January 8, 2009

A visit to Brazil's very first 'green' supermarket

I finally went to visit Brazil's first 'green supermarket': the Pão de Açúcar located in Indaiatuba, about an 70-min drive from São Paulo. It's been something I've been wanting to do since they opened last July.  

You start noticing a few differences in the parking lot even before you walk into the store. There are reserved parking spaces for cars running on ethanol. Next to the colorful recycling bins (becoming so common in markets all around the country), there's a specific bin for batteries and electronic waste.  

At the entrance, a large sign with the amount this particular store has recycled and the amount of energy saved. 

Inside, as I expected, more emphasis on organic, locally-produced products and an exclusive line of bags and household items made from recycled material. Shopping carts made from recycled PET bottles (the same material we are also using in the production of snack displays). You can also feel more natural lighting.  A few signs in different locations explain that some details are not visible to the everyday shopper, that the building has many architectural features designed using recycled material and it was built adopting many energy-reducing practices. There's a simple idea that I liked a lot. A bin placed right after the check-out where shoppers can discart secondary packaging, like for example, the carton box used for toothpaste.

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