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Roxy’s green initiative attempts to effect change in Big Sky

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By Bella Butler EBS Contributor

BIG SKY – Roxy’s Market is leading the charge in Big Sky toward a less wasteful community. Over the last few months, the grocery store, now in its fifth year of business in Big Sky, has transitioned to becoming more conscious of the waste they produce.

The primary change the company has made is shifting from the use of plastics to biodegradable materials. Everything from the grocery and produce bags, to deli items such as straws and disposable cutlery, is compostable. In addition to these, the produce that cannot be sold by the store is transferred to a compost bin provided by YES Compost of Bozeman, where it is eventually converted to soil fertilizer.

The newest implementation in Roxy’s green journey is the utilization of recycle bins located in the back of the store. Josh Treasure, Roxy’s general manager, personally delivers the recycling to Big Sky’s canyon location. Roxy’s also pays to have their glass waste processed and recycled in Bozeman.

“The amount of waste that occurs, not only in the United States but throughout the world, is ungodly,” Treasure said. “We can’t change the world, but we are going to do our best to make an impact the best way we can, and hopefully other people see that, and they want to jump on board.”

And indeed, they have. “The initiative is spreading,” Treasure said, noting that Olive B’s and Lotus Pad are two local businesses that have been working toward using compostable products, as well. He said they hope to see more businesses follow suit.

Roxy’s green initiatives were largely inspired by owner Roxy Lawler herself. Treasure calls Roxy an advocate for the environment, something that goes hand-in-hand with her effort to focus her business around healthy and nutritious products. Lawler and her husband and co-owner, Mike, have put similar environmentally friendly practices in to effect in their two other Roxy’s Market locations in Montecito, California and Aspen, Colorado.

Treasure said that the general reaction from the public has been positive. Despite minor grumbling about a small bag fee that is now applied to transactions, he believes that these changes are making an impact.

“Generally, these [initiatives] are propelled by council mandates or city mandates,” Treasure said, explaining why the unincorporated Big Sky may be behind other communities on this particular front. “We just want to try and propel everything in a positive direction.”

Roxy’s is currently engaging in conversations about larger-scale projects with issues such as energy, but their immediate focus is on smaller and cheaper efforts, like making recycling more accessible and feasible.

Although it is a substantial effort occurring in Roxy’s Market, shoppers will see little boasting and signage about it throughout the aisles. “We’re not really doing this for the PR or for advertising,” Treasure said. “We’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”

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