Earth Day Every Day

Thursday April 14, 2016

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At Community Natural Foods they consider Earth Day every day. They’ve instilled many initiatives to reduce their impact on the environment and have partnered with businesses like HOP compost to further these efforts.

Community Natural Foods won the Best Mid-Size Business Award from the REAP (Respect for the Earth and All People) Be Local Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Plastic Bag Free

As Calgary’s first grocer to go single use plastic bag-free Community Natural Foods also uses a private operator to recycle plastics, cardboards, paper, glass, tin and beverage containers. Every Community Natural Foods location has a cellphone and PDA recycle box.

Because Community Natural Foods does not use plastic bags, it has saved 1.5 million plastic bags every year from the landfill since 2008 and has diverted more than 134 000 pounds of their customers waste from landfills.

To encourage customers to bring their own bags Community started Change For the Earth Program. It’s a bag credit donation program allowing customers to donate their five cents to any not for profit companies representing people, community and the planet. Community Natural Foods matches the total amount its customers donate.

Some not for profits that have been featured include The Mustard Seed, Canadian Women’s Foundation, Calgary Humane Society, Pawsitive Match Foundation, Organic Alberta, Sandy Cross Conservation Society and so many more.

Community Natural Foods is single use plastic bottle free. They have avoided 302 847 single use plastic bottles since 2009. This is equivalent to saving more than 45,000 bottles per year and diverting more than 3 300 pounds of their customers waste from landfills.

Food Waste Diversion

Community Natural Foods donates more than $199 000 worth of food to local community food organizations annually. This would be enough food to feed 25 families for a year or 224 Calgary families for a month.

In addition, Community Natural Foods understands the impacts of food and kitchen waste and composts at all locations. That’s why it has partnered with HOP compost to further lessen its impact on the environment.

Through this partnership with HOP Community Natural Foods has composted 92 820 lbs. of waste annually.

As Canada’s first inner-city compost facility HOP is able to provide the highest nutrient organic compost in Canada. It takes 7.6 bags of standard compost to match the amount of nutrients found in one bag of HOP compost.

Usually Calgary’s compost would be trucked for more than an hour outside of the city to the next closest facility. HOP’s urban facility cuts up to 92 per cent of the emissions tied to waste transport.

Its clean tech allows it to eliminate 98 per cent of the water contamination seen in composting and also cuts production time from six months to ten days. It tracks live data and optimizes the compost environment every 60 seconds.

HOP creates a regenerative food cycle with its closed loop, pushing food from farm to table back to farm. This means that each generation of local foods sustains the next without waste.

In doing all of this and more HOP has saved almost two million pounds of waste from the landfill in Calgary and four and a half million pounds of greenhouse gas admissions. Compostable waste takes up 40 per cent of landfill space, which has been estimated, to run out in 20 years. For every pound of food in the landfill there are approximately four pounds of methane emissions, equivalent to 100 pounds of CO2 emissions.

HOP’s composting impact on a more human scale is equivalent to taking 9702 cars off of the road today, conserving enough land for 429 fridges and saving enough water to fill 35, 610 wine bottles.

Together, Community Natural Foods and HOP plan to continue their efforts and work together to save waste from the landfill, support local farmers and reduce the impact that the food industry can have on the environment.

CO2 Offset

Community Natural Foods also uses Bullfrog Power, in 2015 Community Natural Food’s used 1 558 MWh of green energy which is equivalent to removing 20 773 incandescent light bulbs, adding 881 Acres of forest worth of carbon storage, powering 148 houses on green electricity, saving 1,153,942 pounds of coal being burned, and 27,547 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.  This is more electricity than the entire solar farm of Chapel Hill, NC.

In terms of working with Bullfrog and using natural gas this means saving 91,955 liters of gasoline, avoiding 12,458 BBQ propane cylinders to be used, saving hot water heating for 140 households, saving 695 barrels of oil, saving 4,441 20 foot containers worth of Gas and having 7,667 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Recycling

In 2015 Community Natural Foods work with Green Star blue-bins meant that it collected 26 077 pounds of recycling. This is equivalent annually to diverting more than 26,000 pounds of waste from the landfill, saving 244 mature trees every year and it saves enough energy to power 1,903 houses for a day.

Community will continue to look for ways to lessen our footprint. And we’re grateful to have customers that encourage and participate with us.