Sustainable Practices

Recycling Offering

We will collect all of your film plastic for recycling! We do our best to be a zero waste business and would like to help everyone in reducing waste in your own homes too.  Film plastic is not collected curbside in Whatcom County but can be brought directly to Northwest Recycling in downtown Bellingham.  Please leave your clean, dry film plastics stuffed into a bag or bags in your bin (instead of loose in the bin) and we will recycle them for you.  Film plastics are all the thin plastics that are used for such things as shrink-wrap, Ziplocs, produce bags, cereal bags, etc. (Please no foil bags or food scraps.)


Let’s talk trash! At Dandelion we have always taken our trash very seriously. We produce less than a handful of trash every week. How do we do this? We re-use, compost and recycle everything.  What’s in our trash? Usually just a few non-reusable or non-recyclable items such as twist ties and produce stickers.  (Over the years we have even collected and donated stickers and other fun stuff to a local preschool for kiddo art projects!) What’s left?  We reuse everything possible and recycle the rest. We even dry and re-use clean plastic bags.  Large sturdy cardboard boxes are brought to the food bank to be used on the distribution line, giving them a little more life before recycling.  Wax boxes are re-used by our local farmers.  Some farmers deliver in their own totes.  We make every effort to help growers reduce their expenses by saving all of their dedicated boxes or plastic totes.  The remainder of our boxes are either recycled or composted.  During our local season there is very little to recycle.


Food waste... Almost no food is wasted in our facility.  Many natural and human resources go into the production and delivery of produce.  We are dedicated to not wasting anything that is edible.  Our packers take the time to hand pack each delivery, keeping an eye on quality and presentation.  While packing we sort out the items that are not "sellable" but still edible into an edible bin and a compost bin.  The edible bin does not go to waste! Our staff and family do our best to eat up everything with a bruise or bad spot. Whether that means we have to take on delicious cooking projects like making a pluot sauce from over ripe fruit, or freeze some for delicious smoothies during the winter. But, even our compost is put to good use. Our compost bins have fed many chickens over the years, and if there something is beyond use it goes into the food plus composting barrel for SSC to pick up.


Paper from Sugar Cane Fiber? That’s right, we use 100% tree free paper for all in house printing.


Recipes and Weekly Updates are emailed to you, greatly reducing our paper consumption.  


Reusable Delivery Containers

Produce is delivered in reusable plastic totes that are washed in house. By using a reusable product we save thousands of cardboard or wax boxes yearly that would otherwise be recycled or composted after just 1 to 5 uses.  There are some logistical challenges that would make using a standard box much easier, but the savings in raw material make it a worthwhile endeavor.  Some of our totes have been in circulation for 10 years! The totes also do a great job of keeping produce fresh and cool when delivered to a shady spot throughout the year.  


Solar!  A dream realized. In January 2014 we installed a 50 panel solar array on our shop roof!  It was one our earliest dreams for Dandelion to use solar power for our electrical needs.  That’s a really large array of solar panels that supplies power to our two walk in cooler units as well as our office, shop and home. During peak sunny season nearly 100% of our use is supplied by our array. By signing up with Arcadia Power, the remainder of our electricity is supplied by renewable sources year round.

 

If we could get electric delivery vans we could cover our other large energy use. Perhaps one day!

 



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