Those in our community who shop at Nature’s Grace Health Food Store and Deli, located at 947 Main Street Honesdale may have noticed the roll of silver insulation above the soda coolers and freezers. This is the latest step Jamie Stunkard has taken to conserve energy in his health food store: “The coolers and freezers are this store’s biggest energy draw. They put out heat, which in the winter is great, but in the summer, makes the AC work harder.” Stunkard hopes that insulating the coolers’ glass doors will help decrease the energy required to power the coolers at night and lessen the resulting heat production, which in turn will lighten the load on the air conditioner.
Nature’s Grace is a participant in the local pilot program, Wayne Businesses Conserve! As a participant, they are sharing with our community how energy conservation fits into their everyday business practices and are being recognized for their efforts.
“Our biggest commitment to energy conservation is recycling,” says Stunkard. Employees save and sort cardboard, plastic, aluminum, paper and glass and each week, Stunkard takes the recyclables to the Wayne County Recycling Center. He estimates that Nature’s Grace recycles nearly 10,000 lbs each year. The store also composts all the organic scraps from the Deli, which are dedicated to fertilizer production. And on top of this, Nature’s Grace volunteers as a community recycling point for old cell phones and batteries.
Years ago Stunkard switched the store’s incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent bulbs and more recently, has incorporated electronic ballasts into the mix making his lighting fixtures even more efficient. By using only half the lights in the fixtures, he’s saving even more energy. Nature’s Grace purchases renewable energy from PPL and offsets a small amount of their electricity use with the 4 solar photovoltaic panels on their roof.
When it comes to purchasing, Natures Grace gets a gold star. First, all of their paper brochures and promotional materials are printed on post-consumer, recycled-content paper. Secondly, the majority of their Deli take-out containers and silverware are made out of biodegradable, compostable plant-based plastics.
Always looking for ways to conserve energy, Stunkard has pledged to ride his bike into work at least once a week. If you see him on the road, give him a wave! Stunkard’s long-term goal is to make his store a model sustainable business while supporting the local Honesdale community and creating a healthy lifestyle around it.
Wayne Businesses Conserve! is a pilot program sponsored by SEEDS, Workforce Wayne and PPL Electric Utilities. Run throughout the summer of 2010 in Honesdale, PA, this program aims to recognize the energy conservation efforts of local businesses, share simple, affordable and economically sound conservation techniques and raise awareness about a sustainable energy future. Each WBC! participant has met established criteria in 6 different categories: energy conservation, renewable power, transportation, water conservation, purchasing & waste prevention and recycling & composting. Please contact WBC! with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://waynebusinessesconserve.weebly.com for more information.
Photo Caption: Jamie Stunkard tucks in the insulation blanket he has fashioned for his coolers at Nature’s Grace. The insulation helps keep the coolers cold at night, hopefully making his refrigerators and air conditioning work less, which means…more energy saving!