Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

80 Comments

Comments

Lisa Griffin says ...
Why use biodegradable trash bags? Go without! We quit using kitchen/bathroom trashbags over a year ago, we empty the trash into our outside can and wash the inside cans as needed (about once a week). We've not missed them! The biodegradeable bags will only degrade rapidly if exposed to air, covered with tons of garbage in the landfill it doesn't happen, so they are really no better than other plastic bags if they end up in the landfill. I gave reuseable shopping bags as gifts this year also - small ones that fold into their own stuff sack, clip onto a purse or backpack - the kids loved them! (available at reuseablebags.com).
01/05/2008 7:00:40 AM CST
Lisa Griffin says ...
On another note, if Whole Foods is going to use compostable containers at the food bar (which I applaud), why not provide a trash bin to put them in? If they are put in a bin with a plastic lining, which they are at the store in Louisville - how are they going to decompose? And, when are all Whole Foods stores going to do away with plastic bags, including produce bags?
01/05/2008 7:03:39 AM CST
monique gordon says ...
I had a problem with one of your green bags: it tore at the seams after first use. Once it was replaced the seams where the handles were suppose to been reinfores tore. I purchased a canvas bag to solve my issue and ended up using the green bag to dispose of trash on trash day.
01/06/2008 9:25:48 PM CST
monique gordon says ...
greener life- I reuse the mesh bags that fruits and veggies come in by first removing UPC label and bagging my fruits and veggies in them when shopping. Second, we also reused the mesh bags for wrapping gifts (wrap gift in newspaper decorate then place in mesh bag and tie with reusable ribbon.) Third, place soap in bag, tie bag in knot and use as loofah
01/06/2008 9:33:39 PM CST
Barbara Rubin says ...
Green doesn't always equal 'healthy' I would like to bring to the attention of the readers and WF executives that many WF customers that I know cannot go into some of your stores at all and many more may be lost in the future. People going to WF go out of health necessity or health consciousness. Certain practices make it impossible to benefit from the wonderful array of products sold towards that end. Many of your stores use conventional pesticides on the premises, often outdoors and some, indoors. There is no such thing as being a certified 'organic' food store when pesticides are in the vicinity. The drift, even from outdoor application or indoor use in 'the back rooms', is sufficient to contaminate the goods on the shelves and produce aisles. There are a wealth of alternatives to conventional pesticides and it is imperative that WF explore those if you are to lead the food industry in organic and sustainable practices. I recall becoming very ill years ago when pesticide foggers were used in my local NY store. I was disabled from pesticide poisoning shortly before that happened and never expected to encounter those chemicals at WF. Secondly, the World Health Organization and every environmental group knows that wood smoke is a hazard to the respiratory system. With over 38 million Americans having lung problems (asthma and COPD), the presence of 'smokehouses' inside of WF stores (like the Ann Arbor MI locale), will absolutely bar many people from entering. I have seen many of your customers dragging oxygen tanks inside, others with masks or using inhalers - you cater to those with health problems but such practices are making access less and less possible. The disabled and elderly have little money to spare. If we are to buy healthy food, we cannot afford to hire people to shop for us as well. Surely you can sell smoked meats to your customers without their breathing in the fumes created in the process. Lastly, I would urge you to use shrink wraps and/or glass cases to exhibit your scented candles and fragranced products. Many of us with lung problems have to avoid buying our vitamins at your locations because the personal care products and household items are producing fumes which bar us from being anywhere near those aisles. The combinations of scents confuse selection in any case, and also magnify the adverse effects upon consumers. Even essential oils are often combined through the use of solvents (like hexane) and the oils themselves are so concentrated as to comprise irritants. Synthetic fragrances are very well known to contain toxic ingredients, never revealed on the labels. Reducing the burden here would also maintain your reputation as a 'healthy' place. I hope you will take these recommendations seriously. You can even engage a toxicologist to assess the degree of drift and intensity of pollutants created by such practices. I assure you that the results of attending to these problems will increase your profits and reduce worker rates of illness. I spend a hundred dollars each week in your stores as you sell the only foods I can eat given my own medical condition. The idea that I would have to shop elsewhere for inferior products is a shame, should my local stores follow these practices. Thank you for your attention. Barbara Rubin
01/06/2008 10:53:52 PM CST
Jami Nato says ...
This year I’m going to not only unplug my electronics, I’m going to unplug my life. Every time I use some electronic device, I will unplug it after I use it—the TV, hair dryer, microwave, lamps, etc… Those 2 seconds of extra time means a better environment and a lower bill. On that same note, I’m going to unplug from being over busy. When I’m bored or have free time, instead of wasting my energy and the environment’s to watch TV or get in the car to go shopping, I’m going to go on a walk, spend time with my family, do something creative, and exercise my brain—instead of my wallet.
01/07/2008 9:00:30 AM CST
cndy says ...
We use beach bags to take our groceries home. They are great for this purpose. After summer they go on sale at most of the stores like kmart, target, walmart, etc. By doing this we save a tree or two and we don't polute the earth with plastic. Also we use large backpacks for just picking up a few things. Think green!
01/07/2008 10:44:36 PM CST
Latisha says ...
Hello, Whole Foods friends. I just wanted to add a special little joy to the world. My partner and I have stepped up our efforts to recycle and found a great way to bond, enjoy nature and recycle as well. Every two weeks or so we drop off our recyclables at Montrose Harbor recycle bins, usually located right next to the normal trash bins. We enjoy the sunrise on the lake, the birds and the gifts that the universe gives us. This time is special to us and within a short distance from our home, so it has become something special to us and important for the environment as well. Sincerely, happy whole foods customer! Latisha
01/08/2008 9:06:47 AM CST
monique gordon says ...
I made placemates as gifts and wrapped gifts w/in placemetes. I also made bookmarks from old cards and photos and mail those as xmas greeings cards. For storage I reuse food jars.
01/08/2008 9:51:07 AM CST
Tracie Isgrig says ...
I use the plastic bags that I currently have to wrap and cushion christmas ornaments in after the holidays. I've been re-using some of the same ones for 5 or 6 years.
01/10/2008 2:05:16 PM CST
monique gordon says ...
I goot to recycling every 1st and 3rd Saturaday of the moth in Philadelphia and people hang brown shopping bags on the gate. I collect dozens to dispose of leaves, If they are out of brown bags I purchase the tall brown bags @ Super Fresh or Home Depot for trash. I wrap garbage that can't be used for compose in newspaper like a meat packer packes meat. We do not use plastic trash bags, garbage bag, china etc.
01/10/2008 3:50:27 PM CST
Kathy Hill says ...
Used fabric-softener sheets are good to use for stuffing quilts, etc. or for dolls, pillow-corners, etc.
01/12/2008 10:34:48 AM CST
Cathy Benedetto says ...
We have to bag our trash - not just throw it in the trash can. I use bags from the grocery store. How do four plastic grocery bags compare to one trash bag bought specifically for the one use of tossing out the trash?
01/12/2008 7:32:09 PM CST
Walt says ...
My wife and I are also trying to live green through extensive use of compact fluorescents, front-loading washer and dryer, cloth towels in the kitchen, etc. But I'm wondering if anyone beside me is recycling all those plastic shopping bags? I mean, if only one out of two shoppers took the time to return the bags to the stores, we'd save 250 billion plastic bags from being produced in the first place!! Unfortunately, the closest WF store is two hours away, so we can't shop there regularly. Nevertheless, it seems to me that for the overwhelming majority of grocers still issuing plastic bags, most seem to provide a way to recycle them, but nearly nobody does. Shame on us. Canvas totes are great, but since you're already hauling multiple bags back to the store, bringing back plastic bags seems just as easy to me. My net (bag) impact on the environment is zero as they don't end up clogging drains and adding to the blight of the landscape. Am I missing something?
01/14/2008 10:29:39 AM CST
Mo Stoycoff says ...
My new year's resolution is to revive the time-honored tradition of using cloth handkerchiefs. I already use cloth napkins and hand-towels. But, with my allergies, I was using a lot of kleenex, which is made from virgin wood and contributes too much to landfills (which are 40-60% paper products, depending on which study you read). Unless you use the scratchy recycled kind, which I don't like. So I've brought back handkerchiefs. And before you cry "germs!" I should say that I do not reuse the same one over and over throughout the day. I bought a large batch of lovely antique hankies that I fold up and put in a cloth bag after use, and the whole bag goes in the wash when I'm done. That's slightly more wash to be done, but worth the trees it will save. Mo
01/17/2008 10:10:59 AM CST
Fsavarick says ...
There is a great differece from merely recylcing your plastic bags at the store and using canvas ones. To maufacture new plastic bags they are usuinf petrolium and energy and to recycle energy is also being used. Why not just go with the canvas tote? I have also heard but wondering if anyone else would know that our plastics that we cannot recyle are shipped to China and it affects the workers health who have to use these materials for howerver they use them. So best to go with canvas.
01/17/2008 11:39:27 AM CST
Natlie says ...
My 2008 resolutions: no bags, no plastic bottles for water or juice, and no styrofoam and triple plastic wrap for meats and fish -- bringing newspaper (weekly circulars) for that, trying something new. When I tell store clerks: "No! I don't want any bags! Here, I have my own!" I don't get stared at like I'm a terrorist so much any more, and it helps to pipe in "My New Year's Resolution." This year, so far, I've gotten much better response. It's a bit of work to keep the shopping supplies organized and in the car, but it's become a habit. Love having less and less trash. Really enjoy the water filter at our local WF store, I bring glass 1 gallon jugs for refilling, water tastes great! With the reusable bag refund, cuts cost to 45 cents per gallon water. THRILLED that WF's is phasing out plastic bags. People will stop being "lazy" and start getting creative about shopping bag methods.
01/22/2008 1:58:04 PM CST
Frances says ...
We've used cloth napkins for years at home - I bought a bundle of dishcloths and those are good for years, and easy to wash. When they finally wear out and get "holey" I put them in the rag basket to use for washing the car, etc., and buy new ones. What I've been working on since the new year is this: we recently adopted a two-year old lab from the animal shelter, and she and I have been taking a walk every morning. We walk 2 -3 miles, and I pick up all the cans, glass and plastic I find to bring home to put in our recycle bin. Frequently, I find a plastic bag while we are out, and I can put all my recyclables in it, and then put the bag in with the others I return to the grocery store for recycling. I always use string bags when I shop, but I take all other plastic bags, like newspaper bags and bread bags, back for recycling.
01/22/2008 4:59:55 PM CST
tina says ...
Me and my environmentally conscience friends share the same problem: forgetting to bring our reusable/canvas bags. So I propose WF implements these simple motivational tactics for these customers to encourage the use of reusable/canvas bags. (1) cash back or say...a 3-5% discount immediately (2) a card that receives a hole punch each time you bring your canvas bag to the store, after 5-10 visits, you are rewarded with a discount or cash back (3) a book of coupons as a reward for bringing the canvas bag. What do you think Mr. Whole Foods?
01/22/2008 6:09:50 PM CST
Crystal says ...
I too wrapped some gifts in reusable shopping bags. The Whole Foods "A Better Bag" had a fun holiday look to it. I will also be giving Whole Foods gift certificates, as I know some of my family members shop there.
01/23/2008 7:33:26 PM CST
Steven says ...
Great decision to ban plastic shopping bags by Earth Day 2008! Hopefully you will influence other retailers to follow suite (like you did with organic foods). I'm promoting your store and your decision on my blog. Check it out!
01/24/2008 2:20:22 PM CST
gerrie sammak says ...
How about ringing in the New Year with napkin rings? Before the dawn of the paper napkin our fore families used cloth napkins. Rather than washing the napkin after every meal (a waste of energy and time) each family member had a napkin ring to put their lightly used napkin into after their meal. The cloth napkin was used over again until it actually needed washing. You'll often find antique napkin rings that are monogramed so that the owner knew what napkin was theirs. Bring back the napkin rings to your family dinners-the cloth feels much better and you save the trees and landfill space.
01/25/2008 8:08:03 AM CST
Jeff Daly says ...
I am trying to reach your purchasing dept buyer for the BIODEGRADABLE Bags. I have these for the POS counteer check out, Kitchen trash and Lawn & Leaf. In about 120 days I will have the BIODEGRADABLE diapers as well. This is Completely Green! It starts out as recycled plastic then it has a mixture blended with the bag. THE BAGS ARE COMPLETELY GREEN, BIODEGRADABLE AND ENTIRELY COMPOSTABLE IN 60 - TO- 90 DAYS! This can be the resolution to eliminating the plastic bags. The bags have been FDA tested & approved. Please pass this e-mail on to your purchasing agent. Hopefully I will hear from you soon. Respectfully. Jeff Daly
01/28/2008 1:38:53 PM CST
Steve says ...
Well, Jeff Daly---I wish there was a way for me to contact you, for I am a big fan of these other biodegradable kitchen bags I buy from my local market, and I'd like more information on your bags and diapers. I have reviewed other Earth-friendly products, and I would love to review your product on my environmental blog and give you some free press.
01/29/2008 11:15:17 AM CST
Lynn Murphy says ...
It is so exciting to see such awareness building regarding plastic - all of which ever made is still on the earth..........Please take a moment to go to the following website to read the article -- page two regarding the sea turtle was particularly illustrative to me. Then send it along to everyone you know. (also bagit.com is a great resource for compostible bags of all sizes -- and they do decompose!) The web address is: http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/travelleisure/Our_oceans_are_turning_into_plastic_are_we.shtml
01/29/2008 1:46:10 PM CST

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