Welcome to the Whole Green Blog!

By Archive, March 27, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
In celebration of Earth Month – also known as “April” — we are launching this blog as a way for our readers to share their great ideas about how to keep our Earth strong and healthy. For the past year or so, we’ve invited our fl@vors newsletter subscribers (sign up now) to send us their simple, actionable tips for making the world a “greener” place – with the bonus of a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card if we published their tip in the newsletter. We’ve been inundated with awesome advice and have felt quite guilty that we couldn’t share all of it with our readers. This blog solves that dilemma! By adding your comments here, everyone will have ready access to them. We’ll read them all and then choose a few each month to feature as their own expanded posting on this blog and in fl@vors. If your comment is turned into a feature, we’ll send you a $25 gift card, same as before. And for our first feature, Gina who shops at our White Plains, NY, store has a great idea for reusing plastic bags. She explains “After I use a heavy-duty plastic bag (zip top type) for bread or muffin storage in the freezer, instead of throwing it away, I store the empty bag back in the freezer. Then the next time I purchase bread or muffins for freezing, I reuse the frozen bag. This way I am not wasting the bag and freezing it keeps mold from developing.” Great idea! What else are people doing out there to limit the number of storage baggies making their way into our landfills? Comment here and let us know how you are keeping green for Earth Day and every day. Thanks and looking forward to your comments!
Category: Green Action

 

86 Comments

Comments

Roseann Richardson says ...
I also reuse my zip top bags, especially for bread. When I purchase fresh bread I slice it and freeze immediately, this way the freshness is preserved. When ready to use I take out what I need and wrap in foil and place in warm oven for about 10 min. Comes out just like fresh baked. Then when finished with the bag I fold down the top and let it air dry and fold and store for another bread storage item. I do this with fresh bagels, rolls and also bake small breads myself and do the same. Make sure you mark each package clearly.
04/03/2007 1:27:17 PM CDT
Rosalind says ...
In the March 31, 2007 issue, p.38, of the magazine "The Economist" there is a short article entitled "Plastics of Evil". It relates that the city of San Francisco has just outlawed plastic shopping bags in favor of biodegradable bags made of corn or potato starch. "Outlawing plastic bags in San Francisco alone will reduce oil comsumption by nearly 800,000 gallons a year" the article states, describing as well other significant environmental benefits to result. Apparently other cities - Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Oakland, Berkeley and even New York are exploring similar requirements. Given the number of stores in Whole Foods' system there is the potential for a meaningful environmental impact should Whole Foods introduce this change. How about it, Whole Foods? Great way to set a trend nationally with other markets encouraged to follow.
04/05/2007 5:54:40 AM CDT
Mary Jones says ...
I bought 2 canvas shopping bags which I use on every trip to the grocery store to minimize paper usage. If I have more groceries than my bags can handle, I request they pack lots of stuff in one bag until it is completely full. When I get home, I keep the bag and use it a few more times before recycling. I also bring my own empty jars for bulk products like rice, oatmeal, sugar, nuts, etc.
04/05/2007 6:03:13 AM CDT
kat says ...
I also freeze my bread. For a single person, this is the only way to avoid wasted bread. A short time in the microwave will defrost and warm up slices. I don't know, but I think microwaves are more energy efficient than ovens, does anyone know?
04/05/2007 9:53:57 AM CDT
EK says ...
Before I toss my bath towels in the hamper, I always use them to wipe down the entire bathroom. (Handtowels are especially useful for this). Countertops, toilet cover, faucets, tub and other hardware. This saves a lot of papertowels, and absorbs better than them too!
04/05/2007 11:01:57 AM CDT
Helen says ...
Here's how I avoid using plastic wrap to store pieces of melons and other fruits that I buy whole but cannot use up immediately. I cut through the top third of the melon, scoop out what I need of the inside, and use the top as a lid to cover and protect the rest of the fruit. As the fruit is used up, I cut away rind from the middle of the fruit, keeping the lid intact. To save storage space it can be helpful to stand the fruit on its smaller end, trimming the bottom a little and placing it on a small plate for stability. The stored fruit stays fresh and moist without plastic. The rind and seeds go into the compost, but that's another blog topic.
04/05/2007 11:02:27 AM CDT
ktmay says ...
we reuse our yogurt containers by planting our seeds for a spring/summer garden in them. poke a few holes in the bottom, set them out on the deck in the sun and you're good to go. if we're feeling really frisky, we'll mod podge a little decorative paper on them so they look pretty while also being functional and eco-friendly.
04/05/2007 12:59:28 PM CDT
Triffany says ...
I use film canisters as stamp dispensers. I buy the rolls of stamps (also saves on paper), cut a little slot in the side of the cannister, put the roll in, feed the stamps out and VOILA I have a neat and tidy place for my regular stamps as well as my postcard stamps. Can't recycle them all that way, but it's a start.
04/05/2007 3:14:42 PM CDT
Katie says ...
My community and other neighboring communities extends our curbside recycling programs by offering designated household hazard waste dropoff days throughout the year where residents can drop off harmful commonly used household products that cannot be recycled at the curb like non-reusable batteries, lightbulbs, pesticides, bleach, oil based paints, expired medications and even computers so that they may be disposed of properly and not dumped down drains or buried in landfills where they have the opportunity to contaminate the land and water systems. I make sure to keep a large bag in my garage for my used up one time use batteries and lightbulbs and to take advantage of this community based service every year. It gives me a little comfort in knowing that at least I am not sending my old batteries and lightbulbs to the landfill where harmful chemicals can leech out into the soil and revisit me in a dangerous way--my drinking water.
04/05/2007 5:33:47 PM CDT
Ellen Lang says ...
I bought an Earth Day string bag which will hold up to 40 pounds and lasts indefinitely. It's always in my car and has lots of uses in addition to groceries. This usually gets a great discussion started in a department store, hardware store or any other place where paper or plastic bags may be used.
04/05/2007 10:32:40 PM CDT
Holland says ...
We as a family have adopted many "green" routines. All the light bulbs in our home have been switched to compact fluorescent bulbs. We keep canvas and reuseable groceries bags in the back of the car and use them as much as possible when we go shopping, that includes department stores as well. We only turn on lights in our house in the rooms we are in and when we leave the room, we turn off the lights. We recycle everything that we can and even wash and reuse plastic ziploc bags until they are too broken down or too smelly to use again. We use biodegrable laundry soap and wash in cold water. There are many little things we have done and we hope to be a good example to those around us
04/05/2007 11:35:26 PM CDT
Elaine McCracken says ...
Plain and simple. I wash plastic bags that I use. We have had the same couple of boxes (different sizes) of plastic bags for several years. I also use celophane bags (I got these years ago, also, from Seventh Generation) and wax paper bags from Whole Foods.
04/06/2007 5:16:30 AM CDT
Ricardo Rabago says ...
Here is a cool audio podcast establishing and supporting a local living economy that sustains itself, our community and a healthy environment. <a HREF="http://organicallyspeaking.org/wp/?p=24" rel="nofollow">http://organicallyspeaking.org/wp/?p=24</a> All the best, -Ricardo
04/06/2007 6:06:35 AM CDT
marcee mckay says ...
i have canvas bags that i reuse for groceries but also have the plastic grocery bags (from overflowing my canvas bags) that we fill with anything that can be recycled...so when whe see the plastic bag we know it is all recycling stuff...i have a 3 year old daughter that i am trying to mold into a "green" little girl!...we reuse the plastic containers we get from the hot and cold cases to organize my daughters small toys such as beads, broken crayolas, and jewelry...we have made a piggybank out of the large one...i feel like i can always use those for some kind of storage...we also have a compost which is great to give some nutrients back to the soil.
04/06/2007 8:27:56 AM CDT
Patricia Baldwin says ...
I keep a stack of china bowls,all fitting one inside the other, and a stack of glass plates in the kitchen cabinet. Leftovers in the bowls,glass plate on top and into the fridge. I can see instantly what's in what. I don't worry about hot or cold foods absorbing any nasty carcenogenic molecules that get into our food when we use plastic films and/or containers. This method cuts back on plastic containers in the land fill. Our mothers and grandmothers did something like this before plastic was invented...
04/06/2007 8:57:10 AM CDT
Rebecca says ...
Teachers are always on a limited budget. Think about them the next time you finish a can of soup, an oats canister, yogurt container, etc. Wash them and send them to school with your child. You can even have your child decorate them before sending. Teachers can then reuse them as containers for their classroom supplies. They'll find many creative ways to use what could have been trash!
04/06/2007 9:46:40 AM CDT
Carmen Merriam says ...
I slice and wrap bread in foil before putting in a plastic bag in the freezer then the bag can be reused for anything.
04/06/2007 9:54:05 AM CDT
Victoria Manning says ...
It's a great idea to switch to compact flourescent lighting when possible. However, if you are going to continue using incandescent, try to use as low a wattage as possible. In other words, 40 watt is better than 75 or 100 watt.
04/06/2007 10:39:26 AM CDT
Jan Nichols says ...
I purchased a stainless steel water bottle which I refill, rather than using disposable plastic bottles. Rather than using petroleum-based hand &amp; body lotion, try organic coconut oil, from the baking secion at Whole Foods! That way your skin is absorbing something nutritious instead of toxic.
04/06/2007 2:55:45 PM CDT
Tracey says ...
There are lots of great ideas here. We use shampoos and conditioners that are in bar form to avoid the grade 5 plastics that are not recycable, reuse zipper bags by turning them inside out and washing them as if they were our tupperwear. Our tupperwear is made of glass and a recycable plastic lid. We make our own cleaning soloution with vinegar, water and a natural oil fragrance and reuse the plastic spray bottle. Biodegradable laundry soap I have found smells better and gets our clothes cleaner than the traditional chemical based soaps. We use shopping bins instead of bags and we are currently looking into getting a doggie doodie composter so we don't have to even use the biodegradable bags for the stoop and scoop.
04/07/2007 7:48:51 AM CDT
Vidhu says ...
For dirty kitchen and bathroom counters, I do not use harsh chemicals. I mix some baking soda and lemon juice and leave on the soap spots / lime deposits. Then, using an old toothbrush, I scrub those areas clean. For the other areas, I use old clothes that have been cut and tailored into small square cloth pieces, which can be washed easily. The counters are clean and fresh smelling for a longer time.
04/07/2007 10:06:17 AM CDT
Laura says ...
I am in the process of teaching my son, Jake, that there are several uses for everyday items. Here are some things Jake and I have reused recently: we use egg cartons for painting, coffee cans &amp; cottage cheese containers to store his toy cars &amp; markers/crayons, he has painted many beautiful pieces of artwork on brown paper bags and the backside of gift registries, Daddy's old shirt are the perfect art smock, and what little boy doesn't like a big old box???? Endless adventures for a 2 1/2 year old. Jake is currently learning all about composting. Again tons of fun for a little boy: Throwing leaves, grass, newspapers, and kitchen scraps into an outdoor bin. Slam dunk!! in Jake's own words.
04/07/2007 8:56:50 PM CDT
Sarah C. says ...
What I recently started is I bought a bunch of pretty linen napkins to use in place of paper. That way they just easily help to fill up a load of laundry instead of being tossed each time they are used. And the paper towels that we do keep in the house for those odd moments none of the napkins are washed are 100% recycled.
04/08/2007 8:00:27 AM CDT
Waspy says ...
HI All, When you get home with all our fabulous organics.. you can also keep the yellow jackets away this summer .. without killing them or using harmful pesticides.. I love Whole foods and would like to introduce others who enjoy shopping there to my invention!! It's an enviromentally friendly Wasp deterrent product that really works!! NO yucky bait- no chemicals-just hang it up and watch them take off!! The Original Waspinator mimics a real nest-wasps are territorial so they stay away from it. Simple and easy and above all doesn't kill them.. wasps are benifical insects. thanks for you time. hope you have a chance to check out our product. My sister and I have developed ths product together. www.waspinator.com
04/08/2007 12:45:55 PM CDT
Sharon says ...
After I have finished with those plastic dried spice containers I wash out them out, dispose of the labels and use them for holding different colored pencil crayons, the kids love to see them displayed on a desk or anywhere easy for them to reach them. They look so nice and makes chosing the desired colour easy as pie! It also teaches the kids organization as they love to return them to the right pot ;-)
04/08/2007 3:44:09 PM CDT

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