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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Tips for Greener Holidays: Clean Up!

As the holiday season comes to a close, we want to give thanks for all of the great feedback on our Tips for Greener Holidays series of blog posts. If everyone was taking the steps our readers are, we’d make a huge dent in that stat about North Americans producing 25% more waste during this time of year. It’s so wonderful to know, judging by your comments, that our customers are so environmentally conscious! Now, we’ve talked about pre-cycling, party planning, holiday cards, holiday lights, Christmas trees and wrapping already. If you have implemented some of these tips, you may not have a giant mess to clean up! Here are a few simple things you can do to green up your clean up:
  • Compost your real tree and reuse your artificial tree.
  • Recycle (or store for reuse) your holiday cards and gift-wrap.
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones. I know that they can be problematic at times – if you don’t charge them right before using them, they can slowly lose their charge and not work when you need them. Plan ahead!
  • For regular batteries, please recycle them instead of letting them end up in the landfill. You can find info on how and where to recycle at earth911.com.
  • Did you get a new computer or other electronic equipment? Donate your old stuff! Here in Central Texas, Goodwill has a great program where they take all electronic equipment and try to reuse it…and if they can’t, they recycle it. Who does this in your city? Computers With Causes looks like a really good resource.
  • How many of you got new phones? If you’re ready to recycle your old phone, PDA, cell phone batteries, chargers, or other accessories  -- the Environmental Protection Agency website has a special section all about recycling these items. Don’t forget to double check that your personal data is cleared from the phone before you recycle it!
  • Did you get a gift card? After you use it, don’t throw it away. Bring it to any Whole Foods Market and we will recycle it for you! (Learn about our recycled gift cards).
Okay, I know you all have green ideas too. What other suggestions do you have to help us all clean up the after-holiday mess?

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Lisa S says …

We signed up with a local high-heat composting service this year, so we are either recycling or composting whatever paper we can't reuse: wrapping paper, tissue paper, paper packing materials, etc. Not to mention turkey bones after stock has been made in the crockpot. I would be interested to know though, if shiny metallic paper (for example, lining on fancy envelopes) or metallic boxes can be recycled or composted. I'm assuming not.

Chris says …

Offer an iPhone app that allows u to pay at the register instead of using a debit/credit card. Starbucks is already doing this . Will save money on credit card fees for the merchant. We need to stand up to the big companies who make billions of $$$$ just from merchant fees.

Rose Zapel says …

I don't understand why, at least at my local Whole Foods, the produce dept. has only plastic bags to put produce in. some dry produce would be fine in paper. In the "old days", produce bins has slots where paper bags were placed. I try to use as few bags as possible and yes, I know I could buy the cloth bags you sell but really, I can hardly get my reusable grocery bags back into the car, let alone produce bags. I recycle or reuse the plastic but still, seems not what I expect at Whole Foods. Thanks (but I do love that I can bring the #5 plastic there for recycling so don't stop doing that)

Jennifer says …

I would never want to use a app to pay for things at a register. I prefer people over a machine.

Patti says …

I definitely agree that there should be paper bags for produce. It irks me when people waste plastic produce bags for thick-skinned produce (like oranges) that can (and should) be washed before use, anyway. Maybe if there were paper bags, people would use those instead.

TechUsed Computer Recycling says …

seeing Wholefood's dedication to the environment and recycling is a great thing, we also are thankful for the opportunity to help wholefoods in it's endeavors to improve the environment