Give an Even Better Gift Card

Since the gift card program started here at Whole Foods Market® we’ve been concerned about the impact our cards may have on the environment. In our last blog post on the topic we talked about our efforts to find a more environmentally sound substrate for our Whole Foods Market gift cards to be printed on. That was over two years ago. I think it’s time for an update on our progress! After moving from virgin plastic to 50% recycled plastic to 85% recycled plastic to 100% recycled plastic (Yeah!) I’m excited to announce that we’re stopping production of new cards on plastic altogether. Instead, our new cards are made with alternative substrates including recycled paper and wood from responsibly managed forests. Our new paper cards are made with 50% post-consumer recycled and Forest Stewardship Council certified material. Some advantages of these paper cards are a reduced carbon footprint, they’re recyclable and compostable and they require less energy to produce the material. To close the gift card life-cycle loop, we accept spent and unusable gift cards at our stores for recycling. To date, our team members and customers kept more than a quarter-million gift cards out of landfills by recycling them. If stacked flat, this would be the equivalent of a sixty-one story building! This doesn’t include the many thousands of cards that are re-used by our stores again and again before being recycled. Our stores are also happy to recycle any plastic cards, even spent gift cards from other retailers. The way we see it, the more we can keep out of landfills the better! We know that the new substrates of our paper and wood cards are not perfect. But we feel that we’re moving in the right direction as we continue to hunt for solutions that require fewer materials, have smaller carbon footprints and are easier to recycle. The new paper and wood cards are in stores now, but you’ll still see plastic gift cards in our stores too, as we deplete our current stock. In the mean time, you can feel good when you give a Whole Foods Market gift card knowing you are giving a special gift and considering the planet at the same time. What would you buy with a Whole Foods Market gift card?

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34 comments

Comments

Viva says …

I'd stock up on pantry staples and splurge on some luxury items from the olive bar and some fancy schmancy cheeses. Then I'd throw a party!

Sandi C. says …

Organic fruits and veggies; non-GMO cereals, and Amy's soy pizza.

Crystal says …

What would I buy? Everyday I literally want to buy the whole store! I go almost every weekend! I love Whole Foods! I really want to buy a year supply of nuts. Nuts are very expensive but they are so versatile. Also tons of fresh organic produce.

Bobbi says …

With a 1,000 gift card would be so happy cause it would help us to cut cost for a few months. I buy from just about every section in WF. My favorite is the beauty products and holistic products. :o)

Janie says …

I would buy some grass fed milk and butter!

Brandi says …

Lots of healthy groceries! Fresh fruits and veggies and many trips through the salad bar and hot bar with the family. Feeding three teenage boys is a big expensive job. Doing it healthy, is even more challenging.

Shraddha says …

stock up on bulk items and use it to buy my organic fresh fruit n veggies... n use it to buy some food frm the hot bar.. n who can forget the yummy mouth watering desserts...

Beth says …

Fruits and veggies, bulk items, hot bar, you name it.

Nikki M. says …

I would buy all the things we need for back to school- lunch items, snacks, all things are yummy at whole foods!

Jennifer says …

Its summer so I'd have to say Rainer cherries and a nice piece of salmon to put on the grill.

Kris O says …

This is awesome; reuse whenever possible. I would love a gift card to stock up on all the grass fed meats and expensive organic/gluten free items my family eats.

Debbie says …

grown up soda!! and a ton of other foods. i commend the initiative! can't wait to see them in stores!

Liinda says …

I would immediately buy fresh fruits from local farmers and a refrigerator full of Greek yogurt. As a splurge, I would visit the amazing cheese section and buy some special cheeses for a neighborhood celebration.

Meaghann Squires says …

I would buy my never ending list of food and stock up on our personal care items :)

Dayna says …

Grass fed meats of all kinds.

Melissa says …

Without question, I would definitely frequent the Whole Foods Hot Bar! It is my favorite lunch/dinner option. Plus, I would also purchase the fresh, organic produce!

Molly says …

About time! I don't understand why all stores don't do the same things. Gift cards are nice, but I hate that a piece of plastic will end up in a landfill every time I get a giftcard.

Debbie Furrer says …

Love to walk around the store and find something new to try , there have been many great discoveries! LOVE WFM!!!!

Brooke says …

I'd buy Happy Cow Creamery Milk...and a LOT of it as it goes fast with two two years olds and a Mom & Dad who drink a LOT of coffee!

Cam says …

I would buy lots of grill food and have a massive summer cookout! BBQ chicken, ribs, sausages, grilled onions, peppers, eggplant.... the list goes on and on!

Brynn says …

I would stock my freezer full of Whole Foods delicious meat! As well as stock up on the organic baby good for my daughter, and healthy snacks for my son! Probably get some dog treats too :)

Robin says …

I would continue to buy food for my family and pets, along with my favorite dish soap!

Ilene says …

So nice to hear about these improvements! When it's so hot in the summer here in NYC I can spend hours cooling off in Whole Foods Market and Whole Body...especially in the ice cream section! Organic produce, hot & cold bar, ice cream and yogurt are just a few of the many items I'd use the gift card for.

Katrina says …

I would grab meat, produce, and some of the amazing cheeses! Then I would pick up some stuff for baking. Whole foods is one of my favorite stores!

Natosha says …

I would stock up on staples like cereal, beans, crackers, flour, soy milk, etc. I would pick up some household goods like laundry detergent. Then I would splurge on some almond milk icecream and wine and buy myself some new toms.

Liz says …

Yummy food, household products, lots of seafood, my dog food, and everything else too!

Lindsay says …

Fruits and Veggies! I love juicing, and Whole Foods organic produce is the way to go!

Helen walsh says …

Thank you thank you thank you...I just finished watching trailer about the plastic in the oceans and then I saw this- someone is trying to change the way we think. Rock on...may the out of the box thinking start with you and more on like a tsunami wave throughout the world.

Nicole says …

What wouldn't I buy?! Probably head to the salad bar first, pick up a kombucha and grab some doggie treats on the way out!

Brynne says …

Mmm! I'd buy a big tub of plain, full-fat organic yoghurt and a bag of sunspire soy-free chocolate chips to sprinkle in it. From the bulk bins: Walnuts, brown rice #6678, and a wide selection of grains for my pet mousies. A pound of super fun in-shell pistachios! Oranges and broccoli. A bag of "Pacific Rim Blend" organic coffee. And if I have an extra arm to carry it, a gallon of the most delicious water, "365 distilled."

diahn taplin says …

[DIRECT RESPONSE - NN] I am in charge of the grocery card program at my school. We sell hundreds of WF cards per year. We have to buy them from the GLscrips program since you do not sell them directly. Our parents would love to be able to reload the cards with credit going to our school rather than buy another card. Is there any way to do this? Is there any way to buy them directly from Whole Foods and thus, "cut out" the middle man? Diahn

Jodi says …

[SENT TO MATT - NN] Hi Matt, Thank you for sending me the link to this blog. Any chance you can share with me the company you use to make these gift cards? I would love to look into this for my small business. Thank you for your time. Jodi The Circle Salon, Chicago

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