Although most natural products stores have their eye on sustainability, protecting and restoring the environment is MOM's Organic Market's primary purpose. The 12-store mid-Atlantic chain, founded and still owned by Scott Nash, makes every effort to conserve energy, cut waste, and educate its employees, legions of loyal shoppers and greater communities on how to live green.
For example, MOM's sells only certified-organic produce and prioritizes organic in every other department in part to discourage chemical farming and processing. The company also composts and invites consumers to drop off everything from old electronics to used denim to wine corks at its Recycling Center. MOM's runs on wind and solar power and uses only LED lightbulbs. But these measures are only the beginning:
Three innovative ways MOM's walks its sustainability talk:
Green Benefits. MOM's employees don't just work for a sustainable company—they're also given the tools to lead greener lives. After one year on the job, full-time staff become eligible for Green Benefits. These include a home starter kit (tap water filter, clothesline, programmable thermostat, LED bulbs), a 15 percent subsidy toward a hybrid or electric vehicle, and a 20 percent subsidy for Energy Star appliances, electric lawn mowers and inline water filters.
Bottled water ban. Inspired by "The Story of Bottled Water," an online video that reveals how large corporations have hoodwinked America into thinking our tap water is unsafe, MOM's decided to stop selling one-time-use plastic water bottles. "Instead, we offer free biodegradable to-go cups with filtered water, as well as a water-filling station for reusable containers," Nash explains. "We educate shoppers about the bottled water issue with signage and videos."
No extraneous packaging. If mushrooms, onions and other produce items can be sold loose, without unnecessary packaging, they are. For products that require packaging, including deli items, MOM's uses biodegradable plastic whenever possible. The stores also boast big selections of bulk items, encouraging shoppers to scoop only as much as they need into biodegradable bags (or their own reusable bags).