We work to bring the best options in local, organic and environmentally-sustainable items, but we also strive to lessen the ecological footprint in day-to-day operations.
We send all food waste and cardboard and compostables from both Green Fields and McCusker’s to Martin’s Farm in Greenfield forcomposting. We estimate that 28,000 cubic feet of material per year gets composted rather than thrown away;
We collaborated with worker co-op Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics to install 24 solar panels on the roof of Green Fields Market. They provide energy equivalent to the usage of one average household;
We have low flush (1.1 gal) anddual flush toilets (.8 gal/1.6 gal) in our public bathrooms at Green Fields to conserve water. We conservatively estimate 200 flushes/day.
We support and promote local and organic agriculture in our produce departments at both stores.
We put night covers on our refrigeration cases at Green Fields to conserve electricity. Extensive testing of the covers estimates average refrigerator case energy savings at 9%.
We encourage members and shoppers to bring their own bagsand offer a five-cent refund for each bag used. We gave out 54,000 refunds in 2009 at Green Fields, representing almost 3 tons of paper bags that we did not have to use.
We installed bike racks on our block in Greenfield to encourage members and shoppers to choose alternate forms of transportation;
We installed a heat reclamation system at Green Fields that runs the hot refrigerant from our refrigeration system through a heat exchanger, which is then used to pre-heat our hot water an average of 30 degrees;
We worked on a general conservation project at Green Fields in late 2006 through the summer of 2007. We removed lighting where it wasn’t necessary and reconfigured light switches so that, for example, the meeting room light was on a different switch than the mezzanine. We insulated hot water pipes and set different target temperatures for our refrigeration system, heat and air conditioning based on the season. In all, we estimate that this project has saved 80 kilowatt hours/day or about ten times what the solar panels produce per day.