9 small (and one big) ways that big box stores can go green

Slashing food waste

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Food Waste photo

credit: sporkist

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The other day, I was in my local Whole Foods and I saw a sign for their "Whole Hog" program. The initiative sees the supermarket buying whole pigs from local, sustainable farms and then working with their chefs to use as much as possible of the pig in their hot bar and deli items.

It's a great idea. But it really shouldn't be that unusual.

Given that 40% of the food produced in America is wasted, there are opportunities for efficiencies at every step of the food chain, from producer to consumer.

Supermarkets are as good a place as any to start. We've already seen huge public pressure on Trader Joe's to tackle its food waste issue, and supermarkets like Sainsbury's are exploring turning waste food into electricity. (Although critics argue that there are better uses than food-to-energy, like (gasp!) food-to-food for example.)

Whether they compost their food waste, feed it to pigs, or turn it into electricity or biogas, alternative disposal methods to landfill are only a step in the right direction. Maybe one day stores have expiration dates that actually make sense and smarter ordering systems that avoid spoilage in the first place.