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Giant Food Stores will donate five cents of every reusable bag sold throughout the month of April to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, an organization that promotes and protects the state's natural and community environments via education, litter prevention, beautifying Pennsylvania and minimizing the negative effects of waste.
"Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its alliance members of government, business, and civic organizations encourage every Pennsylvanian to help clean and green their community, and reduce their waste through reuse and recycling," said Julie Marano, executive director of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, in a statement. "Business partners such as Giant Food Stores play a major role to promote sustainable behavior as part of our everyday lives."
Giant is also is donating almost 100 park benches for local beautification efforts in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, Lancaster, York, Lehigh, Northhampton, Chester, and Franklin counties. Customers are being urged to recycle their plastic grocery bags by bringing them back to the store, and Giant will work with Winchester, Va.-based Trex to turn the bags into park benches.
Since 1997, 1,215 park benches have been donated by Giant to such organizations as fire departments, churches, schools, parks, playgrounds, and libraries in local communities.
Many national brand products at Giant, including light bulbs, earth-friendly cleaning products, and organic foods will be highlighted throughout the month with special in-store displays. The grocer is also participating in the Organic Trade Association's national Go Organic! for Earth Day campaign to raise awareness about organic foods and food practices. Free coupon books including savings on many national brand organic foods are available at the Ahold banner's stores.
"While this is the first year we have tied all of our environmentally friendly programs into a monthlong awareness campaign, we believe that we can make a difference on Earth Day and every day," said Denny Hopkins, v.p., advertising and marketing. "Many small changes that we can make today can lead to a greater impact for tomorrow. Using a reusable grocery bag when you shop is an example of one small step in the right direction."
Giant's year-round green initiatives include recycling shrink film, plastic bags, and cardboard, trucks that run on bio-diesel fuel and are programmed with anti-idling mechanisms that automatically turn off ignitions after five minutes of idling to conserve fuel and improve air quality; fuel stations that offer E10, an ethanol blend gasoline, which reduces carbon monoxide; and Choice Catch, a partnership since 2001 with the New England Aquarium to offer high-quality seafood from sustainable sources.
Giant Food Stores operates stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia under the Giant Food Stores and Martin's Food Markets banners.