Whole Foods Shelves Wastes, Creates New Product

Whole Foods Shelves Wastes, Creates New Product

Whole Foods Market has launched a Green Mission program that focuses on composting and recycling in all stores. The compost initiative turns produce, food and waxed cardboard from Whole Foods Markets into garden compost, which the company is selling for $1.99 per bag.

"Our composting efforts keep cardboard and plastic out of the waste stream," said Michael Besancon, President Southern Pacific Region, Whole Foods Market. "Food comes from the soil, its wastes get composted and then the compost goes back to the soil, we are closing the environmental loop." More than 7,280,000 pounds of food waste are composted per year.

In addition to composting, Whole Foods Market recycles more than 2,190,000 pounds of glass, plastic and aluminum and 3,770,000 pounds of cardboard per year. New Whole Foods Markets are built using recycled and sustainable building materials. Unusable computer equipment, cell phones and batteries are recycled and reusable items are donated to non-profit organizations.

Whole Foods Market partners with local power companies to implement green energy in store locations. The Las Vegas store serves as a green model for future stores, featuring an innovative daylight harvesting system. The 33 skylights in the store disperse the natural sunlight while a solar-powered mirror tracks the sun's movement throughout the day and a light-dimming system eliminates excess power use. In addition, the company conducts "green audits," where stores look for ways they can improve upon their energy use and minimize its impact on the environment.

The Green Mission program is the latest of Whole Foods Market's environmental efforts. The stores will launch "Fish for Our Future" campaign (June 15 - July 15), offering shoppers environmentally-sound seafood options such as wild Alaska salmon for the busy summer grilling season while educating them on the best environmental choices. For the fourth consecutive year, Whole Foods Market has partnered with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) to highlight MSC certified wild Alaska salmon and other sustainable seafood options.