Our approach to sustainability starts with the products we sell.
The way that food is grown and produced has a major impact on our planet, and we believe that organic agriculture holds the key to a more sustainable future for generations to come. Unlike chemically intensive industrial farming, organic systems work with nature instead of against it. Organic practices like the use of compost, cover cropping, and crop rotation build healthy soils that are able to sequester large amounts of carbon. Additionally, organic agriculture protects pollinator habitats and promotes clean waterways by prohibiting the use of toxic, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
We prioritize organic offerings in our product sourcing, and we are getting closer to our goal of offering only organic, non-gmo foods everyday.
Organic Systems Result in:
Reducing Food Waste – Our Innovative Compost Program
It is estimated that 108 billion pounds of food go to waste in the United States each year. When wasted food goes to the landfill, it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Additionally, when we waste food, we also waste the resources needed to produce it including land, water, energy, labor, and inputs.
10 years ago, Good Earth formed a partnership with a local, organic farm to divert all of our pre-consumer organic food waste from the landfill. This innovative compost program allows us to reduce our food waste footprint by thousands of pounds each year.
It all starts in Good Earth’s Kitchen and Produce departments, where our staff members carefully sort food scraps into compostables and animal food.The food waste is then taken to Claro Farm in Petaluma. Some of it is used to feed chickens, and the rest is used to make a high-quality, fungal compost. The compost takes a year to make, but it is worth the wait. When ready, the compost is spread on the fields of the farm to create a living soil, teaming with micro-flora. Many of the crops grown with this organic compost, like winter squash and garlic, come back to our store for sale in our Produce department or use in our kitchen.
Renewable Energy – Powered by Solar
From heating water to powering refrigerators, grocery stores require a tremendous amount of energy to operate. We recognize this, and have always challenged ourselves to build the most energy efficient stores we can.
Good Earth sources 100% of our electricity from renewable sources, and we are longtime customers of Marin Clean Energy’s Deep Green Energy Program.
When we opened our Fairfax store on Center Blvd. in February 2012, we installed a small array of solar panels atop our building to produce the energy needed to heat our hot water. We then leased the rooftops of the Fairfax Plaza across the street for our store, and installed a solar array that covered 40,000 square feet of rooftop. The array supplied roughly 35% of our electricity.
In 2020, we completed a major expansion of our solar program. We installed an additional 892 high efficiency solar panels on the roof of our Fairfax store, and now approximately 50-75% of our electricity needs in the Fairfax store are being met by solar. This percentage varies based on season and sunshine.