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    D.C.-area Organic Market Launches Waste-reducing Initiative

    Goal of "Stop The Stuff" is to protect and restore the environment.

    MOM's - My Organic Market, an organic grocery retailer in the Baltimore-Washington area, has rolled out its "Stop The Stuff" initiative, which it said aims to reduce waste at all levels of operations.

    "We wanted to really focus on our purpose, which is to protect and restore the environment," said Scott Nash, the founder of Rockville, Md.-based MOM's. "Our goal is to make ourselves more aware of the life-cycle of trash, from its production and use to its eventual disposal, and how we can best reduce it."

    Among the key components of the program are an extensive tracking and grading system, which will improve recycling operations; the composting of all paper products that aren't recycled; the promotion of bulk purchases to reduce packaging; and the setting of goals to lower bottled water sales.

    In-house processes will include weekly tracking sheets, store progress reports, trash audits, and employee-generated store-level activity with the goal of reducing an individual store's waste.

    "This is just another step in the right direction," noted Greg Keyser, MOM's environmental coordinator, a position the grocer created in 2005 to ensure that its operations are as environmentally friendly as possible. "We got rid of plastic bags two years ago, operate with a 70 percent recycling rate, and are continually looking for ways to improve ourselves. We are taking a different mindset with this initiative, and instead of trying to increase our recycling rate, we are working to reduce our waste to begin with."

    MOM's operates five stores in Rockville, College Park, Columbia East, and Frederick, Md; and Alexandria, Va.

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