Reducing Waste

Recently, everyone in Medford was faced with a drastic reduction in the types of items that can be recycled. Reduce, reuse, and recycle are habits that we try to incorporate into our daily lives. Our lives are busy, and we get overwhelmed with responsibilities. When it comes to feeding our families, we want to provide them with good, nutritious food, and we want it to be convenient. Unfortunately, the convenience aspect often comes with the burden of excessive packaging. How do we reduce the amount of waste that is generated with every grocery shop?

One of the Co-op’s goals is to provide environmental benefits for the Rogue Valley. Because we want to help reduce waste, we offer sustainable bag and container options that are intended to be used over and over again:

  • Produce and bulk bags made of nylon and mesh can be found hanging in the produce department. These are great for bagging up produce, and the mesh is fine enough to hold bulk beans, grains, and nuts, too.
  • Colorful market baskets and Co-op branded canvas tote bags are perfect for carting your groceries home every time you shop.
  • Glass spice and canning jars are available in the bulk department. Make sure to weigh the empty jar before filling it! We will subtract the weight of the container at checkout so that you only pay for the weight of the product.

Shopping the bulk department for many of your pantry staples is an excellent way to reduce the amount of packaging that you bring home. It is also a good way to prevent food waste, because you can buy just what you need for a recipe whether it’s a tablespoon of cinnamon or five pounds of oats. If you use large quantities of a bulk item, ask us about ordering an entire bag for an additional discount.

We’re featuring a sale of all bulk liquids from July 18-31 to encourage everyone to reduce packaging waste and buy bulk. We have olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, honey and tamari soy sauce. Bring in your reusable container (or purchase one of ours) and stock up!

Since our Co-op’s beginning we have taken reduce, reuse and re-purpose to heart. Some of the disposable packaging in the store and Café is biodegradable and/or made of recycled materials, for example the cellophane bags in bulk are biodegradable, the paper to-go boxes and beverage cups in the Café are made from 100% recycled paper and are compostable, and the plastic deli containers are made with 100% recycled PET. We also offer reusable metal straws and bamboo utensil sets that are lightweight and easy to tuck into your bag or purse. And this season, our produce department was able to source plastic-free strawberries from a farm using recyclable corrugated cardboard in place of plastic clamshells. Because we are committed to being good environmental stewards, we will continue to seek out more ecologically sound packaging and sustainable options. Together, we can make a difference.