Green Initiatives

City Market, Onion River Co-op

Solar at City Market!

We partnered with Vermont-based groSolar and now have 136 solar panels on our roof! For the full story...

Greening Up the World, One Light Bulb at a Time

City Market has teamed up with Efficiency Vermont  and Burlington Electric Department to offer low cost CFL and LED light bulbs. A variety of wattages and styles are available. As an added incentive to make the switch, City Market will recycle old  household CFL light bulbs free of charge when a new CFL bulb is purchased. LEDs can be conveniently recycled at the Pine Street Chittenden Solid Waste District Drop Off Center.

Additionally, in 2011 and 2012, City Market worked with Burlington Electric Department to switch all of the Co-op's lighting systems to LED systems.

Reusing Bags Saves Customers Money

Providing consumers with a low-cost energy efficient light bulb is just one step that City Market is taking to strengthen its commitment to the environment. In 2007, the Co-op encouraged the use of canvas bags by cutting the price in half to just $5 and offering a five cent refund when shoppers bring their own bags. In 2009, we were able to refund over $14,000 to customers that brought their own bags. That helped us to reduce our plastic bag use as an overall store by 14%. In 2011, we took this one step further and now give that five cent refund to local non-profits through our "Change for Local Non-Profits" program. Each month, we select a local non-profit to receive the proceeds from bag reuse and recirculate those funds to area organizations that support our community. In our first year, we donated almost $14,000 in total to twelve different local non-profit.

City Market's Campaign to Mow-Down Pollution with Annual Lawn Mower Exchange

To celebrate Vermont’s springtime tradition of Earth Day and Green Up Day, City Market teamed up for several years with the City of Burlington, Burlington Electric Company, and Neuton Mowers for its Lawn Mower Exchange event held each spring.

Vermonters who are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint may find the answer with an unsuspecting offender: the lawn mower. Traditional gas-powered lawn mowers are responsible for five percent of the nation's air pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Gas mowers pollute the air in a variety of ways, from global to local. A single gas lawn mower emits 80 pounds of atmospheric-warming carbon dioxide each year, according to the EPA. Americans burn 800 million gallons of gas each year trimming their yards. Between the years 2007 and 2010, 172 battery-powered mowers were purchased and 119 gas power mowers were exchanged during the Lawn Mower Exchange.

Reverse Osmosis Water Machine

City Market unveiled a Bulk Water, Reverse Osmosis Water Machine in order to reduce the number of plastic water bottles being used by our customers. During fiscal year 2013, we sold almost 102,000 gallons of RO water, which is equal to approximately 652,000 twenty ounce bottles. Another bonus is that Co-op members can fill their water bottles for free!

Green Chemicals

In August 2007, we made the switch to green chemicals in store to support Green Seal Certified chemicals and to reduce our store's impact on the environment.

In 2014, we joined the EPA's GreenChill Partnership, a voluntary program in which participants adopt greener refrigeration practices to protect the ozone layer, environment, and human health. Refrigerants used by supermarkets are potent global warming gases, up to 4,000 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide. GreenChill Partners pledge to: transition to refrigerants that are less harmful to the ozone layer and climate system, reduce the amount of refrigerant they use and eliminate refrigerant leaks, and adopt green refrigeration technologies, strategies, and practices. If every supermarket achieved GreenChill standards, over the course of a year the supermarket industry could save more than $100 million in refrigerant costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to the greenhouse gas emissions of 4.2 million cars (22 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent).

Waste

City Market is committed to decreasing food waste and to that end, our Facilities Department has worked diligently with Casella Waste Management and Chittenden Solid Waste District to continually improve our total waste diverted from landfills. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2013, we decreased the total amount of waste going to landfill by 9% and increased the amount of waste being composted by 14%.

In 2013, we also started working with other downtown businesses and Chittenden Solid Waste District to begin recycling film plastics.  This category of plastics includes plastic bags, shrink wrap, and other plastics.