The Nutrition and Education Committee’s Monthly 3-Question Survey

Shoppers in Bulk
Photo by John Carl D'Annibale. From the August 8, 2013 Times Union

April’s Survey Topic: “NEC Promotes” Initiative in Bulk and Produce

Please click here to go to our survey!

Every month the Nutrition and Education Committee (NEC) posts a survey in the Co-op Voice. Three questions at a time, we are learning how you would like your Co-op experience to be.

This month, we are focusing on an initiative called “NEC Promotes.” This is a program designed to educate consumers, by teaching them healthy and delicious ways to use the products that the Produce and Bulk Departments are promoting. As part of this initiative, the NEC used to write articles and share recipes that were published in the Coop Scoop. Now we’re looking into other methods, not only to educate but to encourage and inspire our shoppers to utilize the healthy foods that the Co-op sells in the Bulk and Produce Departments. When one of these departments runs a promotion on a local or seasonal product, we may share recipes using that product and/or the health benefits of it, have samples, demonstrations, how-to’s, and/or cooking classes using it. Please complete our survey and tell us what will inspire you!

February’s Survey Results

In February, we had 52 respondents answer our survey. Please click here to see the full list of responses. In the first question, we asked if you thought Honest Weight should get involved more deeply with recycling by working with an organization like TerraCycle to develop a comprehensive member-run recycling program. An astounding 85% of respondents said YES. That’s a pretty clear answer!

Now if you didn’t read the introduction to February’s survey, you may be asking yourself, “what’s TerraCycle?” It is an organization that has a lot of specialized recycling programs for collecting products and packaging that otherwise would become trash. If you’d like to learn more, here is a link to February’s survey introduction, and a link to TerraCycle’s website.

Our next question asked about whether respondents would participate in TerraCycle’s freely available programs for specific products. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would participate, with the majority expressing interest in the Colgate® Oral Care Recycling Program (for all brands of toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush outer packaging, and floss containers). TerraCycle provides free shipping, offers PDFs for posters and labels for your collection containers, and provides easy-to-follow instructions. With a program like this at our Co-op, not only would we divert more trash from landfills, but we could also create a fundraising opportunity for participants. For every two pounds of oral care waste sent to TerraCycle, they will donate two cents to a non-profit organization or school of our choice.

Few respondents were interested in the other TerraCycle recycling program options, all of which are geared towards specific products or classes of products. Many stated that they do not use the products listed, and some even said they felt we should not encourage the use of those products.

Our third question on the survey asked if you thought the formation of a new committee focused on going green would have a positive role to play at Honest Weight. The sentiment among our respondents was clear:
94% said YES. In addition, several respondents commented on the need to CLARIFY cafe signage near the compost, recycling, and trash receptacles, to improve the Co-op’s waste disposal practices. We are happy to report that Rick Mausert, the Co-op’s Chief Cooperative Officer, recently notified us that new signage for the cafe has just been installed.

An Earth Day Call To Action

Given that Earth Day (April 22) is right around the corner, this would be a great time for the Co-op to take a step in a greener direction. If any of the things you have seen in our recent surveys interests you (e.g., a recycling program at the Co-op, being part of a committee focused on going green, improving signage in the store), or if there is anything else that you think would improve your Co-op experience, please, get involved by sending a proposal to the Board, they just might like what you have to say. If you would like guidance or support in this endeavor, please stop in and see Tom Gillespie in the Bulk Department, or get in touch with Member-Owner Tracy Frisch (tracy.frisch AT or 518/692-8242), both of whom would be happy to help you get the ball rolling. Tom has been an inspiration for many of the recent survey questions focused on supporting Bulk Department shopping and thereby reducing consumer packaging. Tracy is a shareholder with a long history of involvement in environmental issues and has published a piece in this Co-op Voice about starting an environmental committee for the Co-op. Who knows, you could be the next person we need to get something great started.

How To Get On the Board’s Agenda

Any HWFC Member-Owner may attend, participate, and/or add an item to the agenda for a Board meeting.

To submit a proposal or Member-Owner item to the Board:

  • Write a brief statement about your request.
  • Submit it to: boardadmin AT by 6pm, three days prior to a scheduled Board meeting.
  • Attend the meeting and be prepared to explain what you’re proposing. It’s that simple.
  • Here is a list of the next few Board meeting dates and the deadline by which items or proposals should be submitted (all dates are subject to change):
Board MeetingsDeadline for Proposal
Tuesday, May 2, 2017Saturday, April 29, 2017
Tuesday, June 6, 2017Saturday, June 3, 2017
Tuesday, July 4, 2017Saturday, July 1, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017Saturday, July 29, 2017

Meetings are usually held the first Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. Meetings are held at Honest Weight Food Co-op, 100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany and usually last until about 10 pm. (Please call the service desk at 518-482-2667 to confirm the date, time and location.)

For in-depth instructions on adding an item to the agenda please click here to go to our Member-Owner Manual (page 19, III.A.2.a.,b., & c.)

If any of this interests you, we strongly encourage you to submit a proposal. This is a great way to get involved and have a positive impact on your Co-op.

Thank you for your participation!