Well, the new Harris Teeter, LEED-certified and all, is open in Crozet as of this morning. I am glad that, if a big new building had to be built, it is 25 percent more efficient than the industry average. I am glad that 82 percent of the construction waste was recycled, half the wood came from certified sustainable forests, and 30 percent of the building materials came from within 500 miles of the store. I am glad for the water-saving devices and the skylights to cut down on electrical load and the fact that the store is the only one on the East Coast to be certified at the GreenChill gold level for its planet-friendly refrigeration system.
Given that grocery stores are the nexus of so much potentially eco-stupid behavior, it seems appropriate for shoppers at the new HT to honor all those steps in the right direction (and to help make up for the other half of the wood, apparently taken from non-sustainable forests) by not buying the following things there:
1. Flowers from anywhere that isn’t Central Virginia. Seriously. There are enough flowers grown around here to bedeck a million tables.
2. Genetically modified corn and soybeans. Given the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup, that eliminates, oh, three-quarters of the stuff in the store. Sorry.
3. Meat from animals that spent any time at all in feedlots, getting stuffed with genetically modified grain and antibiotics.
5. Fruit tasting of pesticides. Strawberries and peaches, I’m looking at you.
6. Individually wrapped cookies in plastic trays inside an outer wrapper.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Perhaps if these kinds of products were not allowed in an eco-fabulous building, the building could have been smaller, thus saving even more resources. Or we could have just stuck with Integral Yoga. Oops, did I say that?