I’m rather impressed with Woolworths at the moment. In the past two weeks alone I’ve spotted three different articles about their latest efforts to become arguably one of the greenest commercial retailers around.

Woolworths green packagingFirstly, according to BizCommunity, Woolworths is ditching earth-unfriendly plastic in favour of sustainably produced cardboard as packaging for their ‘to go’ range of sandwiches.

Even the see-through ‘windows’ won’t be made of plastic any more, instead being created from maize, a renewable resource.

If I ate bread (danged wheat intolerance!), I’d be switching to these eco-friendly goodies in a heartbeat. When you’re done, you could even chuck them in the compost bin instead of sending them to our busting-at-the-seams landfills. Awesome.

Then, there’s the introduction of the company’s own Earth Friendly range of household cleaning and personal care products, which should be hitting the shelves very soon (if they’re not there already).

According to Treevolution, there will be more than 60 different environmentally friendly products to choose from… all made with “naturally derived, plant-based, biodegradable ingredients and contain no petrochemicals, no animal ingredients and no artificial colours”.

Predator guidelinesCertainly, there are already quite a few local planet-friendly cleaning solutions out there already (Enchantrix, Earthsap or Bloublommetjies, for example), but if this will get picky Woolworths clients on board, then all the better!

And last, but certainly not least, is the recent launch, by Woolworths Trust, of a comprehensive set of guidelines called “Predators on Livestock Farms: A Practical Manual for Non-Lethal, Holistic, Ecologically Acceptable and Ethical Management”.

Predator-friendly farming is something I’ve blogged about before, but I haven’t as yet seen much evidence of it, so it’s really heartening to see some real action on the subject.

Woolworths’ commitment to predator friendly meat does not stop with the production of the manual; the retailer is also funding the placement of 10 Anatolian Shepherd guard dogs with sheep farmers around the country. Five puppies have already been placed. Woolworths is funding not only the breeding and training of these 10 dogs, but also their upkeep and feeding for the first year as well as quarterly follow-up and support visits by Cheetah Outreach. (via)

Pretty cool indeed. So, whilst budget might prevent me from shopping at Woolworths exclusively (or extensively), I certainly would buy my occasionally craved bit of red meat from them in future, safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t mangling any paws.

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