More and more, we are hearing about retailers that are making the decision to decrease their impact on environmental decline. It is in these larger numbers where the impact can be felt most intensely. However, we must understand which of them truly support our beliefs in order to avoid the ones that don’t. This is where a huge power to stimulate change lies.
This is a European-based grocery chain with 60 locations scattered throughout the Eastern and Midwestern states. They offer very affordable prices due to reduced staff and the absence of other extras that the traditional stores typically provide. Aldi also offers a nice selection of quality organic products.
Aldi has always had the environmental perk of not offering single-use plastic shopping bags, but now they are really stepping up. They are planning some serious changes to their packaging. In fact, by 2025 they will only be using materials that are either reusable, recyclable or compostable in some way. In addition, 15% of their total packaging will be reduced. Within the next year, Aldi will have instructional labeling for “How2Recycle” included on each and every one of their own products.
I love shopping at Costco. They have some amazing deals on some of my favorite organic products. Furthermore, I am able to reduce packaging materials by purchasing in bulk. Did you know that they offer more organic products than natural health giant Whole Foods?
On top of all of that, Costco is a huge supporter of the bees. They have contributed no less than 3.3 million dollars toward research aimed at keeping bees around. They also encourage all of their plant and produce suppliers to avoid use of synthetic pesticides. Costco also goes above and beyond to only offer palm oil, paper, cocoa, beef and rose sources that are produced using more sustainable practices, often certifiably so.
What mom doesn’t love a Target? I don’t know too many who haven’t occasionally escaped for some “Tarzhey” retail therapy, only to get cut short by their child’s sudden meltdown. It’s easy to get drawn in by all the cheap little child-oriented toys and such at the entrance, but that’s not where the store’s eco-friendliness lies.
5 years ago, Target launched a new, eco-friendly collection titled “Made to Matter.” The products featured consist of quality brands that are natural, organic and sustainable brands we know and love. Popular products such as Annie’s, Burt’s Bees, Kashi and 7th Generation. The introduction of these healthier products has gone over well with customers, and Target continues to add new ones each year that fit into the guidelines.
And their recycling program! In the front of their stores, they offer several receptacles, some of which are labeled for the typical aluminum, plastic and glass. However, they also include some to dispose of the tougher categories like plastic bags, cell phones, and ink cartridges.
Trader Joe’s is a favorite all over the U.S. for providing unique and tasty products, many of them organic. Now they are upping their game, eliminating more than a million pounds of plastic from their stores. They also only offer paper grocery bags and compostable produce bags for customer usage.
It’s no secret to most of us that Whole Foods operates with sustainability in mind. In fact, 45 of its locations in Northern California where recently honored for their efforts. They were certified by the Grocery Stewardship Certification.
The GSC looks at things like waste practices, energy usage, sustainable products offered, greenhouse gas emissions and much more. Some of the other stores that have achieved this honor include select Natural Grocers, Hy-Vee, Safeway, Sprouts and BJs locations.
Every dollar counts
Now that you know which retailers are supporting the values you believe in with the practices they have in place, you have the power. Every dollar counts when it comes to influencing and supporting change. When you truly need to buy something, make sure you find yourself in the right place.