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Education, Sustainability
A new study estimates that more than 250,000 tons of plastic trash float in the world's oceans. Stem the tide with these four easy reusable, more sustainable options:
1. Plastic Grocery Bags
When possible, opt for paper over plastic--or better yet, bring your own! We use paper bags rather than plastic here at Dean's. Paper bags can hold more per bag -- anywhere from 50 percent to 400 percent more, depending on how they're packed. Plus, paper bags tend to have higher recycling rates than plastic bags. Just be sure to resist the urge to double-bag! However, we realize that any use of a disposable products has an impact on the planet, which is why we offer an incentive for customers to bring their own reusable bags -- $0.05 back per bag used. Constantly forgetting your reusable bags? Here are 9 handy tips to help you remember!
2. Traditional Single-Use Plastic Cutlery
Having a party? Don't bash the environment. Replace your traditional disposable petroleum-based utensils and plates with compostable cutlery made from renewable or sustainably harvested plant materials, like Preserve plates, cups and utensils.
 
3. Packaged Goods
According to bulkisgreen.org, bulk foods require less overall transportation to deliver to consumers compared to their pre-packaged counterparts. For starters: they don't require the packaging components that must be produced and transported prior to being filled. Plus, the transportation of bulk product to retailers is more efficient because it can be packed more densely on a truck.
4. Brown Paper Lunch BagsWhy tote your lunch in a frumpy paper bag when you can use a chic, sustainable alternative? We're big fans of New Wave's Litter Free Lunch Box. They help eliminate the 3.5 billion pounds of lunchbox garbage generated every year.  Don't have time to pack your own lunch? Choose places that use eco-friendly to-go boxes and flatware that are made with natural plant-based, sustainable resources. You'll find these options (pictured above) on all of our hot and salad bars--they're 100% biodegradable & compostable.  Want more eco-friendly ideas? Follow us on Pinterest.  

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