AUSTIN, Texas (April 22, 2005) In honor of Earth Day and Whole Foods Market's 25th Anniversary, the nation's first certified organic grocer suggests 25 earth-friendly ways to become part of the solution. By incorporating these choices into daily activities, one person really can make a difference.


  1. Think locally

    Purchase locally grown or produced food when possible to support independent, local farms and the environment. The quality and flavor of food grown near your home is often exceptional since it's typically picked only two or three days before it reaches your plate.

  2. Switch to organics

    Organic agriculture protects the health of all the earth's inhabitants by limiting inputs of toxic and persistent chemicals in the air, soil and water. Organic systems support natural ecosystems by using long-term farming solutions that help preserve the earth's resources for future generations. Plus, organic fruits and veggies taste great! learn more

  3. Think green when you clean

    Many household cleaning products contain various chemicals and toxins detrimental to the environment and to your health. Read the labels and only purchase products that contain non-toxic ingredients or create your own by simply combining vinegar and baking soda. learn more

  4. Start a compost pile in your yard

    As landfill space becomes increasingly scarce and expensive, composting is an extremely valuable idea for reducing needless garbage. Composting requires little effort and, in time, will create an earthy, crumbly substance to help your plants flourish.

  5. Support companies with environmentally smart packaging

    When shopping for packaged products, seek out companies that use minimal amounts of materials to package their products.

  6. Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!

    At home or in the office, keep bins designated for recyclables. If recyclable products are not picked up outside of your home, there is sure to be a place nearby for dropping them off.

  7. Avoid buying disposables

    Purchase durable, long-lasting products that can be reused or refilled in order to decrease waste. Consider using a refillable razor, rechargeable batteries, and reuseable containers to hold your lunch in place of disposables that contribute to extraneous waste.

  8. Don't throw away old or unwanted clothes

    Re-use worn t-shirts as rags for cleaning around the house or give unwanted clothes to friends, family or charitable organizations.

  9. Buy in bulk

    Purchasing food in bulk allows you to choose how much or how little of a certain product you want so that little food gets wasted. Plus, buying in small amounts keeps your bulk items fresher! learn more

  10. Help plant a tree in your yard, neighborhood or local park

    Currently, the majority of Americans live in urban areas with very few trees or open space. Planting a tree improves the view as well as the quality of the environment by reducing air pollution and lowering air temperatures.

  11. Become less reliant on your car

    When possible, ride your bike or walk to work. If your traveling distance is far, take the bus or carpool. Fewer cars on the road equals reduced air pollution.

  12. Reuse shopping bags

    Reusing shopping bags significantly reduces the waste associated with paper or plastic bag disposal. Make it a habit of bringing your own canvas bags with you when you head to the store. Whole Foods Market offers a nickel-per-bag refund at all of its stores to encourage this earth-friendly habit.

  13. Stop junk mail

    Unwanted junk mail production wastes energy and trees. Sign up for a mail preference service (learn more about one service here) that can decrease the amount of mail you receive by up to 75 percent.

  14. Grow your own

    Organic gardening is a natural way of growing fruits and vegetables without pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are harmful to both human health and the environment. And think of how convenient it would be to step out the back door to pick a ripe tomato!

  15. Use fluorescent lighting

    Twenty percent of the electricity consumed in the United States is for lighting.1 Using fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent lights reduces energy and saves you more money than an ordinary bulb over the course of its lifetime.

  16. Keep your appliances clean

    Cleaning your refrigerator coils and heating vents often will allow them to operate much more efficiently. When appliances aren't forced to work as hard, you save money on your electric bill.

  17. Conserve more water

    In the United States, 27 percent of our water is used in bathing. Instead of taking a bath, take a quick shower using a water-conserving showerhead. Also, don't forget to repair leaky faucets as they could leak up to 100 gallons of water per day.2

  18. Buy recycled products

    Buying recycled items allows consumers to “close the loop,” creating a market for items recycled curbside or in other recycling programs.

  19. Choose your seafood wisely

    If you enjoy seafood, it's important to know where the seafood you purchase is coming from since the majority of the world's marine stocks are fully fished, overexploited, depleted or recovering at a slow rate. Ask more questions next time you shop for seafood such as whether or not the fish comes from a sustainable fishery. learn more

  20. Adjust the blinds during extreme weather conditions

    Raise the shutters during the winter and lower them during the summer to reduce the need for heat or air conditioning and to reduce the amount of energy consumed in your home.

  21. Turn out the lights

    Before leaving your home or office, make sure all of the lights are turned off. This simple task will save energy and save you money.

  22. Perfect all documents before you print them

    To reduce the amount of paper that gets thrown away or recycled, triple check that spreadsheet before printing. If you have to print out an unfinished document, try printing on the other side of used paper.

  23. Maintain your car

    Always keep your car tuned, tires inflated and never fill your gas tank to the top. This will not only add to the life of your vehicle but will also reduce air pollution and conserve some of the earth's resources as well as your own.

  24. Get involved

    Join a local action group that promotes environmentally friendly practices. One person really can make a difference (and inspire others to as well)!

  25. Start small and teach others

    The most important step to becoming a good environmental steward is to keep your momentum going. Small, everyday actions can contribute to a more “green” life for you and your family and can encourage others to follow your footsteps.

“Whole Foods Market is committed to making the company more green. This focus has grown out of our core values and our Team Members' desire to walk our talk on environmental issues,” said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market southern Pacific regional president and green mission task force leader. “This promise is coming to life on many levels throughout the company with initiatives such as green energy programs, composting, alternative packaging programs, and recycling. Earth Day is a terrific point of focus to raise our consciousness about the choices we can make that will positively impact the health of our planet and our local communities.”


In addition to supporting organic farming and earth-friendly fishing practices, Whole Foods Market's dedication to the environment extends to making use of renewable energy. Currently, the company is the second largest non-governmental green power purchaser in America, purchasing or generating more than 20 percent of its total national power load from green power sources. That alone is comparable to removing 8,600 cars from the road per year. Because of its significant green power purchases across the United States, Whole Foods Market was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with a Green Power Leadership Award in October 2004. 1. The Oracle Education Foundation's ThinkQuest: 2. Washington State Department of Natural Resources: