Archive for April, 2015

World Travel 101 at Preston Forest!

Hostelling International presentation at Preston Forest

May 7th Dallas Preston Forest 6:30 pm

Do you long to travel the world? Do you have a mental itinerary drawn up but you’re not sure about how to make it reality given the state of your finances and the state of the world? Fear not! Coleen Barry is here to help. She wants to show you how safe, inexpensive world travel is a real possibility!

Whole Earth Provision Co. is pleased to announce a free travel education workshop at our Preston Forest store in Dallas on May 7th at 6:30 pm. Coleen Barry, a volunteer Travel Educator with Hostelling International-USA, will be leading World Travel 101 for first time international travelers and those who’d like a refresher. Coleen will show you how to plan an itinerary, prepare a budget, survey your transportation options, how to save and carry money, how to pack, choose accommodations, and be safe.

Hostelling International-USA was founded in 1934. Today it is a part of a network of over 50 quality hostel facilities across the United States (including Austin and Houston) and is affiliated with an international network of over 4000 hostels in 60 countries.

Coleen Barry has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. She usually travels solo, but occasionally acquires travel companions along the way. She likes to alternate her time between traveling from place to place with stops devoted to volunteering and taking part in work exchanges. She is now a freelance copywriter and hopes to one day engage in full-time sustainable travel.

So let Coleen set you on a pathway to new adventures in 2015 and beyond with World Travel 101.

Dansko Days benefit Texas Land Conservancy

Dansko Days benefit Texas Land Conservancy 

Do you spend hours on your feet every day? Then you probably know about Dansko shoes. They are loved by doctors, nurses, teachers, sales clerks, chefs and their kitchen staff. Dansko shoes are comfortable and they have style. Whole Earth Provision Co. has been celebrating Dansko Days for years, but now we’ve added something new. For each pair of full price Dansko shoes sold at Whole Earth stores from May 1st through May 10th, our Dansko rep will donate $5 to the Texas Land Conservancy.

The Texas Land Conservancy was founded in 1982 by Ned Fritz, known as the father of Texas conservation. Responding to the encroachment of development on natural areas in Texas, Fritz decided that there was a need for a land trust that would take on the preservation of small but important properties that were not large enough to be saved by other organizations. Using conservation easements the Texas Land Conservancy has preserved the physical and ecological integrity of wildlife habitat, native plant communities and scenic landscapes across the state for the benefit of present and future generations of Texans.

Brushy Top Ranch - Blanco, TX

Brushy Top Ranch - Texas Land Conservancy

Most of the property protected by the Texas Land Conservancy is not open to the public. Conservation easements limit development and provide for restoration and land management, but the land still remains in private hands. However, there are nine sites open to the public. Two are in major Texas cities: Oak Cliff Nature Preserve in Dallas and Cibolo Creek Preserve in San Antonio.

We hope you’ll visit us during Dansko Days, find your new favorite pair of shoes and support the Texas Land Conservancy with your purchase.

Green's Bayou Preserve - Texas Land Conservancy

Green's Bayou Preserve - Texas Land Conservancy

Hari Mari Flip Your Flips – April 25th and 26th

Hari Mari Flip Your Flips – April 25th and 26th!

Do you have an old pair of flip flops gathering dust in your closet? Don’t toss them in the trash, bring them to Whole Earth Provision Co. Saturday and Sunday, April 25th and 26th for the Hari Mari Flip Your Flips event. Hari Mari will see to it that the flips are either repurposed or their materials recycled, keeping them out of the landfill. In return for your flips, you’ll receive a coupon good for 15% off a new pair of Hari Mari flips.* On Saturday, April 25th, you can meet Hari Mari reps at our San Antonio, Southlake, Houston Shepherd, Austin Westgate and Dallas Mockingbird stores from 2 to 4 pm.

Hair Mari Flip Flops

Hari Mari comes from Hari – sun in Indonesian, and Mari – (mare) sea in Latin. These flips are made for fun in the sun and on the water. They’re constructed with premium materials and come in rainbow colors with intensities ranging from pastels to neon. Made with carbon-free rubber outsoles, they’re non-marking, boat safe, and help to improve grip on wet surfaces. For added comfort, they also offer memory foam toe posts that reduce toe abrasion and do away with uncomfortable break-in periods.

Hari Mari Logo

Practicing good corporate citizenship, Hari Mari has created several programs that benefit the Earth and groups in need. Their Zero Landfill Initiative is helping to keep flip flops out of our landfills. Coordinating with Soles4Soles, they have donated over 6,000 pairs of repurposed flip flops to children and families in Haiti and Honduras. They also support pediatric cancer patients with their Flops Fighting Cancer program. For each pair of Hari Mari flips sold, $3 is donated to help families-in-need to pay for expensive medical treatments, medicines and hospital costs.

So please stop by your favorite Whole Earth store on April 25th and 26th, drop off your old flip flops and get a coupon for 15% off a new pair of Hari Mari flips.* It’s a triple play of goodness for the Earth, pediatric cancer patients and your feet!

* Only one coupon per pair may be applied towards the purchase of a new pair of Hari Mari flips. In stock only. This offer cannot be combined with other discount or membership cards.

What is Sistema Huautla? The PESH Exploration series continues

To Seek the Deep - PESH Huautla expedition 2015

This is the second in our series of posts following the 2015 PESH Expedition to Sistema Huautla.
Read the first post here, or the next one here.

Whole Earth Provision Co. is a proud supporter of Proyecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla or PESH for their 2015 expedition to explore the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere – Sistema Huautla.

In the 1960s, cavers suspected that the Sierra Mazateca, located in northeast corner of the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, harbored caves of great interest. The geology was right and there were enormous crevices that opened deep into the earth. Rocks tossed into the openings took so long to reach “bottom” that would-be explorers knew that climbing skills were going to be essential for any exploration.

At first, the cavers believed that they were exploring several large caves. But as the caves were mapped by successive expeditions, it became clear that they were in very close proximity to one another, so the search was on to find connections between them. Eventually Sótano de San Agustin was connected to La Grieta, Nita Nanta , and eight other cave entrances to create Sistema Huautla, the deepest cave system in the Western Hemisphere, 5069 feet from top to bottom, with over 40 miles of mapped passageways.

Huautla Cave System map

Huautla Cave System Map coutesy of PESH

The map of Sistema Huautla looks as if it were drawn by Dr. Seuss. Long tendril-like shapes twist and turn in unexpected directions as they course downward through the mountains. Many of these passageways were carved by water. The Sierra Mazateca catches the moisture carried by winds coming off the Gulf of Mexico, drenching the mountains with heavy rains. During the rainy season the waterways within the Sistema become raging torrents, causing expeditions to plan carefully to avoid, if possible, the threat of being caught in an underground flood.

Sistema Huautla map with Pena Colorada

click image to view full-size version

Above: Map from Hydrogeology of the Sistema Huautla Karst Groundwater Basin by James H. Smith Jr. AMCS Bulletin 9 p. 85. Yellow line marks a compressed view of the gap between the two portions of Sistema Huautla.

The flow of water through Sistema Huautla can be imagined in the shape of a tree. At the top there are small branches that join together to form ever larger limbs, eventually joining the trunk of the tree. Rainwater finds its way into the mountains and runs as subterranean streams, rivers and waterfalls and settles into pools and tunnels, called sumps, as it makes its way to Cueva de la Peña Colorada which empties into the Santo Domingo Canyon. A 3.41 mile section between Sistema Huautla and the Cueva de la Peña Colorado remains a question mark on the map that hopefully will be filled in by PESH one day.

Bill Steele, the expedition’s co-leader, believes that Sistema Huautla is “probably the best cave on earth – lots and lots of variety.” * It contains passageways so narrow that they are truly the stuff of nightmares, as well as canyons, vertical shafts that could swallow large buildings, 60 story waterfalls and chambers, one of which is large enough to hold a domed stadium. The Sistema also has its fill of geological formations and wonders, the greatest of which may be the magical anthodites. These rare, needle-like crystals grow in clusters that radiate from a common base like flowers and grow downward from the ceiling.

Mike Futrell with rare anthodites

Above: Mike Futrell with rare anthodites – photo from Huautla: Thirty Years in One of the World’s Deepest Caves by Bill Steele

Soon we’ll be looking at what it takes to explore a deep cave. In the meantime, you can follow the PESH expedition on their Facebook page.

This is the second in our series of posts following the 2015 PESH Expedition to Sistema Huautla.
Read the first post here.


*  Bill Steele quote from Men’s Journal. Read the full article here, or the next one here.

Whole Earth Celebrates Earth Day 2015

See what we're doing for Earth Day 2015

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Traditionally, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, but here in Texas Earth Day events are scattered throughout the month and a few even take place in March. Southlake was an early bird with their Green Fest on March 28th. Whole Earth was there for the day along with SmartWool.

Jump to:    Houston    Austin    Dallas

Earth Day Houston Logo


Earth Day Houston is on April 11th at Discovery Green. The Green Expo will be open from 11am to 5 pm with the main stage entertainment starting at 1 pm running until 7 pm. The event is free. The Kids’ Zone is back this year along with over 50 environmental non-profits and 25 green businesses. Whole Earth will be there so please stop by and say hello!

Austin Give 5


On Earth Day, Wednesday April 22nd, Whole Earth will donate 5% of the day’s Austin sales to the Give 5% to Mother Earth campaign. The funds will go towards the support of the Austin Parks Foundation, Hill Country Conservancy, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas Land Conservancy and the Shoal Creek Conservancy. Our North Lamar store will be site of the Mayor’s Press Conference kicking off the city-wide event.

Earth Day Texas - Dallas


Dallas is home to the largest Earth Day celebration in the state: Earth Day Texas. It runs for three days, April 24th, 25th and 26th, 10 am to 6 pm, has something for everyone and it’s free. We’re excited about the NOAA’s Science on a Sphere – an animated globe showing Earth’s atmosphere, weather, oceans, and land demonstrating anything from environmental trends and human impacts to super storms and today’s weather. There will be exhibits, speakers, the Eco-Expo and lots and lots of music including an appearance by Paul Winter and his Consort. The National Park Service will be kicking off their Centennial year with special events throughout the weekend. We’ll be there too. Hope to see you!

Science on a Sphere from NOAA

Science on a Sphere from NOAA