Monday, April 16

Whole Foods 30-day Carbon Diet

Whole Foods is doing an interesting tool to capitalize on the "reduce your carbon footprint" bandwagon. This page features links to their carbon calculator tool, their booklet on their 30-reduction plan (provided in .pdf, but no note on whether you can print the coupons you want to use at home and take them in), a pledge to reduce your footprint, and information.

The booklet is designed to encourage reducing by buying new products. I am disappointed by this because there is a fundamental disconnect between reducing carbon by buying more stuff. But, as Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter write:

... the critique of mass society has been one of the most powerful forces driving consumerism for more than 40 years.
"The Rebel Sell"

Rather than telling me which new products my life is incomplete without, I'd like a 30 step guide that would include projects like "Brainstorm 25 ways to use a t-shirt". I'd like to be able to mail my Burt's Bees organic body wash bottle in for a refill, not encouragement to recycle it.

If you want the bottom line, here's their list of 30 tips. Looking over it, I pretty much agree with what's there. I'm surprised and pleased by the plug for local grown food and home-grown food... seeing as they're in business to sell food and not plants. ;-)


Miss Kris said...

I find this ironic after being told last week that my reusable containers could not be used to make purchases at the deli when I visited my local Whole Foods.

Anne said...

That's funny! Even Starbucks has a way to re-use your containers. But then again they have a way to run scalding hot water through the container before using it.

Anne said...

Update on that... It's been months since I got my morning Starbucks regularly. I took my cup in this morning (on my way to drop off my taxes...) and the barista said she couldn't re-use my cup. This was a location in a grocery store, so I asked if that was the grocery store's change. She said it was, but that it might become Starbucks-wide. Apparently there have been come complaints about food quality in the re-used cups. She also said that she has seen some really disgusting cups come through for re-use. Too bad. Do you think if there was a cup-washing station for customers it could mitigate this?

Kristina said...

You should email them with that suggestion. Speaking of email, I received a response from the email I sent to Whole Foods that I thought I'd share with you:

"I am sorry for the confusion in our Prepared Foods Department. I can only speculate that it was new team members that you had your interaction with, who had not dealt with a situation such as this.

You are more than welcome to bring in your own clean containers for your prepared foods. Our team members will weigh them and account for the tare when the product(s) are priced. In addition, please allow me to purchase lunch for you on your next visit to Whole Foods Bellevue."


Anne said...

Very nice... reusable containers and a free lunch! Way to go!

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.