Waitrose has teamed up with Start, the sustainable living initiative inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, to launch a campaign across its 284 shops, to help people take their next steps towards greener living.
The Start September initiative will feature a selection of eco-friendly products on special offer (a third to a half off selected products) and aims to guide customers who want to live in a more environmentally friendly way.
The campaign runs for a month from 12 September 2012 and claims to put the right information in front of customers while they are shopping in easy to digest language.
Waitrose will also be promoting greener driving during Start September, with a roll out of new electric vehicle charging points at stores across the UK.
Waitrose currently has 16 branches with electric vehicle charging points, mostly in London and the south, and said it plans to roll these out to a further 100 or so more branches across the UK over the next 12 months.
According to the event organisers, YouGov research shows the majority of people care about the environment and want to live more sustainably.
The Start September campaign in Waitrose is not designed to lecture customers, instead Waitrose and Start want to encourage shoppers to take simple, positive steps both through the products they buy and just as importantly, how they use them at home.
The campaign aims to bring Waitrose’s core values, known as The Waitrose Way, to life in store in a proactive and upfront way, to show customers that shopping sustainably is as simple as shopping at Waitrose.
“It’s part of our DNA,” said Jane Clarke, manager sustainability and ethical sourcing. “The way we work with our suppliers, partners, the environment and the communities in which we trade; our message is that being sustainable is as simple as shopping with Waitrose because our teams are already out there sustainably sourcing products and supporting pioneering agricultural research, building branches with the latest sustainable materials and techniques and working to limit waste and our the impact on the environment.
Joey Tabone, director of Start, said: “Start’s underlying message is all about what people can ‘start’ to do rather than about what they have to stop doing and this rings true for Waitrose. Like Start, they also see the sustainability challenge as an opportunity to be proactive and create positive change.
“We also value the practical nature of Start September as an initiative that can actually impact on people’s behaviour. It highlights some of the great sustainable products and ideas that are already available, gives customers an incentive to try out these new products and see what they think, provides helpful information at the right time and also keeps the conversation going about how living sustainably is something that can enrich our lives.”
The campaign will be supported with publicity in Waitrose Kitchen and Waitrose Weekend, as well as online at Waitrose.com and startuk.org and via Waitrose’s and Start’s social media channels, where customers are encouraged to join in the conversation on sustainable living.
Here are Start and Waitrose’s top 10 recommendations on enjoying delicious, high quality food in a more sustainable way:
1. Walk or cycle to the supermarket to reduce your carbon footprint while improving your fitness. Why not take your shopping home in one of our environmentally-friendly cycle trailers?
2. Enjoy more local and seasonal produce. This will help ensure a sustainable future for British suppliers and growers and reduce the journey your food takes from supplier to shelf.
3. Plan your meals in advance and make shopping lists before heading out to the supermarket. This will save time and money as well as reducing food waste.
4. Re-use your carrier bags or buy our Bags for Life to reduce unnecessary bag usage.
5. Use just the right amount of water when cooking or boiling the kettle. If you’re making tea for two remember you don’t need to fill the kettle to the brim.
6. Batch cook and freeze extra portions to save time, energy and reduce food waste. If you’re making a tasty soup or sauce, why not make a bit more and store it in your freezer for a future meal?
7. Recycle food packaging instead of putting it out with the rubbish. Visit Recycle Now and Recycle More to find your nearest recycling centre and the types of materials that may be recycled.
8. Check your fridge temperature is between 1-5°c to make your food last longer and make sure the door seal is effective to save energy.
9. Turn your leftovers into tomorrow’s tasty lunch to save money and reduce food waste. Why not look at our recipe section for inspiration?
10. Convert food waste to compost instead of throwing it in the bin; this will not only reduce waste but it will give you a blooming beautiful garden too. A range of composting products are available at: www.johnlewis.co.uk or via your local authority.
For more inspiration on sustainable living, visit www.startuk.org.