At Big Y, beyond providing great quality, pricing and customer service, we also try to be smart about the resources we use, how much energy we consume and how we handle whatever waste we create. While we've always been mindful, over the past three years we have made a company-wide effort to be earth-friendly, and have reduced our total energy consumption by more than 17,800,000 kWh!
Simple Ways to Go Green and Celebrate Our Planet
Here are some simple ways you can join our sustainability efforts to go green and celebrate our planet.
Put on a sweatshirt or cozy up with a cup of hot tea
It can be tempting to turn up the heat in your home when you are cold. Resist this temptation by keeping your thermostat at 68 degrees while you are home. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall heating bill will be.1
Wash your clothes in cold water
Switching your temperature setting from hot to cold can cut a load's energy use in half. This is not only beneficial for your wallet, it's also better for the environment.2
Walk or bike to your destination
Rather than hopping in the car for that 2 minute ride to the post office, take a few extra minutes to go for a stroll - enjoy the outdoors, and get a little exercise. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation account for about 27 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest contributor of U.S. GHG emissions.3
Shop second hand for furniture and homegoods
Buy used items to reduce waste as well as emissions created by producing new materials or disposing of them in landfills. Donate unused clothing, electronics and building materials to make sure others can reuse them too!4
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
This simple practice can save 8 gallons of water per day and, while shaving, can save 10 gallons of water per shave. Assuming you brush your teeth twice daily and shave 5 times per week, you could save nearly 5,700 gallons per year.5
Put your food waste to good use: compost
Composting is nature’s way of recycling. It is one of the most powerful actions we can take to reduce our trash, address climate change and build healthy soil.6
Switch to LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.7
Bring your reusable bag
Each reusable bag can eliminate hundreds (if not thousands) of single-use plastic or paper bags. Side tip! If you are in need, we have plenty of beautifully designed reusable bags for sale in our stores.8
Going Green with Your Cuisine
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
Making Improvements Toward a Greener Tomorrow
Energy Measures in our stores have saved more than 73 million kWh. This is the equivalent to annual C02 emissions from:
- 5,821,298 gallons of gasoline consumed
- 10,066 homes' electricity use for one year
- 119,775 barrels of oil consumed
- More than 17,000 tons of cardboard, paper and plastics recycled annually
- Over 1 million bottles and cans annually
Connecticut Bottle Bill
As of January 1, 2023, a new state law has made most beverage cans and bottles eligible for a five cent deposit refund. Connecticut's deposit law has proven to reduce litter and raise recycling rates, and now it will expand to from beer, soda, and water to most beverages in cans as well as plastic and glass bottles.
We have four Megawatts of ground mount and rooftop arrays installed at several locations, and participate in more than 10 community solar array projects. This solar production is equivalent to annual C02 emissions from:
- 5,142,780 gallons of gasoline consumed
- 8,893 homes' electricity use for one year
- 105, 814 barrels of oil consumed
We have mindfully executed the following in each store we have remodeled:
- High Efficiency Rooftop and Refrigeration Systems
- LED Lighting Interior and Exterior
- Light Dimming Systems
- Energy Star Rated Equipment
- Building Energy Management System
- Night Curtains or Glass Door Retrofits on Open Refrigerated Cases
- High Efficiency Motors
- Capture and Utilization of Waste Heat
- Cycling Anti-Sweat Heaters
- Waterless Urinals
- Low Flow Water Controls on Our Sinks
- Energy Efficient Hand Dryers
EV Charging Stations
We provide electric vehicle charging stations at many of our Supermarket and Big Y Express locations and we are continuously striving to add this amenity to more locations.
We work with these Local Partners to bring you the freshest foods,
and also because they sustain our communities and are committed to environmentally responsible business practices.
Growing local produce year-round in hydroponic greenhouses, saving 230 million gallons of water annually.
UMass Student Farm
The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture student-run farm trains students seeking careers in food production, food sourcing and food security advocacy work.
Autumn Mist Farm
Feeding Hills, MA
This small, 100-acre family beef farm raises fresh, local Angus beef that is natural with no added growth hormones or artificial ingredients. Their cattle is raised with pasture access, meaning they are never confined to a feedlot.
Because we care, Big Y is proud to take an active role in supporting the communities we serve.
Composting and Animal Feed
All of our facilities divert more than 6,000 tons of food scraps per year to composting and animal feed.
More than 3,100 tons of food is donated per year. That's more than 5,000,000 meals to those in need.
1 Source: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/programmable-thermostats
2 Source: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/laundry
3 Source: https://www.epa.gov/transportation-air-pollution-and-climate-change/carbon-pollution-transportation
4 Source: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-and-reusing-basics
5 Source: https://www.epa.gov/watersense/statistics-and-facts
6 Source: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
7 Source: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/lighting-choices-save-you-money
8 Source: https://www.epa.gov/trash-free-waters/ten-ways-unpackage-your-life