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Deep Roots Market's mission is to work toward a sustainable future. That means reducing the effect our operations have on the environment around us, from selecting products to carry in the store and the energy we use in maintenance, to the by-products we throw away. Like most businesses now, we use email for many communications, print on the back side of paper, and recycle faithfully, but we're also constantly working to improve our ecological footprint.
One of the most exciting and groundbreaking steps we have taken is to banish plastic bags from our checkout counters. Instead of giving out so many of these bags, which pollute our landscapes and seascapes, harm animals and waste precious petroleum, we encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. We have a wonderful variety of reusable fabric tote bags available for purchase. For beginners and those who forget, we still provide reused cardboard boxes from our shipments, when available, as well as paper bags.
We would love our store to have a green roof, skylights and plenty of natural shade from nearby trees to regulate our in-store temperature year-round, but in the meantime we must still use air conditioning. We adjust it carefully, though, and save every gallon of water runoff to water our flowers in the summertime. (In 2007 alone, 500 gallons of reclaimed "waste" water from AC condensation helped to keep our plants looking gorgeous during city-wide water restrictions, due to one of the worst regional droughts on record.) We also encourage all Deep Roots staff members to get to work using means other than a single-passenger, fossil-fuel driven vehicle, awarding a $1 rebate every time they do so. Several staffers regularly take advantage of this policy by walking, cycling, carpooling or taking the bus to Deep Roots.
Our recycling efforts go a step beyond city pickup standards: We always attempt to first reuse an item before it heads back to our local recycling center or waste facility for reprocessing. Whether it be a box, container or vegetable scrap, we locate individuals who may be interested in giving it a second life -- boxes as a way to transport groceries (or move house!), buckets for household and farm use, and veggie scraps as rich, organic (literally!) compost fodder.
The way humanity eats and generates its food supply has a significant effect on the health of the environment. Deep Roots Market is one of the only stores in North Carolina to offer only organic produce, which is gentler to the land and the people that farm it. We are proud to support NC’s organic farmers as well as local artisans and businesses, all of whom support our goals. Their efforts are establishing and perpetuating ecologically responsible, sustainable business practices and a way of life for both current and future generations.