Whole Foods Market’s store in Lake Grove has been recognized as the first grocery store in the United States awarded with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and a Three Green Globe certification from the Green Building Initiative.
Why is this noteworthy?
Because commercial buildings consume a great deal of energy and resources. In fact, apart from physical structures built to house small to mid-sized families (from singles to families of 4 or more), most buildings demand a great deal of resources.
From shopping malls with multiple levels of car parking to offices with that same feature to sports arenas that contain thousands of people, it cannot be helped that consumption of resources will take place.
The best we can hope for is that we make those structures as environmentally friendly as possible. Water saving toilets and faucets, motion sensors that switch lights off when no one is around, energy saving LED lights, windows with automated blinds that let in sunlight to create the greenhouse effect in the colder months, and many other features can be installed into newly built structures.
In time, when the collective consciousness gives more focus to the environmental impact that we all generate in our daily business of living, the physical structures that we find ourselves in will be built to suit our environmental sensibilities.
Whole Foods is unique in that its approach to greening itself includes incentives to consumers to do the same. In addition to the eco-friendly practice of sourcing both produce and building material from local sources whenever possible, reducing, reusing, recycling, and using all manner of water and energy saving devices and designs, Whole Foods also offers extras such as preferred parking for customers with Low Emission Vehicles. It’s nice that one doesn’t have to be disabled to enjoy preferred parking spaces. It is evident that Whole Foods is proactively engaged in fostering the growth of not just sustainable retail, but sustainable consuming all around.
Whole Foods accomplishes a great deal more than just reducing its own carbon footprint; in doing so, it helps consumers do the same.