We at the Gardiner Food Co-op & Café truly believe in the importance of reducing our human footprint on the Biosphere and increasing our potential for positive change.  As a Co-op we can do a difference in our operations, with our suppliers and how they operate, but also with you, our members, and how you choose to live.  Every gesture matters, and together we can make a huge difference.  In this section we will keep you up-to-date with what the Co-op is doing to move toward sustainability.


Green Renovations

During the renovation of our space at 269 Water Street in Gardiner, we have chosen to implement the following sustainable measures:

– RESOURCES: We chose to repurpose second-hand materials and equipments whenever possible, use salvaged wood or natural and sustainable forestry wood products whenever possible.  We were fortunate to acquire a large percentage of our equipment second-hand and to receive a substantial equipment donation from the Portland Food Co-op.  We donated, recycled or diverted as much waste as possible from going in the landfill stream as a result of our demolition phase.  We also chose to renovate a retail space in an existing 100 year old building in historic downtown Gardiner, instead of building new, which can be very time intensive, but definitely less resource intensive.

– ECO-FLOORING: The Co-op floor is Marmoleum tiles by Forbo.  100% biobased tiles, marmoleum is a sustainable flooring system that is good for people, good for buildings and good for the environment. To learn more about marmoleum visit the Forbo website or come see it for yourself at the Co-op.

– ECOS PAINT: The Co-op chose to use ECOS Paints because we have the environment and your health at heart.  Claimed to be the world’s best paint, it contains zero VOCs, no toxic solvents, no biocides or fungicides, no toxic anything. Unlike conventional paints, ECOS Paints do not release any noxious gases or any other environmentally harmful chemicals. Ask the volunteer crew that painted the Co-op how they liked working with this paint for the first time, come check out the result for yourself or visit ECOS PAINT for more information.

– ENERGY SAVINGS: In order to reduce our CO2 footprint, we installed LED lighting systems in the store to maximize efficiency.  We also chose to move away from fossil fuel energy systems and are installing heat pumps for our heating and cooling needs.  We have opted for a manually operated dumbwaiter to transport deliveries from the ground floor to the retail space.  The space is also now fully insulated which will greatly reduce our heating needs.

Daily operations

– OUR PURCHASING POLICY: The Co-op will follow the guidelines of our purchasing policy to ensure you that we have given great consideration to the selection of our product offering.  The purchasing policy (final draft being revised now), will focus on promoting local, organic, sustainable, fairtrade products and producers whenever possible.

– OUR WASTE STREAM: The Co-op plans to implement a stringent waste reduction program, in order to considerably reduce the quantity and the kind of waste the store generates.  From having eco and compostable take-out containers for the café, to composting all food scraps and offering a large bulk product section with the option of bringing your own containers to refill, the Co-op will strive to reduce our waste.

– WATER SAVINGS: The Co-op plans to have water saving measures in place like a dual flush toilet and a water saving commercial dishwasher, as well as offering water saving products seasonally like rain barrels.


Do you have a suggestion the Co-op could implement, we want to hear from you!