Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Welcome to the Whole Green Blog!

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!

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86 comments

Comments

Penny Robers says …

We live in NYC and our youngest is in 7th grade, and for a science project he did a presentation on the life cycle of the earth worm. Well to make a long story short, needless to say, today we have a bin of earth worms under our kitchen sink and the little guys, who I hated at first- for the first six months of this “experiment” only my son and my husband would deal with them. Believe it or not but we’ve been doing this now for nearly two years and it works and I’ve become their care taker and keeper along with the rest our family. Why would we do this? Nearly all of our compostable waste from our kitchen goes into the earth worm bin! Everything (well within reason) and newspaper as well. All within weeks is converted to the best potting soil you’ll ever see. We give this top soil to our friends and neighbors for their roof top gardens and indoor plants. So instead of sending literally hundred of pounds of potato peelings, newspapers, onion skins, lettuce (no meats or fats!) to our land fill we convert this into something useful. Believe it or not its also fun!

Teresa Theophano says …

When I absolutely have to get clothes dry cleaned, I reuse the plastic film in which the dry cleaner places my items. Since there's just a small slit in the film for the hangers to be put through, I reuse the film as a recycling bag! I put it upside down in my paper recyling bin, so that the slit is at the bottom, and then tie it up when full. The pieces of paper and cardboard are too big to slip through the slit, so it works perfectly.

Rebecca says …

It's that time of year for picnics, showers, parties and weddings. Save all the invitations that you hang on the frig or cork board. They become great ideas for the next time you throw your own party. It can be an idea for anywhere from a theme to the font style. If you are already married you're bound to know someone who gets married. So, you can then pass on the box of wedding invitations which then become great examples for the bride-to-be. It's recycling in a different way!

Shannon says …

I find that flies and fruit flies can be quite the nuisance in the summer. (Especially in a house with now screens!) Cider vinegar and/or red wine are sure fire fruit fly traps. Use any sort of container with a small opening. The flies can get in, but not out. Keep the container in the kitchen and change daily. To keep away regular flies. Keep a few potted basil plants around in your kitchen. It will keep the flies away as well as give you delicious fresh herbs all year long.

Scott Simons says …

Shannon, does basil really keep houseflies away? If so, that is a great idea! I of course plant it in the garden but I'll try some in the pantry windowsill now.

Cynthia Bottoms says …

I work in a hospital and everyone goes to get coffee,that's alot of paper cups. The manager of the shop agrees with conserving and will fill people's thermos and we are going to try and have the shop sell thermoses. Also I try and give gifts that help save the earth-canvas bags as birthday,mother's day get-well,etc, from envir. web site or org, which I even get in the mail. Great products from a web mysigg.com . Will also try and have a earth day at work to teach people ways of conserving by bringing in various organizations/companies. Cynthia

susi westwood says …

I found that the mesh bags that onions, potatoes and other items come in make handy, lightweight produce bags.Shopping for one, I only want a few onions, apples, oranges, etc. and these bags are perfect. They go in my canvas bags and right back into the car so they'll be there for the next shopping day. If they get soiled they are easy as pie to wash and dry.

Shelly says …

Toilet paper/paper towel tubes have a GAZILLION uses. We don't put a single one in the recycle bin. Besides using them for all kinds of crafts - we use them as seed starts. I cut them down to about 4 inches (TP tubes are okay in their original size), stuff a little newspaper in the bottom and fill with potting soil. Add seeds, water and grow. When ready to transplant, stick the ENTIRE thing in the ground. The cardboard composts and amennds your soil!

Barbara says …

We have a 9-month old who goes through 2-3 jars of Earth's Best food daily. I pass the empty jars on to my mom who sterilizes and uses them to store home-made jams and jellies. These are then sold at a church bazaare to benefit the church's women's group.

Shirley Phillips says …

I drive a Hybrid, grow our own fruits and vegetables, am a vegetarian recycle everything I can, use reusable shopping bags,and generally try not to be wasteful. I have a non profit to help low income folks and the homeless spay and neuter their companion animals (www.animal-ministry.org) because euthanasia of millions of excess dogs and cats in this country is totally avoidable and another wasteful by-product of our society.

Cheri says …

I have a bad habit of flipping on the hot water faucet and waiting for it to warm up in order to wash my hands. Then I thought, what a waste of energy. It doesn't really matter if the water is warm or cold because the soap is what removes the germs. So now I make it a point to turn on the cold water to wash with so the hot water heater doesn't have to kick on and heat water just to rinse off soap! I also make sure I don't let the water run on and on while I brush my teeth, wash my face, hand wash dishes, etc., etc. So much water is wasted otherwise.

Lynn says …

Hi All, The energy saving floresent bulbs contain mercury so be sure to recycle them properly.

Kristine says …

Using plain H2O and one of those microfibre cloths from the $ store does everything from windows to monitor screens, mirrors, glass - just about everything. Rinse in water, and dry.

Kelly says …

I keep 3 canvas bags in my car for any time I need to go to the grocery. Plus, I take my lunch to work everyday in a small canvas bag. I also make sure that I keep my air pressure in my tires correct and that my car's air filter is replaced often. This helps a lot on gas mileage.

JoAnna Jents says …

Organic fertilizers feed the soil, they are made from organic materials, such as corn gluten meal, combined to provide a broad range of nutrients. An excellent organic source of nutrients is composted plant materials, such as grass clippings and leaves. Spread compost on the garden regularly and you may rarely need added fertilizers.

Flissa Mannella says …

I have a great idea that works to rid of bugs! It's Dr. Bronners Peppermint liquid soap. I dilute this with water ~about 1/3 of soap to 2/3 of water~then I put it in a spray bottle. Ants were finding their way into our house. I sprayed the entire perimeter of the house and especially where I spotted the parade of ants. They retreated to a different path, nowhere near the house. It really worked. I have also used this same formula for tiny flies (much like a fruit fly) that come out of our shower drain. I just spray the fly and it dies. I have sprayed many different bugs with this stuff and they never return! I always have a diluted bottle on hand as I use it for all of my sink, tile, tub, shower and commode cleanning. It works wonders and really gets that bathtub ring easily. It's antimicrobial, a disinfectant, earth friendly and doesn't harm me either-I think it's also ph balanced. It actually makes the house smell clean and minty fresh. If I do a load of laundry with a 1/4 cup of Dr. Bronners liquid soap, my laundry room smells nice for days!!! (and so do my clothes*) It's like a natural air freshner just using it.

Lorea Garcia says …

Save drinking water for watering plants. This is my green tip: My family members always some leave some drinking water (filtered and free and chlorine and other chemicals) in glasses after dinner. Instead of throwing out, I gather it all in a watering can and then use it to water plants all over the house. Hope this helps. Lorea

barbara says …

I used several old shirts, overalls and jumpers to make four heavy duty fabric shopping bags. each one is smaller and when not in use they sit inside each other. I made sure I used the pockets inside and outside the bags. They are machine washable and come with either hand carry or sholder straps. I save on plastic and paper when ever possible.

Erin Bice says …

Who wants to iron a t-shirt??!!! I hate when I hang up clothes and they are so wrinkly or I leave them in the dryer and they get wrinkly. I have the best secret to getting out those annoying wrinkles in cotton (or cotton-like) clothes. Instead of wasting energy by throwing already dry clothes in the dryer or busting out the iron (which is annoying for things such as t-shirts). I make a wrinkle-remover spray by mixing about 10:1 water to environmentally-friendly fabric softener in a spray bottle. All you do is just spray the clothes and give them a little tug and a smoothing and they are good to go once the spray has dried. Just be careful of certain clothes that cannot have fabric softener, but for cotton t-shirts it's the best thing!

Melynnique says …

To control ants without using pesticide or chemicals, buy some corn meal in bulk, and put a tablespoon or two near the ant colony. The ants will carry the corn meal back to their nest, eat it and die, as the corn meal is incompatible with their digestive systems. This will only affect the ant colonies near your own home and won't cause any negative reaction inside your home for you or your pets.

joanne seck says …

club soda in a spray bottle with microfiber cloth will make windows and mirrors sparkle with no streaks. try it-you will be so surprised.

Ben says …

I just started using reusable tote bags for my groceries and other shopping trips. You can get some great reusable bags at www.Rejavanate.com. Not only do they eliminate the waste caused by plastic and paper bags but they are made from recycled burlap coffee bags, keeping tons of burlap waste out of our landfills AND the manufacturing process provides employment for individuals with developmental disabilities !!!! It’s a Win, Win, Win !!!

Richard says …

Hello! Just a quick note to introduce myself. My name is Richard Tiland and I am writing you from San Diego. Recently, my partners purchased John Lennon's Merchandise Apparel License from Yoko Ono. This is a monumental occasion because Lennon's license has only been released once in history to make the baby line "Carter's", that by the way is worth $1.8 billion. Our new line is called "Free Karma". We are really excited about creating a dynamic movement that both embraces Lennon's essence while being environmentally conscience and, of course, very fashionable. We will begin this rockstar, green-friendly, couture fashions by creating a HOT reusable grocery bag. We have begun to critique our first production samples and then once the final sample is approved we will then promote them to all of the buyers of the major grocery stores. We are the most innovative, fashionable and socially conscience movement that will gain quick momentum with such a high-profile name recognition such as John Lennon. We would like to team up with a great charity to help a worthwhile cause. Please let me know if you have any. Kindest regards, Richard Tiland richardtiland@gmail.com 206.218.3301 Director of Media Relations

Jessica D'Silva says …

We started our company in August last year as we felt the need for biodegradable products. We have jute grocery bags that are biodegradable and also gift bags that can be used to giving organic gifts from your local organic farms. So visit our website and check out all the neat stuff we have. We will be going online with paypay by mid-August and let me have your comments if there is anything that you would like to see. Again our hope is to help sustainable farming all over the world. Jessica

Jeannine says …

Instead of buying no-stick cooking spray, you can get a reusable spray bottle at Whole Foods or Bed, Bath & Beyond and refill it with any kind of heart healthy oil you choose. (I'm using olive oil.) You will never have to buy another can of cooking spray again and will be saving the environment from the aerosol contaminants, which some of them use to induce the spray action.

kim starling says …

I remove the labels from my jars. At Christmastime I spray paint the lids and fill the jars with some homemade treat. Perhaps cream cheese with almonds and apricots, dressed up nuts, or bath salts (put epsom salts, essential oils, glycerin and, if you want, food coloring in a bowl and mix well).The ideas are endless and having free containers makes the gifts inexpensive.

LSATeacher says …

I keep ALL my bags from Whole Foods: I take them back and re-use them when I shop, of course. My other favorite uses are package wrapping for shipping, coverings for students school books, yard sale sacks(for the plastic ones) and gift bags - just decorate or dress it up, in a GREEN way of course!

Irving says …

Help Save Green Space in Boca Raton by supporting our organization's effort to protect green space that is being paved-over by over-development in our community. The city staff is currently recommending rezoning almost 30 acres of recreational land for the development of 211 townhouses in an already saturated residential housing market. This proposal is not good for the quality of life within our community, so please visit our web site and see how you can get involved to protect our green space.

Irving says …

The referenced web site was not published in the previous blog, so the web site is: www.savebocaratongreenspace.org Help Save Green Space and Help the Environment by Stopping Overdevelopment

whatstinks-notmyworms says …

When you throw things into the garbage, they go to build a mountain/trash heap that is not likely to decompose. So I have worms instead, my food scraps garbage turns into dirt, which I use in my extensive window garden (I live in an apartment), to grow beans and peppers and lettuce and herbs. A worm box ranges from super easy to find or not so hard to make. You can use a big plastic storage container, the bigger the family the bigger the tub. Drill holes on the side and bottom, some to let in air, and some to let out the delicious worm juice (that watered down is brown tea your plants will love!) Buy 1 lb of red worms, you can buy mail order or maybe someones farming them near you. Cost $20 or so. Then you dampen 1 newspaper slightly and mound it up in your box leaving pockets of air for them to hang out in before they create there dirt. Each worm can eat 1/2 its weight in garbage a day! And make dirt! Just feed them up to half a pound of scraps a day -never meat or plastic- , if it gets dry add a little water, keep it dark, and keep a pan under your worm box for your brown tea to drip into! It doesn't stink, It doesn't hurt, and if you have kids you get to teach them all about the life cycle. keep your worms inside a closet, cabinet, coffee table... I'm just telling you how easy it can be but for more information, the internet brimming! Be good to the plantet!

rose says …

i have learned a great way to disinfecant and clean in the house the really natural way. you can purchase grain alcohol and pour some in a little spray . i mix it with half alcohol and half water. i go around spraying everything and i love that it is all natural disinfecant. it will smell like their is liquior around but it is a clean smell and quickly disspates. hope this works for someone !!! i do not use any harsh chemicals...

Allan says …

I'm a single man who relies a lot on sandwiches, therefore, lunchmeat bags from the local grocers. These are lockable bags (not the typical press 'n' close, but the ones with a white plastic "slider" that seals the bags. I've recycled for decades & have often found my garbage bag isn't full, but "odorous" enough to put out for the trash man. With these small bags I have been putting my 'garbage' in them & keeping them in the freezer. When I accumulate several bags of frozen garbage, I put them into the trash with other non-recyclables & in this way at lease DOUBLE the use of these "throw-away" items. These bags are not recyclable at my local grocer who accepts pre-used plastic grocery/plastic bags, and I don't know of any place that accepts them for recycling.

Allan says …

<strong>Allan</strong> I love your site. They really look very nice. The articles provided are long enough to provide great content but not so long as to be totally engrossing, if you know what I mean.

PATRICIA says …

I USED VINEGAR AND POURED IT OVER A HUGE ANY COLONY IN FRONT OUR HOUSE. SOME DIED, THE NEXT DAY, THEY WERE ALL GONE! I RE-USED NUTELLA IN GLASS JARS AS BABY FOOD STORAGE, THEY COME WITH A TUPPERWARE-LIKE LID TOO. SAFER INSTEAD OF PLASTIC.

Caitlyn Randrup says …

I reuse everything! If I purchased something and it was put into a paper bag. I use that paper bag as my garbage bag. That way I'm not using some plastic one. I even try to not use ziploc bags. I have plastic containers that I store all my food in that is washable and reusable! Another great tip is to use your empty cans as pencil holders or planters for small plants. I recycle all my paper and all my plastic. I use old newspapers as wrapping paper and I use it to line drawers if I need to. The thing is, if you can use it again, then use. I also make sure to have my canvas bags handy when I go shopping!

Paula says …

I've been washing plastic bags used for food, and turning them inside out to dry for decades, ever since I watched my grandmother do that in the 1960's. I wash and dry them and use them again many times.

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