is essential to our health and wellbeing. Grocery purveyors, whether online and/or brick and mortar stores are the gatekeepers — the marketplace that helps to determine how our food is produced. What is offered for sale drives how our food is grown and produced.  

As your neighborhood grocer, we choose to positively impact the way the food in this nation is grown and raised. Others may choose to blindly ride the wave of whatever shortcut is trending. We choose to be responsible for the impact our food choices make every step of the way, from the beginning of every product story to your grocery basket to, eventually, your kitchen table. Others may choose to think it’s not their responsibility and sell products that do not represent the most nutritionally sound, environmentally responsible and ethical-towards-all-living-creatures kind of products.  

We choose otherwise. We choose to support the health and wellbeing of our communities, the planet, and you. Eating is one of the most personal decisions you make every day. We do not take the responsibility lightly that you make a conscious choice to shop with us. Your trust in us means that we are committed to providing only the highest-quality food, supplements, and everyday products you can buy. Thank you for supporting our unique stores and for being a vital part of the change that your food choices make. Those choices might be small, but they're one big step towards a brighter, more sustainable future. That's the story we want to tell and the one we can all shape together.  

Choices... 

It’s a lazy Saturday morning and that comfortable, early light is warming your face. The mug of coffee in your hands is thick and hot and smells like every exciting promise of a new day. You reach for a homemade scone, and you start to think about breakfast and that egg carton in your refrigerator just waiting to turn into the perfect omelet or more delicious pastries. You realize you’re smiling, and you know it’s the little things, the choices you’ve made to live a life you believe in, starting with the basic requirements of staying healthy – your food supply. From fair trade coffee to free range eggs, you have been using your dollar to raise your voice for sustainability and equality for the environment, its animals and its people, which allows you to lean back, breath in the aroma of your choices and relax.  

Remember: Bring Your Own Bag!

Our stores take in hundreds of cardboard shipping boxes every day, which we make available to our customers to carry their groceries in. We also sell reusable bags at all of our stores; they are inexpensive and quite handy to have around. We encourage our customers to bring their own reusable bags as well. It’s all part of an initiative we launched company-wide on Earth Day 2009 to help limit the number of plastic bags piling up in landfills.