Throughout the month of April, and in celebration of Earth Day on April 22, Natural Grocers is inviting its communities to pledge to protect one of nature’s beneficial insects—the ladybug. Shoppers will vow to never use chemicals that harm ladybugs or other beneficial insects and pledge to support 100 percent organic produce. Customers will also learn how to make a natural, do-it-yourself weed killer at a free, educational class hosted by Natural Grocers.
“We are dedicated to protecting the environment—because the health of the environment is directly linked to the health of the economy, and the health of all people,” said Heather Isely, Natural Grocers’ EVP. “This Earth Day, Natural Grocers selected the ladybug as its mascot because it symbolizes the important (role) beneficial insects play in the overall health of the economy and environment.”
It’s estimated that insects like the ladybug contribute at least $57 billion to the U.S. economy every year by controlling pests, pollinating crops, as part of the food web and by processing waste. In addition, beneficial insects prevent $4.5 billion in damages to U.S. crops every year, supporting a healthy economy, a healthy environment and human health.
In addition to the pledge, Natural Grocers will hold a 3-day sale from April 20 to 22 featuring products from a variety of environmentally friendly suppliers. During the sale, Natural Grocers will offer customers a free reusable shopping bag with purchase and the chance to win Natural Grocers gift cards.
“Where you buy your food is an important decision; it can either support a healthy economy and environment or it can drive degenerative practices,” added Isely. “With the products we choose to carry and the green building practices we implement at each store, we provide consumers with a place that supports a healthy future for our planet.”
Natural Grocers’ green practices include:
- Bagless checkouts, with no disposable plastic bags provided. This was implemented on Earth Day in 2009, and more than 250 million bags have been kept out of landfills.
- BPA-free cash register tape.
- Non-toxic cleaning and sanitizing products.
- Minimum sufficient packaging on Natural Grocers’ brand products.
- Recycling pallets, plastic pallet wrap and cardboard shipping containers.
- Public recycling centers supported at select stores.
- Sustainable non-toxic construction materials.
- Low-watt recirculating fans, super-efficient climate control systems and LED lighting.
- Only USDA Organic produce.
Natural Grocers offers 100-percent organic produce, meat that is humanely raised without antibiotics, hormones or other growth promotors, 100-percent free-range eggs, 100-percent pasture-based dairy, non-GMO prepackaged bulk products, groceries that don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives and more. Natural Grocers is also committed to supporting regenerative farming practices.
Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,000 employees and operates 145 stores in 19 states.