Eat more plants and fewer animal products
Recent studies have shown that avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way a person can reduce their negative impact on the planet. Meat and dairy uses 83% of all farmland and produces 60% of agriculture's greenhouse gasses, while providing just 18% of the calories we consume. Even if you don't go completely vegan, being mindful to moderate your meat consumption, starting today, can help!
Aim for energy-efficiency
From carpooling to turning off the lights when you leave a room, every action you take to decrease unnecessary energy consumption makes a difference. We've spent the past couple of years working to address this at Mexicali, and with 145 solar panels on top of our warehouse and 36 on our flagship store in Newcastle, we now generate enough solar energy to power both buildings and offset the equivalent of driving over 113,000 miles each year!
Reduce dependence on single-use plastic
Awareness grew in the past year about plastic pollution, with anti-straw initiatives and our sudden inability to throw all but #2 plastics into the recycling bin and call it good. So much of our modern society is built around packaging and products that are designed to be used briefly, but ultimately last forever as toxic plastic trash. We invite you to join us in working to be more aware, and saying no to unnecessary plastic: bringing our own containers to fill from the bulk bins at the co-op, making it a point to always bring our reusable shopping bags, and supporting organizations that work to stop plastic pollution at the source.
Support businesses that give back
We are proud to give 1% of every sale (not just profit) to organizations dedicated to making the world better. In the past couple of years, that 1% has allowed us to give $50,000 to build two earthquake-proof schools in Nepal and provide support to organizations that foster community health and development, education, equality, the arts, and the environment, locally here in Maine and across the globe. In turn, directing our attention in this way has made us more aware of the ways that the businesses we frequent and support make their mark on the world. The two questions we always ask: 1. Are their sourcing and business practices ethical? 2. Are they actively working to improve the world?
Like everything, 100% aligning our actions with our values is a process, but we're working hard to be traveling down a positive path! We invite you to join us this year in checking and redirecting old habits, and mindfully choosing to take actions that will benefit our beautiful planet and the creatures on it. We'd love to know your ideas or intentions for being green in 2019; please tell us in the comments!