Sharing and Caring

Doing Our Part to Reduce Waste

Written by Gayle

I have written before (in this post on composting, and this one on using up, wearing out, or doing without) about how to reduce our waste and take better care of our planet.  But sometimes that is easier said than done.  
Take a big store, for example.  How does a big store deal with their waste?  The easiest thing to do, of course is to just throw things in the dumpster.  The trash truck will come get it all and it’s out of sight, out of mind.  
But that isn’t exactly the best environmental practice, is it?  We want to take care of the earth and be responsible with its resources.  So Lassen’s has put some policies into practice to help reduce the amount that we send to the landfill.  And we have been able to partner with some great organizations to not only reduce the waste, but to help fill important needs.
cardboard+recycling, cardboard+baler
First, we compact and recycle our cardboard products.  You’d be surprised at how much cardboard goes through our back doors!  Several of our stores have big cardboard balers that compact and bale all of our used cardboard.  The bales are taken to a recycling facility.  It’s surprising how much that reduces our waste.  
cardboard+recycling, cardboard+bales
But what about the food products?  Those are always a bit trickier to deal with because of health concerns.  For many years we took expired product home so that we wouldn’t have to throw it out. (Our kids got really good at checking the expiration dates on the milk!)  It has always frustrated me to have to throw out expired but still nutritious and delicious perishable items.
But now we partner with several organizations to donate our barely expired food items.  We work with the local communities and the programs that are available in the different locations.  
food+share, donating+food, food+donations
Our stores give to Food Share, Food Banks, a Zoo, Shelters, a Rescue Mission, and other organizations so that very little goes into the landfills.  Each community has its own organizations, and we are so happy to partner with many of them!
In addition, our Ventura Store has several food waste containers like this one for the waste from our deli, meat, and produce departments, as well as some perishable items.  EJ Harrison takes it to Agromin in Oxnard to be mixed with yard waste for compost and for an alternative fuel.  Isn’t that cool?  We are one of many businesses in the Ventura area to join this program.  For an informational EJ Harrison Newsletter on the venture, click here.  (The newsletter is from more than a year ago, but the program is the same.)  We look forward to partnering with programs like this as they become available in other communities.
Lassen’s is always looking for ways to reduce waste and to fill needs–this is just a taste of some of the things we are doing!  
Have a great, waste-free day!

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