Sustainability at Kimberton Whole Foods

In November of 2018, we announced our involvement with Climate Collaborative. Together with other natural grocers, food companies, and distributors, we are working to leverage the power of the natural products industry to reverse climate change. Read the Climate Collaborative manifesto here.

To support our participation with this group, we have formed our own Climate Committee at Kimberton Whole Foods, built from dedicated team members from all of our stores and departments. Together, we’ll be working to roll out one climate-focused initiative at at time: In this way, we will take small steps towards BIG change. Continue reading to see how you can join us, and to see what we’ve accomplished so far.

Earth Week Kimberton Whole Foods

Recyclable Receipt Paper

Have you noticed the slight yellow color of our receipt paper? The color is due to the fact that they use Vitamin C to transfer the thermal print rather than harmful chemicals. While our receipts were always BPA-free, they are now BPS-free and recyclable. Better for your health, better for the planet. Learn more.

Climate Committee Kimberton Whole Foods

Bag Tree

Help yourself to our Bag Tree! Join us in reducing waste from single-use grocery bags by borrowing a reusable one when you shop. (We know, we always forget ours in the car, too!) Have extra (clean) bags at home? Bring them in and we’ll put them to good use.

Climate Committee Kimberton Whole Foods

Compostable Produce Bags

In our produce department, we offer biodegradable & compostable produce bags, made using non-GMO corn starch. (Bonus points if you save and re-use your bags to collect food scraps for your home compost pile!) Please note that these bags are compostable, or may be thrown in the trash – they are not recyclable. We do not recommend storing your produce in these bags for more than 48 hours, as the material may speed ripening.

Climate Committee Kimberton Whole Foods

BYO Jars

Bring your own containers when you buy foods from our bulk section for zero waste shopping. Remember to stop by a register before you fill up, so a team member can weigh your containers. Here’s a helpful tip for labeling your jars.

bulk foods Kimberton Whole Foods

Reusable Straws

Did you know that in the United States alone, an estimated 500 million straws are discarded EVERY DAY? Join us in a global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from landfills, beaches, oceans, and streams. Opt for a metal straw the next time you order a beverage in our Cafรฉ!

Climate Committee Kimberton Whole Foods

BYO Thermos

Bring your own cup or thermos when ordering juices, smoothies, coffees, and teas! This is one simple way that we encourage you to reduce single-use materials in your everyday life.

Thermos Kimberton Whole Foods


Reducing Food Waste

We work with local farmers to repurpose our organic, compostable food waste into farm gold! We’re proud to work with producers like Shellbark Hollow Farm and Meg’s Eggs, who use our compost to feed their pigs, hens, and of course, to make nutrient-rich compost.

Shellbark Hollow Farm Kimberton Whole Foods

Low-Waste Staff Party

This year for our annual staff party, we made an effort to produce as little waste as possible, by providing a compost bucket for food scraps, and encouraging team members to bring their own beverage cups and utensils. Every bit counts!

Staff Party Climate Committee Compost Kimberton Whole Foods

Our Distribution Center

Our distribution center in Downingtown serves as a central location for our local vendors, and reduces the number of trips (and carbon emissions) that they would otherwise take to our 6 stores. When you buy local, you are also making a positive choice for the planet.

Distribution Center Kimberton Whole Foods

Sustainable Farming Partners

We support the work of organizations like the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and the Biodynamic Association, because we believe that truly responsible farming is the way to a sustainable future. We proudly donate to both organizations as well as participate in the annual Produce for PASA campaign and Sustainable Agriculture Conference.

PASA Kimberton Whole Foods

18 thoughts on “Sustainability at Kimberton Whole Foods

  1. Thank you a million times over for providing โ€œzero wasteโ€ options! Explaining the process of tare weighing took the guess work out of how things work at your stores. Iโ€™d be interested in seeing more zero waste products in kitchen, beauty and bath departments (eg. unpapertowels). I also appreciate the ways your cafe promotes zero waste. Way to set an example for others to follow. You have become my number one place to shop because of your eco friendly grocer philosophy.

    • Hello Kathryn, Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our sustainability practices and for sharing your feedback with us. I’ll be sure to bring up your suggestions at our next Climate Committee meeting. We look forward to seeing you in the store soon! Have a great day. -Emily at KWF

  2. Thank you for your highly commendable and admirable actions to reduce waste, reduce plastic pollution and reduce overall “carbon footprints” for your products and services. We know many Downingtown area residents and families – including our own – who are very grateful and consider ourselves fortunate to have your KWF store in our town. All citizens and all businesses must do as much as we can to mitigate the imminent, severely detrimental effects of global climate change and the spoiling of our planet by overwhelming amounts of trash..

  3. I love going to your store instead of the local grocery store I bring my jars and my bags to try and do my part for the planet and your help is appreciated

  4. You do so much to help the planet. We love shopping at your store in Ottsville.
    Are the pre-packaged bags of granola (Yum!!) recyclable? Thanks.
    Be Well!!

    • Hello Bill, Thanks for reaching out! The paper bag itself is recyclable – you’ll need to cut out the plastic “window” and remove the twist-top (used to seal the bag) before putting it in with your regular paper recycling. Hope this helps! -Emily at KWF

  5. Thanks for all that you have been doing over the years in supporting a local circular economy. Lately I’ve been noticing how much packaging has increased with crackers. The cracker weight per box is getting smaller and smaller. I’m just not wanting to buy a a cardboard box and the plastic/mylar inside for 4 -7 oz of crackers. Can they ever be sold in bulk? The Late July chip bags are large and can be upcycled by TERRACYCLE. Could you offer a box somewhere for recycling the bags and support Terracycles work?

    • Hi Peggy, Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’d be happy to bring up your bulk cracker request to our team. We have spoken about Terracycle in our Climate Committee meetings in the past, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so. We are actively working towards giving our customers more ways to easily reduce waste. Thanks for your support!

      • Thanks Emily. Like your idea for bringing jars that are already labeled for bulk goods. Now I’ll just have to come up with a little six pack jar carrier. Do you know about the Zero Waste community in the EU? They have some great webinars. Europeans have been bringing their own bags to market for years. When I was an exchange student in Switzerland 50 year ago we always had a string bag or two with us.

  6. Love your idea of a bag tree! Hopefully we will see more plastic bag bans in 2020 & going further…..
    I come from NJ to shop at the Ottsville store & really enjoy your variety of organic items, never been disappointed! Keep up the good work!

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