I started working at the MOM’s Organic Market Alexandria store towards the end of June this past summer. I was so excited at the prospect of getting to work with a company that truly walks the talk of its mission: Protect and Restore the Environment.
As a college student, I was the president of our environmental club, Earth Emerson. Studying at an arts school where students were wrapped up in their personal, creative projects, it sometimes seemed like a hopeless cause. The club was small, predominantly female, and fairly disorganized, but I continued with the group making it my own personal mission to get Emerson students to wake-up and save the planet. I succeeded in promoting and creating change at Emerson College, but sometimes students would just walk right by our tables where we would try to raise awareness. They generally acted like we weren’t even there, unless there was free food. It was disheartening and even frustrating at times, but no battle was ever won by doing nothing.
Working at MOM’s has truly restored my faith in humanity. I am so excited with my newest endeavor as Alexandria’s Environmental Restoration Captain. I’ve been able to come back to my roots, and this time I do not feel like my community is blindly passing me by. Employees and customers come in with their kitchen scraps to compost, items to recycle (often those that are so often over looked and thrown into the trash), and they teach me every time I get a new question about the process of composting or recycling. They truly care about their personal impact on our environment.
While there are still many employees and customers that are learning and slowly adding more environmentally conscious practices into their lives, I am constantly in awe of their genuine interest, concern, and hunger for knowledge on how to start turning their everyday practices around. Just the fact that these individuals are shopping at MOM’s is a huge step in decreasing our environmental footprint. Buying bulk foods decreases the amount of packaging going into the landfill. Buying organic decreases the amount of pesticides used during production, which leads to less run-off and erosion protecting our water sources and fertile lands. Buying sustainably harvested fish and pasture raised eggs and meat is a vote for better fishing practices and ethical meat production. Just being a MOM’s shopper is supporting a small business that cares and gives back, buying carbon offsets and providing waste management services that our local, state, and federal government somehow seem to over look making easy and affordable. By supporting MOM’s customers are able to give back without having to do anything other than their weekly grocery shopping.
So, here’s to you, MOM’s customers, employees, and Scott: Thank you all for restoring my faith in humanity. Be the pebble. Make a ripple. Send it out and let’s keep our amazing community of green-minded individuals growing, teaching, and walking the talk.
Kristen works at MOMs Alexandria.