February 21, 2007

Green Your Trip to the Grocery Store

When Safeway announced their house O Organics brand, we knew change was a-comin’. But Florida-based Publix has one-upped the California chain with its plans to open four locations dedicated exclusively to green groceries. These Publix GreenWise Markets, the first of which is set to open in Palm Beach Gardens, FL in late Summer/early Fall of this year, will offer shoppers a wide range of products that focus on “health, natural and organic foods.”

As far as Small Failures can tell, Publix is the first major supermarket chain to open a location—let alone four of them—that exclusively features products with a green focus. While the final product mix has not yet been determined according to Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous, offerings will include the supermarket’s private label GreenWise brand and will focus on prepared foods. There’s no word if the supermarket will offer options such as recycled or reusable grocery bags, or other environmentally friendly practices.

Here are seven tips for making your trip to Publix GreenWise (or any other grocery store) even more sustainable:
  1. Walk to the store.
  2. Bring your own bag.
  3. Ditch the plastic produce bags (that’s an awful lot of landfill for a bag used for no more than a few minutes).
  4. Read the label (look for less processed and natural ingredients, organic and Fair Trade labels, local addresses, and recycled or recyclable packaging).
  5. Buy recycled paper products (think about all the paper towels and toilet paper you consume, then think about switching to recycled, unbleached products).
  6. Consider safer cleaning products (Method, Mrs. Meyers and other non-toxic brands are increasingly available in mainstream markets).
  7. Buy bulk (it’s harder, of course, if you didn’t bring your car but buying larger quantities means fewer trips to the store).

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