Whole Foods Maui Honored for Diverting Tons of Trash

April 20, 2011, 5:09 PM HST · Updated April 20, 5:14 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Whole Foods Maui, file photo.

Whole Foods Maui was among six companies honored today during the Hawai’i Clean Energy Day at the Capitol. The Green Business Awards issued by Governor Neil Abercrombie, recognized organizations for their outstanding green energy practices.

Whole Foods Maui diverted a total of 34 tons of trash from the landfill since opening its doors last year.  On a monthly basis, the grocery store diverts 58% of the 20,000 pounds of trash it generates.

The company is able to reduce landfill waste by donating spoiled produce and biodegradable waste to the Free Bird Farm, which in turn converts the waste into compost.  Whole Foods Maui also donated all of its HI-5 recyclable containers to the island’s Community Work Day Program.

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Whole Foods Maui is recognized as being part of the first major retail chain to offset 100 percent of its energy use with wind energy credits.

Others recognized today included the State Senate, the East-West Center, Central Pacific Plaza, Honeywell Utility Solutions, PBR Hawaii and Associates, Sustainable Island Products, and WATG Architects.

The awards were coordinated by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and recognized organizations for their outstanding efforts in greening their business practices.

“It just makes sense to save energy, water, and waste. Businesses and government offices are among the largest consumers of energy,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie, who presented the awards. “When the Senate cuts 80 percent of its paper use, office buildings like the Central Pacific Plaza and the East-West Center cut 20 to 40 percent in electricity, and a store like Whole Foods Maui diverts 34 tons of trash from landfills in a month, we’re freeing up money and resources that can be used to improve services and preserve jobs,” said Gov. Abercrombie.

The state’s goal is to achieve 70 percent clean energy by 2030. “We commend the efforts of our awardees who are helping us reach this goal by going beyond compliance to implementing environmental practices and encouraging their employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle,” said Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator for DBEDT’s Energy Office.

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