PT Food Co-op

Port Townsend Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St., Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Open Every Day 8am-9pm
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Archive for the ‘Green Living’ Category

Co-op Wins EPA Emissions Award

October 13th, 2015 by Kathie

Scott and Rene Food Co-op Roof 2015

Food Co-op staff Scott Marble (left) and René Tanner sit atop the co-op’s roof next to the low-temperature compressor with an iced-over visible accumulator. Marble and Tanner’s attention to the co-op’s refrigeration systems earned them an award for best emissions rate from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership.

The Port Townsend Food Co-op has earned the GreenChill 2014 Achievement Award for Best Emissions Rate from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership. This award goes to the partner with the lowest corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate of all the 11,000 partners which includes well-known retailers such as Target, Whole Foods Market, Hanover Co-op stores and many others.

Refrigerants used by supermarkets are harmful to the environment when emitted into the atmosphere; some harm the ozone layer, and most are very potent greenhouse gases. Refrigerants that are commonly used in supermarket refrigeration systems are anywhere from 1,800 to 4,000 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.

“For comparison, our emissions rate for 2014 was 2.6 percent or 12 pounds of refrigerant, said René Tanner, Facilities and Maintenance Manager for The Food Co-op. “A typical supermarket leaks 1,000 pounds into the atmosphere annually. That is because we do in-house preventative maintenance on our refrigeration equipment and catch things early before they become a large problem. We also work with a responsive refrigeration contractor, Mayda Mechanical LLC.”

The EPA’s GreenChill Partnership works with supermarkets to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The Partnership helps supermarkets transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants; reduce harmful refrigerant emissions; and adopt greener refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices.

For more information on the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, please visit Anyone may use the EPA’s climate change calculator for references to put the climate impact of refrigerants into context. It calculates equivalency results for passenger vehicles, gallons of gasoline, forests, etc. Find it at

To learn more about The Food Co-op’s environmental efforts, please read the store’s recently published 2014 Sustainability Report.

Clean Green & Save

April 21st, 2015 by Mindy

cleaning green flowersYou can save money this week on cleaning products in the store. We have several clean, green products to choose from.

To make your own and save even more, see the recipes below made with household ingredients. A nice touch is to add essential oils for fragrance.


All-purpose Cleaner

• 1/4 cup baking soda
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 1/2 gallon water

Floor Cleaner

To clean linoleum or vinyl, combine:
• 1 cup vinegar
• 3 drops of baby oil
• 1 gallon of warm water

Apply using a mop or sponge.

To clean wooden floors, combine:

• 3 cups vinegar
• 3 cups vegetable oil

Natural Disinfectant

• 4 tablespoons vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap
• 3 cups hot water

Pour into a mist bottle and apply as needed.

Bathroom Cleaners

• To clean a toilet, add 10 drops tea tree oil and 3 cups white vinegar into the toilet bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.

• To clean a shower, fill a spray bottle with half water and half vinegar. Add liquid detergent for extra strength. Leave the spray for 30 minutes before rinsing off. (Vinegar is an excellent ingredient for homemade cleaners used in bathtubs and showers because unlike soap, vinegar does not leave a residue.)

• A spray bottle filled with club soda makes a perfectly efficient glass cleaner.
• Remove rust stains with a paste made from water and cream of tartar.

Kitchen Cleaners

For a natural, borax-free dishwasher soap, you will need:
• 1 cup baking soda
• 1/4 c. citric acid
• 1/4 c. coarse salt
• 10-15 drops of citrus essential oil (optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients well in an air tight container. Add essential oil. Mix again.
• To hand wash dishes, use a liquid soap and add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the soapy water.

Oven Cleaner

To make a natural oven cleaner, you will need:
• 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap
• 1/4 organic white vinegar
• 1.5 cups baking soda
• water, as needed to make a thick, but spreadable, paste
• 2-4 drops essential oil (optional)

Remove the racks from your oven. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Paint the paste over the entire surface of the oven (using an actual paint brush works well). Let the paste sit for 6-8 hours, or overnight. The paste should foam slightly. Fill a bowl with clean water and, using a sponge or scrubber, wipe away the paste. Repeat until there is no white residue and all the grime is wiped away.

CHEMICALS TO AVOID (from National Geographic’s Green Guide):

Ammonia: cuts grease Why Avoid It: derived from petroleum and known to cause asthma Green Alternative: vinegar

Chlorine: disinfects

Why Avoid It: lung and skin irritant, lethal if ingested, releases mercury
Green Alternative: vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil

Monoethanolamine: helps cleaners penetrate grime

Why Avoid It: derived from petroleum, irritates respiratory system
Green Alternative: soy, corn, or coconut-based surfactants

Glycol Ethers: dissolve soil

Why Avoid It: causes nerve damage and infertility, air contaminant
Green Alternative: eucalyptus oil

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates: helps cleaners penetrate grime

Why Avoid It: hormone disruptor, damages fish in US streams
Green Alternative: soy, corn, or coconut-based surfactants

Phthalates: synthetic fragrances

Why Avoid It: hormone disruptor, damages fish in US streams
Green Alternative: essential oils, baking soda deodorizers

Triclosan: disinfectant in antibacterial cleaners

Why Avoid It: forms possible carcinogen, builds up in soil and fish
Green Alternative: hot soapy water, vinegar


Beans for Bags – Oct. 2012

November 6th, 2012 by Kathie

A big thank you to Co-op shoppers who donate the nickel we give each time they bring in their own containers and bags! You really do make a difference!

Living Without Plastic – Could You?

November 1st, 2012 by Kathie

Beth Terry didn’t just give up plastic bags. She has attempted to give up all plastic. For the past five years, since 2007, Terry has strived to bring absolutely no new plastic into her life. She comes to Port Townsend at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18 to speak of her experience at the Cotton Building at 607 Water St. The event is free.

“Bringing Beth Terry to town seems like a natural thing to do considering that the city’s plastic bag ban went into effect this month,” said Kathie Meyer, outreach coordinator for the Port Townsend Food Co-op. “And she has graciously waived her speaking fee to come here.”

It was one day, while laid up from surgery, that Terry became personally affected by a photo of a baby albatross carcass, dead from being fed plastic bits by its mother.  It was then she decided, if something were to be done about the effects of plastic on the global environment, she had to start with herself.

Since her “plastic awakening,” Terry went from personally generating almost four pounds of plastic waste per month (yes, she weighed it) to a little over two pounds per year. The average American, she says, generates between 88 and 120 pounds per year.

To keep herself on track, Terry started a blog ( which grew into a book titled Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Her book combines useful information about plastic-free alternatives with personal stories and the occasional rant.

“I didn’t write this book to tell anyone what to do, but as an invitation to join me in this journey of personal and ecological discovery. Sure, in all honesty I do want to inspire you and your friends and family to use less plastic. But more than that, to learn what it is about plastic that makes it the symbol of what Captain Charles Moore (discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) calls the ‘crisis of our civilization,’ and figure out ways to get out from under the thumb of plastic addiction,” Terry writes in her book’s introduction.

Terry walks her talk in every area of her life. She made sure that her book was as plastic-free as possible too.  “Most books are full of plastic,” she writes. “So we’ve stripped things down. The jacket is uncoated, the thread is made of cotton, and the boards and spine are exposed. Our printer even managed to find a plastic-free glue to use. With all that in mind, we assure you that if the book’s not 100% free of plastic, it’s as close as can be!”

Beth Terry’s book is for sale and signing at her presentation. Her appearance is presented with the cooperation and sponsorship of the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Program, Old Consulate Inn, Port Townsend Food Co-op, Port Townsend Public Library, and Jude Rubin, aka the “Plastic Bag Monster.”

For more information, call 385-2831, ext. 309.

How to Shop GMO-Free at the Co-op

October 26th, 2012 by Kathie

Member/Owner Jack Olmsted made this video of the Food Co-op’s SIPS Manager Deb Shortess explaining how to make sure the products you buy at the Food Co-op are GMO-free.

How to Sew a Drawstring Bag

September 16th, 2012 by foodcoop

With the new plastic bag ban coming to Port Townsend effective Nov. 1, 2012, you will want to save on that mandatory nickel charge for a paper bag at the Co-op (for more information about the new ordinance, check out the 2012 Fall Quarterly issue of the Food Co-op Commons, available on Sept. 26). You can make your own double drawstring bags using these simple instructions, courtesy of our amazingly talented graphic artist, Mindy Dwyer. Here is the downloadable pdf of the instructions. These bags can be made in any size, and are also great alternatives to gift wrap for the holidays!

New Recumbent Trike Parking at Co-op

June 20th, 2012 by foodcoop

Recumbent Trike Parking:  In response to member requests we have adjusted our green bike rack along the south side of our store to accommodate parking of larger bikes. A sign is posted that identifies that a 4 foot wide bike parking slot is reserved for such trikes. Happy and safe biking!

The 2012 Food & Farm Bill: What’s going on this week?

May 13th, 2012 by foodcoop

Speak out for a better 2012 Food & Farm Bill!

The House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture is at work on its version of the 2012 Food & Farm Bill right now. (The Senate passed its version just a few weeks back)  Now is a crucial time for Congress to hear from you on what needs to be in the farm bill! The Committee on Agriculture has set up a comment box for constituents to submit their feedback – and it’s open to everyone! To submit a comment (due by May 20) go to this link:Farm Bill Info

May 9 Meeting: Bag It Supporters Please Attend!

May 8th, 2012 by foodcoop

Hey there, Bag It Friends:

Here we go – THIS IS IT. DECISION TIME. Please attend the City Council Special Projects Committee meeting about BANNING PLASTIC BAGS in PT. This committee will make a recommendation to the full council.

Weds, May 9th

4:00 PM

City Hall Chambers

City Hall, upstairs. Enter from WATER STREET SIDE ONLY.

I believe there will be time for public testimony. Council is “anticipating a lot of people,” but not many people know about this meeting. Please make your voice heard! Nothing says “I care” like actually showing up!

PLEASE COME – THIS IS IT. This is a time for serious discussion, so no bag monster theatrics…

Monster hugs, Jude Rubin

Please spread this message to others who wish to BAN DISPOSABLE PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS in PT.

Midori Organic Veggie Starts!

April 9th, 2012 by foodcoop

Begin your garden with organic plant starts! Midori Farms, located in Port Townsend, has given you a head start on your veggies. Many options to choose from available at the Co-op just outside the north entrance. Plant today to harvest early.

Also available are lovely rosemary plants. Ummmmmmm, smells so good!