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Reducing Valley Co-op Waste – new bag labels

Analyzing our waste doesn’t sound like a fun job, but by paying attention to what we toss we can reduce our contribution to the quickly filling landfills and possible reduce our expenses.  At our pickup location, Valley Co-op produces very little waste.  The cardboard boxes received with shipments and deliveries are recycled by volunteers.  Reports and other paper printouts are gathered and also taken home by volunteers for recycling.  (We need more helpers with this!)

Some products come in containers which can be returned to VC for reuse by our suppliers, such as:  egg cartons, berry boxes, and glass jars.  See list of recyclable items here. We have also chosen to only offer Trickling Springs milk in reusable glass containers.   VC requires members to bring their own boxes or bags to pickup their orders.

The largest waste stream VC creates occurs when members get home as a result of using plastic zipper bags to hold bulk goods.  We have had several complaints that members take their orders home and end up with several, up to dozen’s of plastic bags each order.   It is unfortunate as well that some recycling companies in our area will not accept these types of bags.

One year ago we introduced the use of cloth bags for bulk products such as beans.  Read introductory article here.  The cloth bags are constructed of unbleached cotton muslin with a cotton tie handmade by volunteers.  Members who purchase items stored in the bags are to return them to the Co-op to be washed in dye-free, unscented detergents by another volunteer.

Valley Co-op cloth bags

Valley Co-op  reusable cloth bags

Recently we acquired a new stamp to identify the bags as Valley Co-op’s.  The inkSince each bag is made with volunteer time, donations and some VC funds, all bags are property of the Co-op and are to be returned to VC for reuse.  Please remember to return the bags ASAP as we have limited numbers of them.  We are always looking for volunteers to make more of the bags in their spare time.  Thanks to member Sarah McCarthy for managing the bag program.

If you have more ideas on how VC can use these bags or improve our recycling program, please either comment below or contact Susan at crickhollowmd@gmail.com.

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  • Valley Co-op Stats

    as of 1/19/19

    MEMBERS

    Total Number of Member Households: 177