Sustainability Update: Energy efficiency and zero waste

Energy Efficiency
We are happy to announce that we are a member of the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program. This is a free program available to customers of Avista and Pacific Power, which offers awesome incentives including a paid internship!

The Co-op has partnered with other organizations including Standing Stone Brewery, the City of Talent, Rogue Community College, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many more to reduce our commercial natural gas usage and focus on energy conservation. Together, we are the Southern Oregon Cohort! 

We are welcoming Nina Friedman as our new Strategic Energy Management Intern, and are working on an Energy Policy and Action Plan.

Zero Waste
Last fall, we introduced two reusable bag options for customers. We also removed four plastic bag stands from the Produce department. We have two great options: a white bag made from recycled plastics, or a cotton bag. Each bag costs only 25 cents!

Our cotton bags come from an amazing company in India called Royal Jute. One hundred percent of the profits from Royal Jute go directly to Kiva, a non-profit that funds small business loans to women all over the world. With each cotton bag that you purchase, you are making a real impact on the lives of women worldwide. Not to mention, reducing plastic!

This month, we are focusing on a take-back program with the Seattle Tacoma Box company. A lot of our produce comes in big plastic boxes that say they are “100% recyclable”. Unfortunately they are not recyclable in our region, and usually end up in the landfill. Luckily, there is a way to return and recycle these boxes by transport up to Salem. Through take-back programs like this, we can take bigger steps toward our Zero-Waste goal. 

We are also beginning a store-wide waste audit - starting with the Deli! With the help of Recology, we will look deep into the realms of our trash bags… and see how we can get better at diverting recycling and reducing our waste.

If you would like to hear more about our sustainability initiatives, contact Rianna at [email protected].

More Co-op News

Rogue To Go at the Co-op

We are excited to announce the official launch of Rogue To Go at the Ashland Food Co-op!

Rogue To Go is a reusable container pilot program. The pilot connects five participating restaurants by offering a reusable container that can be used for meals to-go and help eliminate single-use boxes. These O2GO containers are made locally in Bend, Oregon by OZZI. The bright green containers are 100% recyclable through a specialty recycler - truly zero waste!

How can you start using Rogue To Go? Check out the steps below and follow along with a walk-through video.

Apply for an AFC Gives community grant

For over 25 years, the Ashland Food Co-op has been re-investing in the local community by awarding grants to non-profit organizations doing important work in the Rogue Valley. Putting the seventh cooperative principle, "concern for community," into action, over $30,000 was donated in 2019 - and in 2020, there are even more opportunities for non-profits.

Click here to apply for a 2020 community grant.

The Co-op is getting a refresh

We are giving our store a much-needed fresh coat of paint. We think you'll enjoy the changes!

When

The painting team will begin our project on February 5th, 2020 with a start time of 9pm.

Where

The entire retail store, deli serving area and interior seating area will receive a fresh new coat of paint.

Timeline

If all goes as planned, our painting project should be finished by February 20.

Will Store Hours Change?

No. We will be painting from 9pm to 5am.

Explore citrus!

Looking to explore some new citrus varieties? Know more before you go! Check out the many types of sweet, sour and somewhere in between that you can enjoy at the Co-op! (Availability may vary due to seasonality.)

Explore citrus varietiesMore citrus varieties

 

Taste for Life winter wellness giveaway

It's a month of giveaways from Taste for Life!

Giveaway #1 has finished up - so it's time for #2! This giveaway runs 1/27-2/2, so sign up below.

This package includes: NOW's Sabucus Zinc-C lozenges, Mushroom Wisdom's SX-Fraction, Bluebonnet's Stress Release formula, ChildLife's First Defense immune formula, Vitafusion's Organic Women's Multi vitamin, Quantum Health's Eye Health supplement, Kyo-Green Sprouts Blend digestion supplement, Solgar's full spectrum Curcumin supplement, and Solgar's No. 7 joint comfort supplement. 

Rogue Co-ops College Scholarship

As part of the Rogue Co-ops, a group of Rogue Valley cooperative businesses that includes Ashland Food Co-op, Grange Co-op, Medford Food Co-op, and Rogue Credit Union, we're excited to offer a scholarship opportunity to local high school students planning on attending college.

The Rogue Co-ops have collectively funded a $2,000 scholarship (and Grange Co-op offers an additional eight $1,500 scholarships) for students (in public, private or home school settings) who meet the following requirements:

Become an Owner-Volunteer with the AFC Board

The AFC Board of Directors is looking for owner-volunteers for three board committees: the Owner Engagement Committee (OEC), Board Development Committee (BDC), and AFC Gives Committee. 

Sustainability Update: Building on a Strong Foundation

Sustainability Update

Our team has been working on many different projects throughout the year, taking great steps to fulfill our four sustainability goals. Our four goals to achieve by 2030 are: carbon neutrality, zero waste, eliminating toxic chemicals, and being a leader in our sustainable community. We look forward to our sustainable success in the upcoming decade! 

2020: A vision for the future through Co-ops and local food

As the 2010s come to a close, the “20/20” eyesight analogy couldn’t be more appropriate for the new decade. With our eye on the future, there’s clearly a sense of urgency and awareness of the unique times we’re living in: a changing climate, increases in costs of living, and the shared pressures of a globalized world. 

5 Items to Try: Spreads, Condiments & Snacks

It's fun trying new things! Here are five items you can find at the Co-op with a distinctly international flavor. Whether you're spreading them on some bread or naan, mixing up a salad dressing, or just want something salty and crunchy to snack on, try these out next time you want to elevate your dishes.

10 Ways to Enjoy: Ginger Spread

Sometimes you might come across a product at the Co-op and ask, "That looks good, but how in the heck can I use it in my cooking?" To answer that question, we picked this Ginger Spread made by The Ginger People (famous for their Gin-Gin candies). Grab a jar and try some of these unique applications in your own kitchen - or get inspired to utilize it in another way.

Meet Your Board: Melina Barker

Hello, Co-op members! My name is Melina Barker, and I joined the AFC Board of Directors this July. Since then, I have been busy learning about all the work the previous members have done to craft strategic goals to support the success of the AFC.

Melina Barker

 

Smart Chicken® Holiday Giving in 2019

During the month of November, Co-op shoppers can nourish their own families and help fight hunger in the Rogue Valley.

Over the years, Smart Chicken® and Ashland Food Co-op have teamed up to donate thousands of pounds of chicken to ACCESS. Smart Chicken® will once again donate Smart Chicken® products based on the total volume that shoppers purchase at Ashland Food Co-op to ACCESS.

Henry in the Garden: Already Preparing for the Spring

The bane of all gardeners is powdery mildew - that white substance that collects both on the tops and bottoms of the leaves of your healthiest vegetable plants. Cucumbers and zucchini seem to be more easily affected by this scourge than many others.

GM Report: Gratitude for a Great 2019 at the Co-op

It’s the season of gratitude and reflection on the year that has passed, and there is so much to be thankful for as a Co-op owner. 

2019 started off with the news that over $13,000 in emergency donations had been raised from Co-op owners and shoppers for support and relief efforts after Paradise, CA was leveled by a wildfire. This outpouring of our support was critical in the months after the fire, after the news trucks had left and the work of rebuilding began. I know how grateful we all are for the much calmer smoke season that our region experienced this summer.