It runs through seven states, nourishes nearly four million acres of farmland, and has flowed for more than six million years, yet the Colorado River, which supplies drinking water for thirty-six million people, is the most endangered river in America*(2013 American Rivers data). While it may seem far away for some, the Colorado River connects everyone – from food to recreation and energy. This summer, Whole Foods Market and The Nature Conservancy are teaming up to educate on ways to help save this iconic American lifeline through in-store and online public awareness campaigns in the Rocky Mountain Region, culminating with a “Community Giving Day” in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah to benefit The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado River program on July 25, “Colorado River Day.” On this day, five percent of net sales in twenty-seven locations will be donated to The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado River Project.
“The Nature Conservancy is excited to work with Whole Foods on the Colorado River Project,” said the Conservancy’s Colorado River Program Director, Taylor Hawes. “The restoration of the Colorado River is a Nature Conservancy priority. As the lifeblood of the Southwest, the river supplies drinking water for millions of people and irrigates crops for the food we eat. The Southwest depends on the river to generate electricity and, last, but not least, the river supports a $25 billion recreational industry."
For those living in the Southwest U.S., dependency on the Colorado River for food and water is a driving factor for the campaign, with 15 percent of the crops grown in the U.S. affected by this depleting source*. Through Whole Foods Market’s commitment to local agriculture, the company will create a From the Farm video series, introducing farmers from Colorado, New Mexico and Utah who depend on the Colorado River to irrigate the crops they provide for their communities. You can view these videos here.
“One of the most important things we’ve learned through our partnership with The Nature Conservancy is that the best thing any of us can do is to become aware of where our water comes from and how we can be good stewards of it—at home, on the farms we support, and in our everyday shopping,” said Heather Larrabee, Associate Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
Additionally, throughout July, twenty-seven Rocky Mountain Whole Foods Market stores will sell customized Colorado River water bottles with sales benefitting the Colorado River, along with an in-store café art installation contest supporting the “Top Five Things You Can Do to Save the Colorado River” with everyday, actionable tips.
These actions, provided by the Colorado River Project, include:
For more information on ways to help the Colorado River Project, visit www.nature.org/coloradoriver.
About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 64,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2011, the company had sales of more than $10 billion and currently has more than 315 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.