Sustainability Practices 2017-07-07T16:42:07+00:00

 

First Alternative Co-op Sustainability Practices

 

 

Offering Organic Products

The Co-op carries thousands of organic products. Supporting organic farming and practices means keeping harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers off the land and out of our rivers. Organic agriculture supports healthier ecosystems and a healthier planet!

 

 

Offering Local Products

We carry thousands of Local 6, Local Oregon, and Local Direct products in both of our stores. Supporting local businesses means less fuel consumed in transportation, less of a carbon footprint, a supported local economy, and often less packaging and a fresher product.

 

 

Offering Bulk Products

Our extensive bulk department furthers our mission of caring for the planet. Bulk products save on packaging, distribution energy, and materials. The more bulk products we sell, the less packaging we use. Both stores carry a wide variety of foods and other items in bulk.

 

 

Operating a Recycling Center

We provide a recycling center for the community that you cannot find elsewhere in the area. We accept commingled items, wine corks, batteries, and metal. We even accept styrofoam for a small fee to offset our transportation and removal costs.

 

 

Green Building Choices

When we do remodeling and expansion products, we recycle old building materials and buy used ones whenever possible. We use low VOC paint and purchase lumber grown with sustainably harvested practices. We install energy efficient lighting, HVAC systems, on-demand water heaters, and more.

 

 

Rain Garden & Catchment

Our South Store has a rain water catchment system the collects the runoff from our roof. We, in turn, use this water to water our landscaping and plants for sale. Also at the South Store we have a specially designed rain garden to collect runoff and keep it out of the sewers.

 

 

Installing Solar Panels

Each of our two stores has 6.16 kilowatts of grid-tie solar electric (Photovoltaic) panels in two separate arrays. Both stores combined with the four separate arrays is 12.32 kilowatts of grid-tie Photovoltaic. These systems help us lessen our demand on the electrical grid.

 

 

Installing LED Lighting

In 2016, we transitioned all of our interior and exterior lighting away from fluorescent lighting to LEDs. This represents a huge savings in energy consumption and reduces our stores’ impact on the environment.

 

 

Choosing Renewable Energy

We are enrolled in the Blue Sky program through Pacific Power, supporting renewable energy and helping cut our carbon footprint. Our support of 110,400 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy avoided the release of 137,839 pounds of carbon dioxide — this is equal to not driving a car 139,676 miles!

 

 

Alternative Transportation

We offer a punch card for walking or biking to the Co-op for customers and staff alike. Once the card is full, it becomes a coupon for $5 off your next grocery bill! In addition to the discount, we collect the filled cards and enter them for a drawing each month for a free bike tune up. Extensive bicycle parking is also available at both of our stores.

 

Eco-friendly Store Supplies

We use recycled office supplies and our cleaning crew uses green cleaning products. When we have materials printed out-of-house, we request paper with as much recycled content as possible.

 

 

Bike-delivered Thymes

The Thymes, our quarterly magazine, is distributed either by bicycle or electric vehicle to businesses and organizations throughout the community.

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