Environmental Pledge

At Dawson’s Market, we know that a business can inspire others to take a positive roll in protecting the environment. This means that every action we take needs to cause the least amount of harm possible to the environment. Because of this commitment we have developed an Environmental Pledge that states a clear promise of what you can expect from us.

Because of this commitment, we have developed an Environmental Pledge that states a clear promise of what you can expect from us.

Our Environmental Pledge: At Dawson’s Market, we realize that our actions directly impact our community and environment. It is our goal to establish new strong environmental standards.

We make every effort to bring awareness to environmental issues and more importantly, practice what we preach. We strive to reduce our waste, recycle and compost everything we can, support alternative modes of transportation, and incorporate green building methods into our store. Being a sustainable community partner is something that we owe to our planet.

Sustainable Practices:

By staying true to our Environmental Pledge, we are able to make conscious decisions within our community and farmland that greatly reduces our negative impacts on this earth. Listed below are those efforts we make inside and out of our store to ensure this pledge:

Buying & Sourcing Local Products
No Plastic Bags
Recycling Efforts
Food Waste Reduction & Donations
Environmentally Friendly Building Materials
Store Signage

Buying and Sourcing Local Products:
By purchasing goods directly from local farmers and producers, we’re able to greatly reduce transportation miles from the farm to your plate. Besides the many economical advantages, buying locally also allows us to develop strong relationships with these farmers to ensure clean growing practices, sustainable soil treatment and animal welfare. We’re strict on labeling correctly, thus when you see a local integrity pin, you can be assured that the local product is from within 100 miles.

No Plastic Bags:
We believe that “paper or plastic?” is the wrong question. It’s time to start asking if our resources, our environment, and money should be depleted every time we shop. Although paper bags still use natural resources, the raw material is far easier to recycle and more likely to be used again. All of our paper bags are made from 100% post consumer recycled paper.

Furthermore, for bringing in and using your own reusable bags we will give you 10-cents back per bag used. It’s our bag credit program and it’s that simple.

Recycling Efforts:
From our break rooms to our offices, recycling stations and bins are easily available. We separate bottles, cans, and especially dry paper. Stations are clearly labeled throughout the store and used by stewards. Stewards are also required to have their own coffee/drinking container so that paper cups are not used. For larger items, such as the many cardboard boxes we go through, we flatten each box and then put it through our cardboard bailer. These cardboard boxes are then taken away to be recycled and used again.

When it comes to customer recycling, we make it as easy as possible. Large recycling stations are located in the store and outside of the store in the dining areas. Bins are clearly labeled so that we reduce the amount of material thrown in the wrong container.

We know that businesses have the ability to inspire others to take a positive roll in protecting the environment – meaning every action we take needs to cause the least amount of harm possible. As a food-producing business, we put every effort in reducing the amount of food waste that we create. From our deli and kitchen to our produce department, we try and eliminate food thrown out to traditional landfills. In partnership with Maryland’s Compost Crew, the majority of our organic food scraps and food waste are composted to rebuild stronger soil in the community. The Compost Crew is an at-home pick-up service, serving Montgomery County and Northwest DC. For more information on how you and your family can use their at-home services, visit their website.

Food Waste Reduction & Donations:
Grocers have the ability to sell lots of food. Unfortunately, they have the ability to produce a lot of food waste at the same time. What doesn’t sell is typically thrown out. We tackle this issue with a few easy steps to greatly reduce food waste.

  • Quarter Bin Program: Goods that have been taken off the shelf due to a nearly expired date or items such as a bruised apple are offered to our stewards for the cost of 25-cents. This greatly reduces the amount of goods that are thrown out.
  • Food Donations: We partner with organizations for food pick-ups on a regular basis. Whether used to feed the homeless, the hungry, or the animals at a local park, Rockville non profits are welcome to contact us at any time and ask for donations. The less waste we produce and the more we can help our community, the better.

Environmentally Friendly Building Materials:
We work closely with architects and builders to source locally and reclaimed materials and recycled woods. We incorporate visually interesting elements like recycled glass into our concrete countertops at our coffee bar and customer service station. Materials are purchased based on their durability too, not just their “green” image. This often is a simple, longer lasting, more efficient way to be sustainable.

Commercial spaces, especially retails ones, require a lot of light. Retailers almost always want their product to stand out, and often large amounts of lighting are used to do this. We take a different approach to lighting our store by choosing bulbs and fixtures that are either LED or high-efficiency, so that we can get a longer life out of the bulb with using much less energy.

In an effort to continually help and encourage alternative means of transportation in this city, we reward those individuals that arrive to our store using environmentally friendly methods. We call it our Envirocredit, and it’s pretty simple. If you get to our store by walking, riding a bike, taking the bus, skateboarding, rollerblading, skipping, running, or even walking on your hands, we’ll take 25-cents off your purchase. It’s as simple as that.

When you check out, just mention to your cashier how you got to our store. If it fits the Envirocredit description, we’ll take 25-cents off your entire bill. We also offer large amounts of bicycle parking outside of our store and plenty of room for scooter and mopeds.

Store Signage:
We see our store signage as being the first step in customer education. There’s plenty to tell in this store and when a steward isn’t available, our signage has to step up to the plate. But how can signage be considered “green”?

If you go to any major grocery store, you’re likely to see large, glossy vinyl banners hanging from the ceilings and walls, showing color rich photos of happy cows and fresh fruits. Although these banners may look nice, the material they’re made of may negatively impact our environment. Then, once these banners and signs are ready to be updated, they’re usually not recycled.

The majority of our display signage is made locally by hand using reclaimed woods and chalkboard. Using a chalkboard material allows us to repeatedly change what’s on the sign and continue its life, rather than throwing it away. It may not be an issue that you immediately think of but it’s something we have to consider everyday.