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 4,400+ 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, which consists of staff members from different departments. They work together to help our Co-op’s staff understand sustainability initiatives, develop new projects, and improve, recreate, or refine these ideas.
The Green Team is responsible for projects such as creating our Co-op-branded Klean Kanteen coffee mugs, increasing our landfill diversion rates, cleaning up litter, creating art on the Co-op windows, and more!
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 Casella 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.
- We recycle our grease from the kitchen through Baker’s Commodities, which repurposes it into ingredients for lubricants, animal feed, and biofuel.
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 signs are 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.
Our hot-bar to-go boxes, hot and cold coffee cups and lids, and café single-use utensils are also commercially compostable!
Transitioning away from plastic products has allowed our Co-op to divert nearly 50% of all our waste from landfills every month!
Recycling & Re-Using
- We recycle glass, aluminum, paper, and plastics #1 & #2 through the City of Keene.
- In the back of the house we recycle all our plastic case wrap through TREX, who turn it into materials for decks!
- We offer a range of reusable products, from mugs and water bottles to bags and jars!
- We make it easy to reuse containers in our bulk aisle: Use the scale to weigh the empty container, note the tare on the container, and then fill it with any of our bulk products!
- We have a community bag tree in the front shopping cart area for anyone to take or leave bags!
- We reuse boxes from deliveries, often removing the need for bags altogether!
NEW Recycling for Customers!
We are excited to announce the beginning phase of our Zero Waste Recycling Station. We are starting with soft plastic recycling through TREX, the same company we use for our back-of-the-house plastic recycling Some of the accepted soft plastics are bags such as grocery bags and Ziplocs, case wrap, for example, the plastic that paper towels come in, bubble wrap, air pillows, and more. Look for the purple bin to the right of the shopping carts in the main lobby of our Co-op. Check out the TREX website or email email@example.com for more information!
- The City Express Bus has a stop right behind the Co-op, on Community Way!
- We participate in the Bicycle Benefits program, with the official sticker on your helmet, we will give you a free snack!
- 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.