April 17, 2012
Go green at the grocery store for Earth Day
King County raises awareness of shopping green to reduce waste and toxics
In honor of Earth Day, King County is hosting the “EcoConsumer Supermarket Challenge,” a friendly competition to show residents how they can shop smarter in order to reduce waste and bring healthier, safer products into their home.
On Tuesday, April 17, at Central Market Shoreline, four families will compete in this “supermarket sweep.” King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson will challenge each family to find 10 green items in the store in 10 minutes. Participants will be given a shopping list with categories such as produce and paper supplies, with the goal of finding the most eco-friendly products in each category.
“Our competitors will be in search of products that have, for example, less packaging or recycled-content packaging, or are free of harmful chemicals,” said Watson. “We want to let people know how they can shop smart and make choices to benefit the health of their families, and the environment.”
It is estimated that about a third of the solid waste generated in the U.S. is containers and packaging, and only about 40 percent of that is recycled.
This event is part of the 2012 EcoConsumer Zero Waste Earth Day education campaign to raise awareness of the concept of zero waste, which means that materials that have value should not end up in the landfill. The campaign will highlight six areas where individuals can take actions to reduce waste and toxics at home and in their community.
“We are excited to be part of this effort,” said Tony D’Onofrio, sustainability director for Town & Country Markets, Inc. “We have introduced several new green initiatives in our stores, including compostable trays for meat. Our customers appreciate that we consider the environment in our operations and offer a wide selection of green and healthy products on our shelves.”
To help residents better understand the zero waste concept and how they can reduce waste and toxics, King County’s EcoConsumer Zero Waste Earth Day campaign includes a six-step action plan:
Step 1: Shop smart. Choose products with recyclable or reusable packaging, and with as little packaging as possible.
Step 2: Use it again and again. Kick that paper coffee cup or plastic water bottle habit once and for all.
Step 3: Support take-back programs. Utilize take-back programs at local retailers to properly dispose of unwanted medicines, burned out fluorescent bulbs and tubes and old electronics.
Step 4: Expand recycling horizons. Look beyond the curb to find new ways to give your old stuff a new life.
Step 5: Stop the paper chase. Stop paper waste at its source by using King County’s Catalog Choice Opt–Out Service. Sign up for online bill-paying.
Step 6: Say no to food waste. Plan your weekly meals and shopping list based on your family’s schedule, and “shop your fridge” before going to the store.
For a full list of ideas and tips for a Zero Waste Earth Day, visit the King County EcoConsumer website, or look for a tip a day on Facebook.com/ecoconsumer. For more tips on conserving resources and living greener, visit King County’s It's Easy Being Green website.
It's Easy Being Green
King County Ecoconsumer