We're More Than A Grocery Store!
Ypsi Food Co-op has been “green” since the beginning. Sustainability is built in to our building and our business.
The Millworks Building which houses the Ypsilanti Food Co-op is an example of “adaptive reuse” of a historic urban industrial building. Such re-use allows us to conserve materials, eliminating the need for more resources to be added to the land fill, and lowering the embodied energy of our store. The GREENEST building is one that’s already built.
YFC is in a walkable neighborhood, allowing the community to access our store without driving. Customers (and staff!) who bike and walk to the store lower the carbon footprint of the Ypsi Food Co-op.
We encourage the use of cloth bags and re-use of containers.
42 solar panels provide renewable energy to the store and bakery.
The Co-op has an in-line hot water heaters in our bathroom and bakery.
Our Bakery uses reclaimed urban wood (pallets & downed trees) to fire up our brick oven and bake our bread, pies, sweets, muffins, granola, etc.
Electricity use is cut through the maximum use of daylight through our double pane windows, as well as high-performance lighting and use of CFLs.
Programmable thermostats allow gas furnaces and air conditioners to work less when the store is closed.
Compressors have been moved outside the building to reduce heat and noise inside the store.
A new, high-efficiency furnace was added in 2011.
Motion-sensor lighting is being added to bathrooms and parking lot so that our LED and CFL lighting is only on when needed.
The Co-op outdoor spaces use xeriscaping, with native plants and deep mulch. Xeriscaping needs less water, less maintenance, less mowing, and contributes nectar and pollen as food sources to our local pollinators.
A retention wall was recently built to control soil erosion, keeping it from clogging the city sewers and washing into the Huron River.
Water is captured from the Co-op’s roof into rain barrels for watering Honeybee Alley, a contemplative landscape of nectar-bearing herbs and flowers that nourish our urban honeybees (part of the Local Honey Project). Herbs from the alley are used in our Deli department delights and sold in our produce department.
And our parking lot is porous, filtering the runoff of contaminated water through the soil before it reaches the nearby Huron River.
Second chance product displays
Cleaning or sanding were all that was needed to keep many of our displays out of the landfill: our bulk bins were resurrected from a store in Florida and just needed some elbow grease and love to be a great addition to our bulk department.
New shelving from salvaged urban wood is being designed for our grocery and check-out counters.
Some of our floors are ground down-concrete, a surface which is more lasting than carpeting.
In 2011, as we began our latest store expansion, our dairy cooler (made in Michigan) was disassembled, the old sections re-used, and new sections added, to expand from 5 to 10 doors.
More steps toward sustainability will be added as we expand to serve you better!