highlighting green business: Bulk Barn

If you see a store committing wasteful practices and you feel you have a positive alternative to share with them, it is important to share your voice with that company.  Let them know you, the consumer, will no longer purchase X product because of its wasteful properties.  Several bloggers from our network have shared letters or e-mails they wrote to companies about some of their practices, and some even received positive responses in which the company said they would change their ways or at least consider alternatives.  So not only is it important to highlight the wasteful ones, it is just as important to highlight the ones that are doing green business, or taking positive environmental steps.

Bulk shopping has been difficult in my hometown, as most businesses will not let you bring your own containers due to “cross contamination”, and those businesses that do let you bring your own do not have a very large selection of bulk products.  Bulk Barn is our biggest bulk food provider here, but when I asked in-store last year they just shook their head and said “nope”.  I ended up e-mailing the company and asking why this was not an option, and they responded with the issue of “cross contamination”, also adding that they have heard that question a lot.  Hmm…

However, “cross contamination” magically did not become an issue anymore!  Bulk Barn launched a nationwide pilot program to test-run the alternative of their shoppers bringing their own containers.  And guess what?  Consumers responded so positively to this change, and it was a huge success.  Result?  As of February 24, 2017, Bulk Barn changed their policy on containers!  You can now bring in your own clean, non-chipped, closable containers to fill up on their bulk items.  YAY!

So how does it work?  I bring glass jars for things like peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil, and cotton drawstring bags made by my mother (thanks Mutti) for dry products like rice, beans, or loose leaf tea.  When you get to the store, bring your containers/bags to the till and they will weigh them and put a little sticker on (okay, so not completely zero waste due to the sticker, but a better alternative).  This weight will be removed from the price when you’re all done.  Then go fill up on your goods, and go pay.  Easy peasy.

What green-ness or non-green-ness have you witnessed in stores you visit?  How are companies changing to more environmentally positive practices?

Now if only grocery stores would stop putting produce stickers on every single piece of fruit and veg… grrrr!

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