Our community-owned business is designed to value the Triple Bottom Line: people, planet, and profit, with the primary purpose of meeting the needs of our 3,600+ Member-Owners. Learn more about how we practice environmental & social responsibility at our Keene, NH co-op.
We practice environmental responsibility every day within the store and continue to look for ways to improve our impact on our environment.
Our Sustainability Coordinator leads our Green Team of staff members from different departments. They work together to help our co-op’s staff to understand sustainability initiatives and bring new ideas for how we can improve, recreate, or refine these ideas to use them here.
After identifying disposable cup use as a big problem in the store, the Green Team helped to create our co-branded Klean Kanteen coffee mug, which became available in April 2016 in honor of Earth Day.
Green Building & Solar Panels
- We invested over $100,000 to make our building very energy efficient!
- We considerably increased insulation beyond the standard R values.
- We use a system to recover the waste heat produced by our cooler compressor to heat our hot water.
- We use LED lighting and we have certain light fixtures connected to motion detectors to switch lights off when they’re not needed.
- The entire span of Monadnock Food Co-op’s roof is the host of the first locally-owned community-supported solar project in the Monadnock Region.
- It is locally developed, funded, owned, and controlled, whereas most community solar projects are owned and controlled by developers or utilities.
- This project enabled Monadnock Sustainability Network, with the support of Antioch University of New England, to develop the NH Community Supported Solar Guide so that other institutions can replicate this project easily, bringing more renewable energy to our region.
- 40 new panels were added to the Co-op’s existing 106-panel array. We worked with Enfield, NH-based ReVision Energy to complete the addition, we look forward to seeing an increase in our production capacity and help increase renewable energy in our region. ReVision will maintain both arrays to ensure all of our panels are operating at optimum levels for decades to come.
- When the sun is shining, the solar panels on the roof of our Co-op produce electricity that is either used in real-time by the Co-op, or fed back to the grid where it benefits our community by reducing pollution (and earns us a credit.)
- The combined annual generation from both arrays will equal roughly 71,400 kilowatt-hours (kWhs) of electricity, offsetting the equivalent of over 125,500 miles driven in a gas-powered car, and keeping more than 81,000 lbs of carbon out of the atmosphere every year.
- We have been giving our quality back-of-house food scraps to local pig farmers to use as feed since we opened. We occasionally look for new farms to join this program. Contact us if you are interested in using our waste.
- Commercial composting was initiated in January 2016 thanks to new partnerships with Triple T’s Trucking and Martin’s Farm in Greenfield, MA.
- Commercial (or industrial, as it’s sometimes called) composting allows us to compost many more items such as post-consumer waste from the café, wax boxes, compostable flatware, plates, bowls, and paper towels that are currently being sent to the landfill.
- For more information, see our blog post about Martin’s Farm.
NEW! Compostable Plant-Based Containers
In February 2023, the Co-op transitioned from recyclable plastic to plant-based compostable food containers in our Produce, Bulk, Cheese, Grab & Go, and Meat Departments.
The new containers have raised tops and there are also signs on the shelves to identify this compostable packaging. These containers can be composted in-store at our café waste station – look for the compost waste bin. If you’re looking for a home composting option in Keene, we recommend Elm City Compost. They have a pick-up system in our Co-op parking lot for those who subscribe to their composting service.
Waste & Re-Use
- We reduce waste by offering reusable bowls, plates & utensils for in-house dining and promoting alternatives to disposal bag use through our re-use box initiative and community bag tree.
- In one year (FY 2015) MFC provided 5,000 plastic bags and 54,000 paper bags to customers. We try to make it as convenient as possible for customers to have an alternative if they’ve forgotten their reusable bag for their shopping trip. Taking a box and adding one more step in its useful life before it gets recycled can make a difference.
- We recycle glass, aluminum, paper, and plastics #1 & #2 through the City of Keene.
In 2018, the co-op was recognized with a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business award by the League of American Bicyclists.
Monadnock Region Earth Festival
We love hosting the annual Monadnock Region Earth Festival. We fill the space from Railroad Square all the way back to the co-op with local vendors, artists, farmers, and producers to celebrate the Earth and our community’s commitment to sustainability.
Our store supports our community every day by providing local and healthy food choices to consumers and financially supporting the local farmers and producers in our region. The co-op currently carries products from over 280 local farmers and producers located within 110 miles of our store.
As part of our social responsibility, we also offer support to the larger community through a variety of programs and events. Our Healthy Food for All Program is an innovative approach to making healthy food more accessible to those in financial need. We hold an annual Ice Cream Social Fundraiser to support the efforts of one area local non-profit and donate products and gift cards to countless others throughout the year.
We’ve created 100+ jobs since opening. The ripple effect of these local jobs will strengthen our local economy and community.