Whole Foods has several locations in the Boston area which is great because many carry bulk staples, package-free produce, bar soap and nice zero waste gear (food containers, water bottles, etc). I have had no problem using my own containers and cloth bags for the bulk items, coffee, nut butter machines, the olive bar and breads, although I do keep a close eye on the computer to make sure the tare weight is removed from each item. I usually tare (weigh) my containers on my scale at home before going to Whole Foods but I have also asked a Whole Foods employee tare it for me when I forgot and they were more than happy to help. The down side to Whole Foods is that it is a large corporation (now owned by Amazon) and is much more expensive and less accessible than smaller, locally owned stores. I try to shop at locally owned stores first and only go to Whole Foods for harder to find items.
Most Whole Foods also have a container for composting, recycling corks from wine bottles and #5 plastics through the Gimme 5 Program with Preserve. Take a look at the charts below to see which ones your Whole Foods has.
Bulk and Package Free Items
The bulk and package free selection varies at each location and items rotate over time. It also seems like many of the Whole Foods have been decreasing the bulk options at many of their stores in the area. For example, when the Ink Block store first opened they had a beautiful bulk section with loose tea, baking ingredients, spices, bulk protein powder and many different liquids on tap. Now they have a much smaller bulk bin section, no liquids, no tea and very few spices. Apparently people just weren’t buying enough of their bulk items to justify them having them.
The tables below summarize what items or store departments are present at each of the locations. There is a summary of what each category means below the tables. An ‘x’ indicates that the store has the category of product, blank means that it does not have that category and ‘limited’ means that there may be some items available, but not many. If you see any discrepancies with the table below during a shopping trip to your local Whole Foods, please let me know by using the contact form on the About page.