The Park Slope Food Coop Environmental Committee is the oldest member-committee of the Park Slope Food Coop. The committee convenes quarterly and takes creative action during months between meetings. Composition of the committee is geared towards environmental professionals.
The committee works to provide education, research, and policy motivation to ensure the Food Coop operates with fidelity to its official environmental policy which mandates "support the best products and practices with regard to the health, safety, and preservation of humans, animals, and the overall biosphere."
Accomplishments of the Committee
The efforts of the Environmental Committee have resulted in:
- 1992 co-wrote the Food Coop's Environmental Policy
- 1995 led a successful effort to ban or reduce Genetically Modified Foods sold by the Food Coop
- 1997 to present: Support for sustainable building materials & appliances for the Food Coop
- 1998 to current: Annual Earth Day event
- 1998: co-wrote the update of the Food Coop's Environmental Policy
- 2005: Led the effort for the Coop to purchase wind energy offset credits for electricity consumption
- 2006: Created a squad for bike valets on weekends to encourage bicycles
- 2008: Led the elimination of plastic T-shirt bags at check out
- 2008: Led the effort to eliminate bottled water
- 2009: Spun out Animal Welfare Committee
- 2011: Supported political campaign for the NYS hydro-fracking ban
- 2017: Spun out Terracycle recycling squad
Other Sustainability Accomplishments by the Park Slope Food Coop
1973 started buying local produce, decades before the mainstream acceptance of local economy.
1974 began donating unsellable but edible food to soup kitchens.
1975 began using wood crates to bring produce from farms, which were recycled afterwards or returned to the farmers.
1976 began recycling cardboard.
1978 eliminated PVC cheese wrap for polyethylene.
1980 established a Compost Committee and all inedible produce is hauled regularly to a community garden.
1989 began recycling office paper.
1991 installed a more efficient air-conditioning system that uses no CFCs, no HCFCs.
1991 started using more energy efficient refrigeration systems food shelving, with active heat recovery for hot water.
2001 installed a modernized refrigeration system that drastically reduces the use of CFC/HCFC refrigerants, uses glycol as a heat transfer fluid.
2006 Creation of the Safe Food Committee
2007 began disposal of all unusable electronics at dedicated recycler to keep e-waste out of landfills.
2008 became the first Brooklyn supermarket to earn the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star Rating.
• More sales and customers per square foot.
• No refrigeration of drinks. Refrigerated product cases use high-efficiency cold-recovery features to minimize electricity usage.
• Recycle all internally generated plastic film.
• Actively compost waste fruits and vegetables, and reimburse the cost of composting bins at the several community gardens that receive our compostable food waste.
• Large selection of organic and minimally treated produce.
• Purchase minimally packaged produce and as many locally produced bulk grains and beans as possible.
• BPA and BPS free register paper rolls.