Do you remember what you were doing last week Monday? Were you following your typical routine, maybe working or at the gym? Were you busy getting errands completed before your children finished school? Amidst the business and chaos of your everyday routine, did you remember to take time to celebrate Earth Day? Earth Day dates back 43 years to April 22, 1970, and is celebrated annually. There are hundreds of different ways to “give back” to the environment. These ideas range from planting a tree or recycling for a day to learning more about the environment and making a long term goal to create less waste, shop for locally grown produce, and essentially making a commitment to “go green.” I think most people would agree that being environmentally-friendly for one day out of 365 days is better than none, but I also believe we could agree it would be better to have this focus year round! With that being said, in honor of Earth Day, we would like to remind you of some of the things Festival Foods does each day to help keep Planet Earth a little greener! Festival Foods offers reusable coupons each week. We have copies of the coupons from the Sunday newspaper and green sheet coupons available at or near the customer service desk. Rather than requiring guests to cut out each coupon for redemption, we can scan the sheet and use it again. Many of you have probably heard cashiers say “Oh, you don’t need to rip those out; I can just scan the whole sheet.” We encourage cashiers to explain this concept to guests, because as long as the coupon sheet looks presentable, we can reuse it throughout the week. We have reusable bags for sale at all 17 stores. To better cater to our guests wants and needs, these come in several different styles. We have the green bags with the “Festival Foods” logo in both the size similar to a standard brown paper bag, and also in a larger narrower size for guests who want everything to fit into one bag. In addition to these more traditional reusable bags, we also have seasonal style bags. The designs on these bags vary throughout the year. During the spring and summer, we have beach, Brewers, and flower designed bags available. During the fall and winter, the designs change to leaves, football, snowmen, and Christmas themes. Last but not least, we have insulated bags available for sale. These bags are meant to keep your ice cream cold during the drive home in the summer, and your soup and rotisserie chicken hot during the drive home in the winter. An added bonus to bringing these bags with you when you shop? We will give you a 5 cent credit for each bag you bring in (this includes any plastic bags, paper bags, cloth, etc.)! What a deal! Hopefully you have noticed the plastic bag recycling bins we have in each store, located in the cart lobby. These bins are actually made out of recycled plastic bags! Many of us go shopping with the intention of purchasing just a couple items, only to end the shopping trip with a cart full of food, clothes, or other products depending on where we are shopping. 10-15 bags later, we look at the cart, which is now organized, and cringe because we don’t really need to add all those plastic bags to the growing collection that already exists at home. Rather than letting those bags sit at home, bring them to Festival Foods and empty them into the provided bag recycling bin. We empty these bins multiple times each week, and make sure the bags are properly recycled to avoid adding waste to the environment. Some people have gotten creative with the yellow bags and decided rather than leaving them in a bin to get recycled, they would repurpose the bags! Recycling 3,900 plastic bags is enough to create a bench that comfortably seats two people. Tesia, the current front end manager at Darboy, previously worked at Green Bay West and encouraged her team to save the yellow tabs that always seem to fall off the plastic bag racks. She knew that even the little yellow tabs could go towards a bench. Bernie, a bagger at the store, saved all the yellow tabs he could since Tesia transitioned to Darboy, and during one of Tesia’s recent visit to Green Bay West, he proudly presented two full boxes of yellow tabs to her! We have one of these benches showcased at the store on Mason Street---check it out next time you shop there! Sherry, a cashier at the store in Oshkosh, crochets about 25-30 bags together to make a small bag for change and cash. It takes her about 6-8 hours to make each bag, and she has already had several guest and employee requests to make personalized bags! Ashley, a shift manager at Onalaska, has turned the old plastic bags into several rugs! Hopefully the ideas and resources above have given you some insight about how Festival Foods contributes to a cleaner, greener planet every day! We believe it is important to operate the grocery business in the most sustainable style possible, and therefore constantly look for new ways to be environmentally friendly. We welcome any ideas you might have, and hope that you also look for ways to celebrate the Earth year-round!
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