ShopRite’s 2015 Recycling and Composting Results:
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ShopRite of Stirling Unveils Urban Cultivator
Tucked into a corner of ShopRite of Stirling, New Jersey is a glass case, its four shelves filled with trays of kale, broccoli, pea shoots and wheat grass. Known as an urban cultivator, this indoor gardening system has helped ShopRite of Stirling hit some lofty sustainability goals.
“It’s all organic,” said ShopRite of Stirling registered dietitian Rachel Simpers (above left with green team members). “Organic seeds, organic soil.” The store gets the seeds from a cultivation company in Canada and the organic soil from a local greenery in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. It takes about a week to grow wheatgrass; pea shoots take between two and three. The store then uses these vegetables to make nutritious drinks and shots at its in-store juice bar.
ShopRite Preserves Rainwater in South Jersey
By digging holes and planting native vegetation, a team of associates from Ravitz Family Markets helped the Delaware Riverkeeper build a rain garden at Reverend Evers Park in Camden, New Jersey.
The rain garden beautifies the park and makes it easier for the surrounding area to capture and slowly release stormwater run off. Plenty of kids helped out on this project, which will cut down the amount of pollution that reaches neighboring creeks and streams.
Kenneth Brahl, senior director of labor relations with Ravitz Family Markets, led the effort. “Water is such an important resource for us all,” said Brahl (above, second from left, with green team members), “and we felt it was important to volunteer for this project.”
Greenfield’s ShopRite Works with Composting Facility
ShopRite of Commack owner Seth Greenfield (above left, with his father Jon and green team member Stephen Silvers) is always striving to find new sustainable solutions. At this ShopRite, associates bring food waste from different departments to a large storage container behind the store. The food waste is then transported to a facility, where it is converted into compost or used as high-end fertilizer for farm fields, golf courses and even residential or commercial landscaping.
“Our family members have always been big believers in doing all we can to help the environment,” Greenfield said. “Our successful relationship with the waste reduction company Organix allows us to continue that proud tradition.”
Captain Planet Brings an Urban Garden to Camden Street School in Newark
Last May, ShopRite of Newark, New Jersey, joined Dole Packaged Foods, Captain Planet and the Greater Newark Conservancy to inaugurate a learning garden at the Camden Street School in Newark, New Jersey.
“We are thrilled to partner with Dole to provide this learning garden to the Camden Street School,” said ShopRite of Newark owner Neil Greenstein. “At ShopRite, we are always looking for ways to improve the quality of the life for the families we serve, especially children, through education about nutrition and healthy living.”
The idea of a learning garden was created by Captain Planet, a 25-year-old nonprofit organization that brings project learning gardens to schools (pre-K to 8th grade) across the United States, many in urban areas. Today there are 750 gardens across the country.
Project learning gardens not only give children the opportunity to plant their own fruits and vegetables. They also let teachers use them as teaching tools for lessons not only about growing food, but about science, math and the arts as well.
Captain Planet builds the garden on the school grounds, providing teachers with lessons and supplies for their classrooms.
The Journey of a Plastic Bag: What Happens When It Gets Recycled at ShopRite
For years, ShopRite has proudly and voluntarily implemented a plastic bag recycling process to help reduce the amount of material that winds up in landfills. You have probably seen the recycling bins in front of our stores designated specifically for plastic bags. Have you ever wondered what happens to your plastic bags once you put them in these bins? You would be surprised to know they take an interesting journey during the recycling process and sometimes travel all the way to the Far East.
The recycling process of the plastic bags all starts with you. You do your part in helping the environment by gathering your plastic shopping bags, bringing them back to the store and placing them in our recycling bins.
Once the bins are full, the bags are packed and shipped to our recycling centers in Elizabeth, New Jersey and Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. Since the 1970s, ShopRite has owned and operated its own recycling center in Elizabeth. It runs 16 hours a day, six days a week, and recycles all types of materials from our stores, including plastic bags.
When the plastic bags arrive at the recycling centers, they are sorted, and ones that are heavily soiled are removed. They are then packed and shipped to GP Harmon Recycling, ShopRite’s partner in the recycling process. That business serves as an intermediary between companies that want to trade their recycled materials and those that want to purchase and repurpose them.
Plastic bags have more value than one would think and can be used in many different applications. Plenty of companies in the automotive and lumber industries are interested in repurposing the plastic bags into plastic lumber, plastic parts and other materials. ShopRite plastic bags have landed everywhere from the United States to Southeast Asia.
TerraCycle’s 2015 “Recycled” Playground Challenge
Colgate and ShopRite partnered with TerraCycle to award Flanders Elementary School in Southington, Connecticut a recycled playground. The school was the grand prize winner of the 2015 Recycled Playground Challenge. Participating schools were challenged to collect toothbrushes, floss containers and toothpaste tubes, then send them to Colgate as part of the Colgate Oral Brigade program — a free recycling initiative created by Colgate and TerraCycle. Schools throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut participated in the challenge. They won playground credits for both the recycled material they sent to Colgate and the online votes they received for their school. Flanders Elementary School finished atop the leaderboard with 240,436 credits.
As the contest winner, Flanders Elementary School received a playground built out of toothbrushes, floss containers and toothpaste tubes. “Our family’s ShopRite has proudly served Southington since 2010,” said Don Drust, president of Drust Markets, a family business that owns the ShopRite of Southington. “Dedication to the communities we serve and a commitment to being a good neighbor are at the very core of my family’s mission. We are thrilled that the winner of this beautiful new playground is so close to home and we congratulate the students of Flanders Elementary School.”
365 Days of Conserving Energy and Water and Reducing Waste
From riding bikes and surfing the waves to pumpkin picking and building snowmen, there is something fun to do in every season. The seasons are four different times of the year that give us an opportunity to conserve energy and water while reducing waste.
It’s like giving the earth a high five!
Spring Is in the Air
When spring is in the air, it’s time to put away your winter coat. Flowers are blooming. It’s getting warmer outside. And best of all, it’s back to playing outside! As the days are getting brighter, it’s the perfect time to start letting sunshine into your home. Turn off the lights and lift the shades to let natural sunlight brighten your house.
Ask your parents to open the windows to invite the fresh air into your living room. You’ll help cool down your home naturally without turning on the air conditioner. And speaking of air conditioners, remind your parents to get your home unit serviced before the summer months. Easy air-conditioning maintenance and filter changes help conserve energy.
Have you and your parents been driving places you normally walk to
In just a couple of months, school is out! Yippee! Warm weather means barbecues, beaches and vacations. It also means dry lawns and gardens that need to be watered. Remind your parents to water them in the morning hours — the coolest time of the day. This will allow you to conserve water. It will take more time for water to evaporate, preventing your lawn from drying up quickly under the scorching summer sun.
Encourage your parents to turn on the ceiling fans before using the air conditioner. Just be sure to turn offthe fans when you leave the room.
And don’t forget to ditch your video games and turn off your television
Fall into Fall
As leaves begin to change colors and drop from their trees, it’s a telltale sign that fall has arrived. Fall — or autumn — is the perfect season to use nature’s gifts for arts-and-crafts projects. Fallen leaves, twigs and acorns are great for making artwork and fun, decorative things around the house. Why spend money at the craft store and increase waste when you can find everything you need in your backyard or at a
And you can help both your parents and the environment by picking up a rake. Cleaning your lawn without using a leaf blower will save your family money and conserve energy.
When you’re done raking, you can use those leaves and branches to start a compost pile. It’s an easy way to cut down on trash and waste (See composting article on page 1).
When Frosty appears, you know winter is here. It’s time for hot chocolate, sledding and staying warm. Help your parents by bundling up, wearing your hat and quickly closing the door when you come in your house to keep the cold air out and the warm energy in.
It’s a good idea to lower the thermostat when you’re not home. Or at the very least, try keeping it at a midlevel point (not too hot, not too cold) so that it can run more efficiently.
It’s also holiday time — the most wonderful season of all. Instead of throwing out unused food, give leftovers to guests to take home or have your parents freeze them for another time. And don’t forget to recycle or reuse the holiday gift wrap and gift bags you get during the holidays. Next December, they will come in handy and save your family money.
Earth Day is Everyday at ShopRite
Clockwise from top left: Produce night shades save energy; So many materials are recycled at ShopRite; Composting reduces waste sent to landfills and creates fertile soil; Doors on dairy and frozen cases save energy; Food donations feed hungry people and reduce overall waste; Low flow faucets conserve water.
ShopRite is constantly striving to conserve energy and water in stores while reducing waste (see stats on page 1). In the past five years, ShopRite stores have significantly reduced electricity consumption. New stores use less electricity than stores that were built only five years ago.
Most stores have been upgraded with conservation lighting. New stores are being built with skylights, allowing stores to dim the lighting when the sun is strong. There are also cool roofs (white roofs) on many of the stores, which minimize the heat gains in stores. Cool roofs reflect heat from the sun instead of absorbing it.
Dairy and frozen cases have doors on them to save on energy consumption. Other open cases have night shades, which can be pulled down at night to minimize energy use. Air conditioning and heating systems are adjusted at night to save energy. In fact, every degree that can be adjusted saves two to three percent in costs.
Stores are diverting waste away from landfills through composting programs. Some of it is turned into animal feed (with added nutrients) and sent tofarms, while some of it is composted into fertile soil for gardens and other uses.
ShopRite also donates to food banks, which helps the hungry and limits waste.
In the past five years, ShopRite stores have been switching to low-flush toilets and other strategies to limit water usage. Some faucets automatically turn off after a few seconds. Hot water lines have been insulated to ensure that hot water flows faster.
And there are even self-filling buckets in some floral cases that water the flowers via a remote control.