GARDEN CITY, Idaho — A year ago, Idaho News 6 showed you a local 'zero-waste' grocery store that had just opened.
Founder of Roots Zero Waste Market, Lea Rainey, describes her first year of business up and running as exciting and sometimes boring.
In the first six months open, Roots had a flurry of customers, but with COVID-19, things started to slow down.
"Which was not something we expected, but its starting to pick up again," Rainey says.
Deemed as an essential business, the zero-waste grocer kept open and provided locally grown and plastic-free foods for the community while accomplishing some of their first-year goals.
"We were able to divert about 1.3 tons of food waste that would normally go to the landfill, into a composting system we have on-site," Rainey says. "In total, we only threw away two 30 cubic foot dumpsters of trash the entire year. Which averages out to be about two bags of trash a week."
Through Root's donated glass exchange program, it diverted 1.2 tons of glass from entering the landfill or recycling system.
"We put it back out on the shelves for people to reuse and fill up with things like olive oil," Rainey says.
Throughout the year, Roots has supported 20 local farmers and 180 regional farmers by proving the community with their store products.
"We love the efforts that everyone is going to to try and reduce the harm of plastic pollution and food waste on the environment, and we hope people continue to make it a priority," Rainey says.
Roots have also built a new patio and garden for customers, for anyone to enjoy.