Implementing sustainability projects makes good business sense.
Tara Natural Foods
Tara Natural Foods began over 40 years ago with a sack of granola, a few bags of flour, and a bucket of peanut butter in a small upstairs space. The store purchased natural foods in bulk in order to support a local burgeoning desire for whole foods.
Owned by Rudi Mogl, Tara Natural Foods now occupies a large retail space just down the street from its original location in the heart of downtown Kingston. A prominent feature of Kingston’s downtown community, Tara offers health-conscious consumers a wide variety of wholesome foods from local produce to the latest health supplements.
Letting Nothing Go To Waste
In 2014, Rudi completed a waste audit at Tara Natural Foods to determine how much waste the store produced each day. The results were eye-opening and led to Rudi’s goal of diverting 90% of the store’s waste from landfills.
Thinking about managing waste in a broader sense gave Rudi an idea about an innovative way to better manage the store temperature and conserve energy at the same time. He installed a system that captures and re-circulates wasted heat from the refrigeration units during colder months.
In addition, Rudi uses ecobee, an app that gives him the ability to manage temperatures from his mobile device. Not only has this helped Rudi with his sustainability goals, the amount he has saved heating the store is substantial. He also saves on energy by using his lights infrequently thanks to the installation of skylights.
Beyond initiatives at the store, Rudi and his team are actively involved in a wide variety of community groups and activities, donating 122 kg of food each quarter to the local food rescue programs.
Overall, Tara Natural Foods has reduced their use of water by 52% and electricity by 1%, which has resulted in a significant 32.7% carbon footprint reduction since from their 2015 baseline.