HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - When shoppers bring a reusable bag to the Keweenaw Co-op the surrounding community benefits. The co-op takes the money it saves on buying single-use bags and donates it to two organizations a year.
"The reason we started this is because we believe in sustainability and we felt like there was a community need for it. So when we find those two groups, organizations, or companies that believe in sustainability we want to help them out," said Todd Gast, Marketing and Outreach Manager for the Keweenaw Co-op
Since the program's creation nearly nine years ago, the co-op says the number of customers who bring their own bag has gone up, meaning the co-op is making bigger donations.
"We generally over a 6 month period can raise somewhere between 700 and 800 dollars, which is great for a small organization or company who is really trying to do good in our local community," added Gast.
In the second half of 2019, the co-op raised $716 for the Sustainability Film Series, a program at Michigan Tech that brings documentaries and educational film screenings to the campus.
"Our goal was to bring together different parts of the community to discuss important issues and to provide some background prior to that discussion. At each film we have an expert, somebody who is knowledgeable in that topic, to facilitate the discussion," said Joan Chadde, the Coordinator for the Sustainability Film Series.
The money donated to the film series goes a long way in helping them afford to put on the viewings.
"People think 'oh films they're cheap, I buy them and watch them on Netflix for only $10.', but we have to purchase a public screening license and these can cost between $250 and $500, so it gets pricey," said Chadde.