Our values at New Leaf Community Markets have always been firmly rooted in environmental stewardship and wholesome, delicious nourishment. Since opening our first market in 1985, we’ve learned that collectively, with our customers, we can make great eco-friendly changes. These waves of change make our communities stronger and healthier. They also ripple well beyond our beautiful Central Coast bays.
It requires a lot of energy to keep all of our local, peak-season goodness fresh so we take electricity usage seriously. We’re constantly surveying how to use less and we purchase a portion of our electricity through renewable energy credits. Energy-saving cooler doors keep our cold case and frozen products at optimal temperatures with minimal energy. And motion sensor lighting on all of our frozen cases dramatically cuts down on usage.
Many of our stores have been built to LEED standards and have Monterey Bay Green Business certification uniting them in green solidarity. Beyond that, there are a whole bunch of day-to-day efforts and decisions that have an impact. To start, we’ve replaced many of our ice tables and cases to lessen water usage. We also have bulk water machines in all of our stores to keep you and yours hydrated without the waste of single-use plastics.
Speaking of plastic, we’ve replaced plastic straws store-wide at all locations with eco-friendly paper ones. And all of our stores also have food scraps composting programs that divert and make use of food waste.
Several New Leaf Community Markets provide plates and silverware for in-store dining as opposed to landfill-destined disposables. And we’ve always encouraged customers to bring in their own reusable produce and shopping bags from home through our Envirotokens program. If you don’t bring in a reusable shopping bag, we recommend using paper versus plastic. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Local means a lot of different things depending on who’s talking. For New Leaf Community Markets, local means that the product came from within 100 miles of our Central Coast office. So, no, southern California is not local.
We’re proud to partner up with local growers, ranchers and fishers all up and down our beautiful and bountiful Central Coast. And, the added bonus to caring for our environment by prioritizing local is, of course, that our food gets from the farm or ranch that it grew on to your table that much faster. And fresher!
All New Leaf Community Markets have on-site sustainability leaders. These are our green resources. Their fresh takes on everything from reducing single-use plastics to community clean-ups solidify our dedication to the important ongoing work of keeping our stores green in practice — our choices environmentally sound and transparent.
Since 1993 Envirokens have been a way for us to celebrate one tiny but mighty sustainable choice – they add up! And we give back to our beloved community while doing so. When you shop at any New Leaf Community Markets and use reusable grocery bags, we give you a 10¢ Envirotoken per bag. You then pay that forward to local nonprofits that we support. In 2019 our goal was to encourage shopping bag reuse and increase Envirotoken donations by 20%. We far exceeded that goal with a 48% increase! Learn more about Envirotokens on our Community page.
We give year-round to local food banks, food pantries and gleaning partners to help reduce food waste and nourish our communities with close-to-the-source, delicious food. Learn more about the work we do to fight hunger on our Community Page. In 2019 our goal was to increase our New Leaf Community Markets donations to local hunger relief organizations by 10%. We went above and beyond that goal with a 73% increase! We couldn’t do any of this without the support of you, our valued and conscientious customers.