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Paper Shopping Bags. They seem pretty innocuous. After all paper is a renewable resource and can be recycled. The problem is that many people do not recycle them, and in reality they actually require plenty of water, fuel, and trees to produce them. In fact, if they end up in the waste stream, paper bags are so heavy and take up so much space that it requires many more trucks to dispose of them.

At Choices, it is our mission to reduce the number of paper bags that our customers use, , and at the same time use the financial resources saved, to give back to our community. Pay It Forward is our plan to do so. 

Beginning April 1, 2019, anybody who brings in a REUSABLE bag for their groceries  will receive a wooden token, representing 5 cents,  to put towards one of three organizations.  The non-profit organizations will rotate quarterly.  There will be less waste, since less paper bags are used, and we can also make a positive impact on our community. Each time you use a reusable, you will get another token.

Over time, it will add up! Let’s reduce waste and invest in organizations that help make Rockford a special place!

Local Organizations

Our Pay It Forward Program is Supporting

April 1st through June 30th

Here are the three local organizations that your wooden tokens can go towards from April 1, 2019 through June 30th. They were chosen because of the positive impact they have on the people who live in the Rockford area.

Severson Dells Nature Center, Unplug and Connect with Nature

Roots & Wings, Community & Youth Development through Urban Agriculture

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, Rockford’s Only No-Kill Animal Shelter

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The mission of Severson Dells is to link people to nature through education and research, in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin area. They promote awareness of the natural world, fostering respect, enjoyment, and preservation now and in the future. They have many programs available to youth and adults alike. Unplug & Connect. Visit Severson Dells!

Roots & Wings

Community and Youth Development

through Urban Agriculture

The main growing location is located in Blackhawk Courts, a property owned by Rockford Housing Authority. 

Roots & Wings grows vegetables using organic and sustainable techniques, while also motivating, educating, and inspiring youth and adults to be leaders and role models. Youth are the leaders of Roots & Wings, with older youth teaching younger kids about farming and food. Youth Leaders sell their produce through the summer through our Roots & Wings CSA, markets, and direct sale to local restaurants and businesses. Our Youth Leaders Program also provides leadership skills, public speaking experience, and the opportunity to earn real money. Leaders attend national and regional youth leadership and urban agriculture events, such as the Rooted in Community conference. 

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary

Rockford’s Only No Kill Animal Shelter

Each year hundreds of animals come to Noah’s Ark in need of a warm bed, good meal, and, most importantly a forever home. Our dedicated staff and volunteers work hard to ensure each animal receives the best care possible during his/her stay.

We receive no government funding and rely on the support and kindness from our community, private donations, bequests, fund raising events, grants and volunteer help to complete our mission.

Noah’s Ark does not euthanize animals to make space to house others. We are a no kill shelter and work to preserve life whenever possible.

Our vision is to secure a safe environment for all companion animals. We envision a world where all people and their pets live healthy, happy, and long lives together.