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California Native Plant PR

Friday, July 22, 2005

Whole Foods Update

Great news! Whole Foods in Glendale is selling a California native plant, Ceanothus, to be exact. It was wonderful to see. I hope they continue the trend. Now, if only they'd use natives in their landscaping.

Problems: the parking lot is chock full of tropical and Mediterranean plants (which are a step in the right direction - Mediterranean, that is). And, there is very little shade, contributing to the "urban heat island."

Whole Foods would do well to practice what they preach. Their paper grocery bags offer tips on living a "greener" lifestyle - all well and good, but a little contradictory considering the way the run their stores.

Having visited many a Whole Foods bathroom (in stores from Madison, WI to Woodland Hills, CA), I can vouch for the fact that they use noxious chemicals, including synthetic air fresheners. Strange - they have a store full of natural, biodegradable, effective, germ-killing cleaning products but don't use them in the stores. Do they not believe in the very products they sell?

Getting back to the parking lots, outside of Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks is the sorriest display of poorly pruned trees. They're all "topped," which is a lazy and uninformed way of "trimming" the trees. In truth, topping a tree is just putting it on a faster road to death.

All that would need to happen to bring Whole Foods around to a less hypocritical policy regarding the creation and management of their stores, is for them to plant more trees native to each individual location, landscape the rest of the outside areas with natives, use biodegradable cleaning products and toiletries in restrooms, sell more native plants and install solar panels to help power stores.

They're a large corporation, they can afford these changes. In so doing, they'll set an example for everyone who visits Whole Foods. Frankly, these changes will SAVE them money in the long run (they'll help save the planet too, by the way). They were revolutionary in the grocery world, just imagine how much more GOOD they could do by bringing their green philosophy full circle.


  • I don't have high expectations of Whole Foods. They may sell organic food, but they are still kind of mega-corporate. It would be nice if they had more watershed-friendly landscaping (native plants, pervious surfaces, etc.), but I think that the whole concept is foreign to them. They definitely promote consumerism, which isn't very green at all.....

    By Blogger Raphael, at 9:53 PM  

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