AUSTIN, TX (Aug. 31, 2012) – Giving eco-friendly gifts has become a little easier thanks to two new gift cards – one made of  paper and the other of responsibly-harvested wood— now available at Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM). These greener options will replace the leading natural and organic grocer’s 100 percent recycled plastic cards, which will still be accepted but phased out over time.

The new paper cards are 50 percent post-consumer waste. Both the paper and wood gift cards are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and have a lower carbon footprint, are reusable, recyclable, compostable and require less energy to be produced.

“We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact and further our green mission efforts. Moving away from plastic gift cards is one way we can help make a difference,” said Chris Jensen, gift card team leader for Whole Foods Market. “We want to make gift giving not only as simple as possible but also environmentally friendly.”

The grocer will continue to recycle gift cards both from Whole Foods Market and other retailers at its stores. To date, more than 265,000 plastic gift cards have been recycled and kept out of landfills.

Additional green efforts for gift giving include e-gift cards that can be purchased at The re-loadable gift cards can be accessed through a smart phone.

To learn more about the company’s environmental efforts, visit