Open Harvest Cooperative Grocery

1618 South Street
Lincoln
NE 68502

Open Harvest Cooperative Grocery

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Open Harvest is a natural and organic retail food store that serves the community of Lincoln and surrounding areas. Open Harvest is a Co-op, which means it is owned by its members. Non-members are also welcome to shop at the Co-op. Open Harvest has been in business since 1975, and focuses on supporting and selling local products whenever possible.

All of the products sold in the store must meet certain buying guidelines, which focus on offering products and containers that are minimal, recyclable, recycled or reduced and biodegradable whenever possible. Open Harvest discontinued the use of plastic grocery bags at the front of the store in January of 2012, and only offers paper. Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags or use a recycled box from the bin at the front of the store. The store recycles glass, tin, plastic, and any other recyclable material for customers, as well as batteries and other small electronic devices such as used cell phones. Any packaging materials or containers used within the store are also collected and recycled. Any food scraps or expired products are put into a compost bin and collected by local growers who use them in their fields.

A section in Open Harvests buying guidelines highlights fair trade products as products they prefer to sell within the store. Fair trade teas, coffees and chocolate are just some of the fair trade products you can find on Open Harvest's shelves.

Open Harvest sells organic varieties of food over natural foods whenever possible. Last year, 51% of the foods they sold were certified organic. Open Harvest has to consider price and availability when deciding what to stock the shelves with, and sometimes natural foods are the only option. All foods that are labeled natural sill get an ingredient inspection to ensure they meet the buying guidelines.

Open Harvest encourages customers to re-use containers whenever possible, and Open Harvest employees try to be as green as possible in their practices. Customers can bring in their own containers to fill with bulk products, this includes used egg cartons to fill with eggs sold in bulk. Boxes are saves and put at the front of the store where customers can access them to pack their groceries into to save a bag. In the office, recycled materials are used whenever possible including rechargeable batteries, recycled paper clips, and recycled paper. Also, paper that has been printed on one side is saved and they re-print on the other side to cut down on total paper usage.

In 2012, Open Harvest recycled 30 tons of product. The breakdown was: Office Paper- 7,400 lbs, Cardboard- 45,000 lbs, Magazines- 100 lbs, Newspaper- 700 lbs, Phone Books- 100 lbs, Pallets- 1,000 lbs, Aluminum-15 lbs, Tin- 800 lbs, Plastic- 1,300 lbs, and Glass- 3,600 lbs. Last year we collected 10.4 tons of compost.

Open Harvest shows documentary movies the first Saturday of every month and distributes a bi-monthly newsletter that focuses on environmental and food issues.

402-475-9069

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