Our current food system places a tremendous amount of strain on the environment, and is a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. As a business operating in the food industry, we recognize the great responsibility we have to help reverse this trend and make decisions that benefit, rather than hurt our environment.

One of the biggest ways we’ve been able support a more sustainable food system is through our commitment to sourcing locally made and organically grown products. Beyond this commitment to organic sourcing, we are always on the lookout for creative ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

Our compost program

One of the most successful programs we’ve been able to enact is our compost program. For the past 10 years, we’ve been working with a local, organic farm to divert all of our pre-consumer organic waste from the landfill. 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 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.

This relationship with a local farm is beneficial in two major ways: not only does it allows us to divert thousands of pounds of food waste from the landfill each month, but the application of compost to the land also sequesters tremendous amounts of carbon in the soil.