Whole Story

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48 Comments

Comments

Lynn Hatcher says ...
I have a real problem with what goes down the storm drains . As I drive down the street I see all sorts of debris that will be washed into the stream , river , or lake . The next time your out Just take a good look . There are all sorts of debris . Paper ,plastic Bottles , anything some people decide to throw out there car windows . Then there’s the trash that doesn’t quiet make it into the truck when The dumpsters are emptied , the wind blows it around and it eventually Ends up in the storm drain . And the water utility says it has to flush out the lines to keep the drinking water safe. Millions and millions of gallons of water wasted . You would think they could figure a way To save at least some of it.
03/21/2008 12:04:37 AM CDT
kristin mctague says ...
I read the suggestions for saving/ utilizing water resourcefully, and one that hasn't been mentioned yet is taking a timer into the bathroom and setting it for 3 or 4 minutes. That's plenty of time to get clean, and when the timer goes off, it's TIME TO GET OUT and get on with it. Then, as you dry off, give yourself a pat on the back for saving a significant amount of water! :) (I also liked the comment about using a water-saving shower head.)
03/21/2008 6:44:17 AM CDT
Paul E. Peelle says ...
Once I have started my garden, I take a bucket into the shower with me to collect water as it falls (especially during the few seconds while waiting for the water to get warm enough to step in); using a natural, biodegradable soap, any little bit of soap that goes into the bucket is not harmful to my garden. After the shower, I take the bucket to the garden, thus saving a little bit of watering from the sprinkler.
03/21/2008 7:27:55 AM CDT
Nancy Gardner says ...
Put a pail in your shower and use the collected water to water your garden.
03/21/2008 7:44:15 AM CDT
Nicole says ...
One of the new Whole Foods in Chicago reuses the water that went down the bathroom sinks to flush its toilets! What a great invention! More retailers and homeowners need to incorporate this when they're building. No need to use completely clean water to flush our waste away!
03/21/2008 7:49:55 AM CDT
Brent says ...
I take a bit of a different approach to this question. Although I'm interested in and concerned about the sustainability and quality of the US water supply, my deeper concern is for the provision of clean drinking water to those in need in developing countries. For the nearly 1 billion people lacking access to clean water worldwide, this is a daily issue. So...what am I doing to make an impact. I've helped found Thirst Relief International (www.thirstrelief.org) a 501(c)(3) organization focused on drilling wells, repairing hand pumps and manufacturing bio-sand filters capable of providing clean, sustainable drinking water. We've been around for 2 years and are operated by a 100% volunteer staff. In year 1, we provided clean water to 6,000 people. In year 2, we provided clean water to 28,000 people. With current projects and full funding in 2008, we'll be able to provide clean water to 800,000 people. Check out our website and think about how you can make a difference on World Water Day and beyond!
03/21/2008 9:58:31 AM CDT
Amy Esposito says ...
As a resident of Torrance here in the South Bay, I was dismayed to find out that the DWP, whom Torrance purchases their water from, started adding fluoride to our drinking this past fall. This is hugely controversial substance is touted as a prevention for tooth decay. I would like to see Whole Foods involved in bringing attention to this mass medication of cities and municipalities across the United States. Most of Europe bans the substance being put in their water. This substance they use is a hazardous waste by product being produced by chemical fertilizer and aluminum manufacturers. How did this happen? How did we allow this, Whole Foods please help uncover this truly insane practice of dumping wastes into our water supply.
03/21/2008 11:40:22 AM CDT
Jessica says ...
Low-flush toilets are designed to use less water and be good for the environment, but a lot of people undo that by flushing twice. I've found that it's easy to flush materials by just flushing once, all you have to do is hold down the handle until all materials pass through. Another option is always to "let it mellow if it's yellow, flush it down if it's brown."
03/21/2008 1:40:08 PM CDT
Julia Liu says ...
What a great topic! When I wash my vegetables, instead of using a colander, I use a mixing bowl and fill it with just enough water to cover the vegetables. Then I swish the vegetables around. All the dirt falls down to the bottom of the bowl. After I remove the vegetables from the mixing bowl, I use the water that is left to water houseplants or plants in my garden. Once, after washing the vegetables, I left the bowl of water on the counter as I was cooking at the stove. My well-meaning husband came along, and started to empty the water into the sink, in order to help with clean up. I heard my three-year-old daughter shout, "Dad, don't throw that away! That's for watering the plants!" I agree with the previous posts that educating our children is as important as what we ourselves do on a daily basis when it comes to protecting our water supply.
03/21/2008 2:28:43 PM CDT
Celena says ...
My 4th grade teaching team wanted to get the message across to our students about how underground water gets contaminated. We did an experiment--we took an empty Liter bottle and cut the top off. Then we layered pebbles, sand, and topsoil to represent the layers of the Earth. We placed the bottle in a pan with a paper towel in it to act as the recharge zone of an aquifer. Next we sprinkled a red Kool-Aid packet on the topsoil to mimic pollution (ex. someone pouring their car oil out in their lawn) We then misted the topsoil with a spray bottle. They were amazed at how much the Kool-Aid affected all the layers and that it went through to the "aquifer", not as a pale pink like most of them thought--but bright red. They all went home and shared the information with their families along with ways to correctly and safely dispose of hazardous materials. The school I teach at is very rural and most families have a well that supplies their drinking water, so they have really become advocates for protecting their water source.
03/21/2008 8:18:37 PM CDT
Carrie says ...
Awareness is number one in preserving and being able to enjoy fresh, clean water. I was mortified to find out that much medicine goes in people's toilets to affect our drinking water. I actually have never considered putting medicine down a toilet or any drain for that matter. Awareness is important so people know to stop doing this and for community's and pharmacy's to either recycle or destroy. Also, the same goes for the recent news on the disposal of the fluorescent light bulbs that have mercury and if and when they are broken in the landfills, how all this mercury will hurt us in our drinking water, everything from landfills eventually leeches into our water supply. Be extra careful with these bulbs, place them in a nonbreakable/noncrushable container when you do dispose of them or take them to one of very few places in the country that accepts them. I drink a majority of my water from a well, so I have an organic, green friendly yard free of pesticides and other killers. Plus, any runoff from my yard goes directly in the pond in front of me and the lake in back of me. So, I feel I have to not only protect me but all of the critters, fishes, and wildlife. Awareness is so very important to the ones that do not have fresh drinking water because that is the first step to getting something done about it. Do what you can to help mankind. How long can you go until you thirst for fresh water? Help others and enjoy what you have. So long, C
03/22/2008 1:47:37 AM CDT
charlene seckler says ...
I use a salad spinner to wash my lettuce and greens. I fill it up with water, let the greens swoosh around a little and then I take that water out to my patio and dump it on my container plants instead of down the drain. When there are no container plants, I dump it on the lawn. I am always surprised at how much water it takes to wash my veggies, but the fact that the water is getting re-used makes a big difference.
03/22/2008 9:53:55 AM CDT
Candace says ...
We take it for granted, like the sun--but given the scarcity in so much of the world--we should think about this viewpoint. Or, like my husband go to taking 'Navy showers' where he turns off the water while soaping etc. Minimizing the water he uses, even there.
03/22/2008 9:55:15 AM CDT
JD Paes says ...
As a Tucson resident, water is a pretty important resource. Some easy ways I conserve water is by turning off the faucet when lathering my hands when I wash them. Similarly, doing the same thing in the shower while lathering your hair and body saves a lot of water. For this I have a special low-flow shower head that can shut off water at the head and not at the knobs, so I dont have to waste any water trying to get the right temperature back. I bought it at a hardware store for about $5 and it works great. Also, when I have the opportunity, I use the water-free urinals instead of the flushing ones (the signs say each one saves 40,000 gallons per year).
03/22/2008 11:35:56 AM CDT
Jennifer Badde-Graves says ...
As an American living in post-war Germany, I learned much about water conservation, one of them being the "outlandish" idea of bathing only once a week. It is possible. It took me several months to adopt into the routine, but I've been practicing this for years now. Otherwise, I look for ways to collect running water that then can be used later to water plants in the garden or indoor pots. This collected water can also be useful for handwashing and/or soaking silks and other delicate laundry items. Number one big water waster on my list (after I'd put a weighted gallon plastic jug in my toilet tank--I don't recommend bricks, because they leach their minerals) is the water going down the drain while waiting for warm water to appear at the hot water faucet, in the kitchen, bathroom sink or tub. So I collect that water with one of those plastic ice cream tubs--they fit nicely in the sink and the size is just right (about 3-4 qts.) for the amount of water that needs to run before you get to warm. (I got my plastic ice cream tub from a local cafe that keeps ice cream on hand for desserts and coffee drinks.) Another place to collect water is from an outdoor faucet when washing off hands or pots and tools with just water. This collected water really adds up fast!
03/22/2008 11:55:32 AM CDT
Henrik Pelsen says ...
Hi There To get rid of waste and plastic in nature you can use a recycle system. All shops selling water in bottles should have a system were you pay $0.25 per bottle in deposit. You can make amount higher or lower depending on bottle size. When you then deliver back your bottle you will get the same amount back as you have deposited. It is working in a large scale in Denmark and other countries in Europe - so why not in your State.
03/23/2008 6:31:34 AM CDT
chris says ...
SAVE WATER CREATE MORE TRASH???? I'm troubled by a sign that i read in the Durham Whole Foods Market that read... "Due to the drought in Durham we are now ONLY offering disposable dishware and plasticware to limit dishwasher use." I'm not sure this send the right message. Chris H.
03/24/2008 2:30:14 PM CDT
Peter LaTorre says ...
I suggest checking the CC&Rs of your neighborhood homeowners association. Mine actually mandates that a certain percentage of the front yard MUST be in lawn. As we all know, lawns need a LOT of water. If not for that rule, my front yard would be decorative rock and herbs - using far less water than now. So far, no luck in getting the homeowners association to change.
03/30/2008 8:36:37 AM CDT
Susan says ...
Thank you for this helpful collaboration. I practice the greater portion of the recommendations above and I do a couple of things that I haven't seen written about up to now. 1) Long before I use it, I dilute my shampoo, hand soap, dishwashing soap, and general purpose cleaning soap in bottles. 2) When I step into the shower I do not turn on the water. I lather up my hair with the diluted soap. There is no need to wet my hair first. The soap being diluted rinses quickly & easily. 3) I lather once. I learned that when I worked for a well-known cosmetics company. 4) When I wash my hands, neither my husband nor I wet our hands before lathering. The soap is greatly diluted so there is no need to and the watered-down soap still works great in my hand pump dispenser. 5) I cannot change my husband's habits as easily as I can mine, but by greatly diluting the dishwashing soap in the bottle, when he squirts soap into a bowl or a glass and leaves it sitting in the sink for me to take care of (which he frequently does), it is a much smaller amount than it would have been. 6) I live in an apartment and I do not compost; still, I do not use my garbage disposal. Instead, I put my grease, food scrapes, etc. in containers in the freezer and take out the "freezer trash" with the regular trash. 7) Also, I am researching creating a hydroponic garden in my one-bedroom apartment which uses less water than a dirt garden. I am interested in growing jalapenos, strawberries, tomatoes, okra, greens, lemons, etc. I would love to hear from experienced "limited-space" hydroponic farmers. It is good to read different ways I can conserve water -- there is room for improvement. I agree with most of what's been said. Don't remember anything I didn't agree with, which is always pleasant. Have a lovely day, all!
04/09/2008 11:43:15 AM CDT
Shawn E. says ...
The best home water conservation product I've found is the Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve! It's a recirculation system that uses my existing plumbing! It saves me a lot of time and water by not waiting for hot water! I installed the temperature adjustable recirculation valve under the sink farthest form my water heater and now I have instant hot water throughout my entire home. I’ve had it for almost 3 years and it still works perfectly! It’s pump free so it creates no noise. The pumps I've had in the past have been noisy, not to mention I went through 2 of them in 3 years! The Hot Water Lobster is made in the U.S.A. and has a 10-year warranty! I installed it myself in 10 minutes! I bought it from their sit for only $179.95! I've saved that much already! Here's their site: http://www.hotwaterlobster.com/
04/30/2008 7:13:05 PM CDT
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06/06/2011 10:20:11 AM CDT
Marcus says ...
Interesting blog, I would suggest that wholefoods market partner with companies like allbiodegradables: http://allbiodegradables.com/index.php?main_page=page&amp;id=1 this would be great if your company sold their products as an option to your customers that are looking for biodegradable PlasticWare options.
08/17/2011 12:43:44 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Marcus Thank you for suggesting that Whole Foods Market partner with All Biodegradables. Because much of the company’s product sourcing is done locally and regionally, I would encourage you to reach out to your local store directly with your request. This flexibility allows every one of our stores to best serve the needs and requests of local shoppers. I've included a link to the store search page below where you will be able to find the contact information for your store. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/
08/29/2011 3:53:02 PM CDT

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