Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op ranks second

Auntie Ruth is green to the eco scene. Read up each week as she weeds through the dirt and unearths new gems of environmental knowledge.

Oh, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, you make Auntie Ruth so proud. Greenpeace recently released a ranking of top U.S. independent retailers based on their commitment to sustainable seafood, and the Co-op ranked second out of all retailers in California who participated in the survey, with a score of 79.3 out of 100. The scores are based on seafood policy, support for ocean conservation and other sustainability measures. The rankings help consumers make food choices that respect ocean ecosystems and consider the environmental impact of fisheries and aquaculture practices. Earlier this year, Greenpeace ranked the largest national retailers, with Whole Foods Market named the highest-ranked with a score of a measly 36.5, which means the Co-op beat all the chains by a large margin.

Ruth loathes coal, and last month she got yet another reason to despise the stuff, with the coal-ash sludge spill in Tennessee. About 1 billion gallons of sludge (92 times more than the Exxon Valdez spill by volume) burst through a dike of a 40-acre holding pond at a coal-fired power plant, covering 400 acres up to 6 feet deep, damaging 12 homes and wrecking a train. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the cleanup will take several weeks, maybe even years, and the whole area could be declared a federal Superfund site. The sludge—containing mercury, arsenic, lead, beryllium, cadmium and other toxins—seeped into the water supply for Chattanooga, Tenn., also affecting the drinking water for millions of people living downstream. Heavy rains may have weakened the dike, but environmental groups demand to know why there was no spill contingency plan enacted to minimize damage.

The Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen has a found a new home, and the shop’s volunteers are hosting a grand reopening to celebrate. The all-volunteer, community-based bike shop moved from its Oak Park location to a more expansive 1,200-square-foot space in Midtown (a small bike shop continues to operate at the old location). The Kitchen had long wanted to expand its operations, and this move had been several months in the making before the group found a perfect spot and signed a one-year lease in November. The grand reopening party starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 10, at the new location, 1915 I Street.