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Several U.S. retailers take part in Earth Day 2015

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Wednesday marked the 45th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Since its inception, the movement has sparked a vast outpouring of support and this year was no exception.

Joining many groups around the globe, several U.S. retailers stepped up to the plate to celebrate Earth Day 2015. Some of the highlights include:

• Giant Eagle celebrated Earth Day this year with a commitment to reduce water consumption by 5% by July 2017, resulting in an anticipated conservation of millions of gallons of water.

• For four consecutive years, Publix Super Markets has celebrated Earth Day with a $40,000 contribution to Sustainable Fisheries Partnership totaling $160,000. This year's project is focused on improving the conditions associated with shrimp aquaculture. The donation will fund research to improve fisheries and help shrimp aquaculture in southeast Asia become more sustainable. Other sustainable efforts include the company's commitment to reusable shopping bags.

• Kroger, which was recently recognized by the U.S. EPA for its efforts to reduce food waste, has launched a microsite — Kroger.com/earthday — to inspire customers to live green, save money and reduce waste at home.

• Each year, the “ShopRite Earth Day Challenge” challenges volunteers to beautify their communities by cleaning up litter and restoring local parks and beaches.  In 2014, approximately 6,000 volunteers – wearing donated gloves and using donated trash bags from ShopRite — gathered to clean up 63 communities in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Today, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world, according to the Earth Day Network.

 

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Stop & Shop to transform food waste into energy

BY Marianne Wilson

QUINCY, Mass. — Stop & Shop has broken ground on the company’s first anaerobic digester at its distribution center in Freetown, Massachusetts. The state-of-the-art digester will turn food scraps into clean energy.
 
As part of its sustainability efforts, Stop & Shop plans to donate and divert as much food waste and unsold food as possible to regional food banks and farms. But food that cannot be donated will be sent to the digester. The supermarket retailer has set a long-term goal to divert 90% of waste going to landfills.
 
The food from stores that goes unsold, or is unable to be donated, will be transported to the distribution center. Then, by recreating the natural process of anaerobic digestion (an organically occurring water purification system found in wetlands) carbon in the organic material is cleanly and efficiently converted into a biogas and used as a power source.
 
“We are excited to begin the groundbreaking of this facility, as it’s a clear proof point of our commitment to reducing waste across our supply chain,” said Jihad Rizkallah VP of responsible retailing for Ahold USA, parent company of Stop & Shop. “Once operational, the anaerobic digester will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean, based load electricity, which would offset up to 40% of the Freetown facility’s energy use. This is just one of the ways we strive to be a better neighbor, and a responsible retailer in the communities we serve.”
 
The digester is anticipated to begin full operation by first-quarter 2016.
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Febreze Air Purifiers now available at CVS/pharmacy

BY Ryan Chavis

Image: FrebrezeAirPurifiers.com
 
SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Allergy sufferers can now find relief in the form of Febreze Tabletop Air Purifiers, which can now be purchased at CVS/pharmacy, according to the brand. The purifier helps clean the air as well as freshen with the help of Febreze linen and sky scents.
 
"Although outdoor allergens are often a focus this time of year, it's equally important to reduce airborne allergens inside the home where many of these particles go unnoticed," said Dr. Ted Myatt, ScD, senior scientist with Environmental Health and Engineering and the University of Rhode Island. "With more than 2,400 CVS/pharmacy stores now stocking Febreze Air Purifiers, more people will be able to enjoy the season by getting cleaner, fresher indoor air."
 
Febreze Air Purifiers remove up to 99% of airborne particles while also trapping household odors and adding a Febreze scent to the filtered air. The tabletop unit comes with a scent cartridge that lasts for up to 30 days as well as a HEPA-type filter that lasts up to four months. Replacement scent cartridges and HEPA-type filters are also available at CVS/pharmacy. 
 
Consumers can check to see if their local CVS/pharmacy locations carry the purifiers by visiting FebrezeAirPurifiers.com/CVS.
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