Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Let's Clear The Air With Each Bite

Let In your opinion, which of these is the most impactful Earth-friendly effort? Take our poll on green efforts and see how your thoughts stack up with others. From sky-high energy usage to a floating island of trash twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean, it’s clear we need to do a better job taking care of our planet. Earth Day began in 1970 as a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment—from the rivers and lakes to our land and air—and the need for action is just as strong today. Every one of us can make choices that will help our planet. And at Whole Foods Market, we believe that goes for companies, too. In fact, we have long believed that companies have a responsibility to be conscious about their impact on the environment, and we’re happy to lead the way with big commitments company-wide and small actions by passionate team members in our stores. After all, what we put on our plates goes way beyond food. Clear Air Let’s clear the air—and the water and the soil—with every bite Whole Foods Market was the first major retailer to offset 100% of our energy use with wind energy credits, so every time you shop with us you are helping to support clean energy. Thank you! Your shopping vote also supports a vast array of other green initiatives in our offices and stores including green building, energy efficiency projects, solar power, fuel cells, recycling, green mission teams, organics, paperless ordering, recycled paper, shared transportation, biodegradable food containers, composting, efficient appliances and more. Have we found solutions for reducing or eliminating every aspect of our environmental impact? Not yet. But we work on it every day. Learn more about what we do. Let’s reuse our bags Around the world, more than one billion single-use plastic bags are handed out each day. A 15-year-old tree produces just 700 paper bags. Paper or plastic is no longer the question. Reusing shopping bags significantly reduces both emissions and waste. At Whole Foods Market, we discontinued providing plastic bags at our checkouts, and for decades we’ve offered re-usable shopping bags and given you money back at the register every time you re-use a bag. Let’s not make waste On average, each of us can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by cutting down our overall garbage by just 10%! At Whole Foods Market we make it easier to lessen waste related to food, including encouraging all of us to: 1) Create each meal from as many whole foods as possible because the more whole the food, the fewer resources are used to get it to our plates; 2) Shop from our bulk bins to reduce packaging and waste because you select only the amount you need; and 3) Choose products from companies that use reduced or recycled packaging. Get more ideas for things you can do. Remember: Every bite has a story. Your conscious food choices make a world of difference. Learn more at Let’s Retake our Plates.

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screwdestiny says …

I think I'd actually remember my reusable bags every time if I didn't have any other option.

Sharon says …

I make it my responsibility to continuously learn (and teach)about proper nutrition and carbon foot-printing. I've taken my children on "Field Trips" to Whole Foods, They assist in selecting the ingredients for weekly meals and help in the preparation. I forward the Whole Foods newsletters to their personal e mails and have implemented a household "gone green" initiative. They have become fully behind and very excited about being part of the green, natural and local movement. I see them decline plastic bags at retail establishments,I hear them talking about the concepts with their friends, their stainless steel water bottles are packed in their back packs each day.Education is a life long thing and is something we should be proud that gets past from generation to genertion.

Kristine Chan-Lizardo says …

There are two ways that Whole Foods could have a huge impact on food-related sustainability: require efficient water usage from their agricultural vendors and efficient transportation energy-use from their deliveries! 80% of the U.S. water usage is for agriculture, and that water use would be dramatically decreased with currently available water efficient irrigation technologies. Agriculture businesses might not be motivated to upgrade their irrigation systems on their own, but maybe a requirements by their major customers, like Whole Foods, would help incentivize them? Similarly, delivery of fresh produce is extremely energy intensive. 78% of the greenhouse gas emissions in freight transportation comes from trucking, and we've all seen those big trucks pulling into Whole Foods with their deliveries. Purchasing locally is a great start, which I know some Whole Foods stores try to do. Using efficient shipping vendors is another approach, and not just cost-efficient, but energy-use efficient vendors. There are retailers out there who join the EPA's SmartWay Shipper program to demonstrate their commitment to reducing the impact of transporting goods on our environment. I would love to see Whole Foods listed among those companies.

Virginia Scruggs says …

do you provide biodegradable plastic bags?