Oryana has always been a leader in environmental sustainability. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a motto we live by daily and have from our inception.
Two important goals of ours are energy efficiency and ecological responsibility. With these goals in mind, Oryana has instituted the Green Grocer Initiative. These initiatives include reducing our electric, water, and natural gas use, reducing or eliminate food waste, limiting waste from going to the landfill, and reusing all that we can. The model we use whenever possible encourages a circular stream where all waste is utilized to better the environment, such as our composting and recycling efforts. As a Green Grocer, Oryana is leading the way in these efforts.
When it comes to our building, we can also boast about our “greenness.” For starters, we renovated an old building rather than constructing a new one, and utilized lots of salvaged materials in the process. Our recent addition was designed and built using LEEDS protocols and utilized green building techniques including recycled materials such as used patio doors that became the windows in our café, recycled gymnasium flooring which is now the paneling along the café walls, just to name a few of the recycled items found throughout the store.
Our customers can enjoy delicious food using compostable, reusable or recyclable cups, plates, bowls and cutlery and we partner with Bay Area Recycling for Charities to recycle our cardboard, paper, glass, aluminum and compost. We give a 5% discount to customers who arrive at our store by alternative means, i.e. bicycle, carpool,etc. as well as providing incentives for folks to reuse their own bags and containers.
We integrated natural lighting and low flow toilets, as well as low VOC paints, hot water solar panels, and an efficient heating and cooling system and high tech refrigeration saves resources and is saving us money on our electric, heating and cooling bills. Old concrete floors and walls were removed from the old building and are now pavers and benches outside. We collect rainwater from the roof and use it to water the gardens that feature native plants. Our parking lot and driveway base were made from pulverizing existing asphalt.
Our green roof gazebo boasts a rainwater harvesting tank that is manufactured by a company called Rainwater HOG. This is a tank that was designed to be strong and durable. It can be used to hold drinking water in drought prone areas and its walls are very thick so no sun light can penetrate, causing issues with algal blooms. The tank is set up to catch the excess water that is running off of the green roof. The tank holds 51 gallons of water.
The water that will be entering the tank will have passed through the green roof, so in a sense it will have “compost tea” like properties. This nutrient rich water is used in the landscape rather than being lost to storm drains. This is just a snapshot of all that we do here at Oryana. We believe in going the extra mile for our community, our health and our planet’s health.
A few more fun green grocer initiative facts:
- 23KW solar panels installed in 2018, creating 3.5% of our electrical needs with a 3-year payback of our investment (arrays on 3 different roofs)
- We recycle over 100,000 pounds of materials a year
- We bale and sell all our cardboard
- We donate over 30,000 pounds of fresh food to Food Rescue each year
- We maintain a community compost station
- Our gardens are focused on native plants
- New windows are high efficiency
- Heat and AC upstairs are new high efficiency micro-splits
- We use eco-friendly deicers in winter
- We compost all our food scraps
- Outside lights are energy saving LED and onsensor or timers
- Bulk shoppers may bring their own containers
- We reward people for bringing their own shopping bags