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Wegmans Food Markets will be holding its Earth Day event a little late – on Saturday, April 25, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at all of its stores – but there’s a good reason for the slight delay – the grocer wanted to choose a day when more people and their families shop.
The event will feature demonstrations and tastings throughout the stores, enabling customers to see, touch, taste and learn how the three “R’s” of environmentalism -- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle -- are forming the way Wegmans does business, and they’ll find out easy ways they can make more sustainable choices at home.
For instance, on the day of the event, customers who bring in a plastic grocery bag packed with used plastic bags can exchange it for a new reusable bag, one per household. “Since we introduced our reusable shopping bags (in 2007) and our new stronger plastic bags (in 2008), we’ve been able to reduce our plastic use by 30 percent, or 146 million fewer bags per year,” noted Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans’ sustainability specialist. “This shows how big a difference people working together can make by shifting some everyday choices.”
Selecting organic food options is another shift toward greater sustainability, and customers will be able to sample organic foods throughout the store, while learning about the practices that go into growing and producing these products, such as innovative technologies to lower energy use, reduce water used for irrigation and reduce reliance on artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
By tasting an entree in the frozen food department, shoppers can find out about new state-of-the-art systems that some food producers have implemented to improve quality while lowering energy use. Samples from the seafood department will show advances that a shrimp farm has made to boost the supply of seafood, while keeping the surrounding ecosystem in healthy balance.
In departments that sell household items, customers will discover products that can light the home with less energy and cleaning products without toxic residues.
Wadsworth writes in his Quarterly Update in the Sustainability section of Wegmans.com that Earth Day shouldn’t be a one-day celebration, but rather a reminder to that even small changes all year round of the year can make a difference.
Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans operates 72 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.