Archive for the ‘In-store Event’ Category

New Toy and Kids Book Drive 2016

New Toy and Kids Book Drive 2015

November 19th – December 18th

For the past four years, Whole Earth Provision Co. has collected new toys and books for children who, through no fault of their own, might not have received gifts for the holidays. Your generosity provided children in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Southlake with presents to brighten their day. The charitable organizations who distributed the gifts were very grateful for the donations.

And so, once again we are asking for your help to make this year’s Drive a success. Here’s how it works: for each new toy or new kid’s book, in its original packaging with a value of $10 or more (or very close to it), you will receive a $5 Whole Earth gift certificate. All Whole Earth stores will accept donations beginning November 19th and running through December 18th. Our beneficiaries ask that you please not wrap the gifts.

Manos de Cristo’s Christmas Party in 2014

Manos de Cristo’s Christmas Party in 2014

The toys and books will be distributed by these organizations: in Austin – Manos de Cristo; in Dallas – the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center; in Houston – Star of Hope Mission; in San Antonio – The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas; and in Southlake – GRACE, the Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange.

You may make as many contributions as you’d like, and receive a $5 gift certificate for each one worth $10, but the gift certificates cannot be combined. They must be redeemed on separate transactions.

Thank you for helping to brighten the holidays for a disadvantaged child.


Please read on to learn more about the organizations in each city who will receive your contributions.

Manos de Cristo LogoIn Austin: Manos de Cristo
Since 1988, Manos de Cristo has been providing services for the homeless and working poor of Austin. Manos provides basic needs like food and clothing, but they also operate a dental clinic and conduct classes for the poor in computer skills and financial literacy. Their goal is to promote dignity and self-reliance among those less fortunate.

Dallas Children's Advocacy Center logoIn Dallas: Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
When a child is in need of protection from abuse, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) springs into action. DCAC coordinates the work of the police, Child Protective Services, medical, mental health, and prosecutorial agencies in the Dallas area, sparing the child from multiple, unnecessary and traumatic interviews so that healing can begin as soon as possible.

Star of Hope LogoIn Houston: Star of Hope Mission
For more than a century, the Star of Hope Mission has ministered to the greater Houston area, meeting the needs of nearly 1000 men, women and their children nightly. Star of Hope focuses on employment, life management, education, spiritual growth, and recovery from substance abuse. Whole Earth has partnered with them for the past several years.

The Children's Bereavement Center of South TexasIn San Antonio:
The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
As the sole provider in South Texas of grief support programs for children (through young adulthood), The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas (CBCST) devotes its energies to addressing the grief and loss needs of children from every culture and social circumstance to help them heal and move forward. They foster healing for grieving youth, their families and the community through peer support programs, counseling, training, education and outreach.

GRACE LogoIn Southlake: Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange
Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE) provides food, clothing, financial assistance and other vital necessities to people who are struggling with limited income or a recent emergency. Their Christmas Cottage creates a wonderland setting for GRACE’s clients to choose, with dignity and pride, holiday gifts for their children. More than 1600 children have been helped each year.

Dansko Days for the Texas Land Conservancy November 4th – 13th!

Dansko Days for the Texas Land Conservancy November 4th – 13th!

Dansko, through their Texas area rep, has become a generous supporter of one of our favorite conservation groups, the Texas Land Conservancy. For each pair of full price Dansko shoes sold at Whole Earth Provision Co. during Dansko Days, from November 4th through November 13th, our Dansko rep will donate $5 to the Texas Land Conservancy! Dansko Shoes are loved by folks who spend many hours of the day on their feet: teachers, nurses, sales clerks, chefs and their kitchen staff. Dansko shoes are comfortable and they have style. We hope you’ll stop by your favorite Whole Earth and take a look at our Dansko shoes. You’ll find so much more than a basic clog. You may find your new favorite pair of shoes, and you’ll be supporting the Texas Land Conservancy with your purchase.

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.

Fall Off Creek rests at the border of the Cross Timbers and Blackland Prairies ecoregions, near Fort Hood.

Fall Off Creek rests at the border of the Cross Timbers and Blackland Prairies ecoregions, near Fort Hood.

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. Throughout the year, some of the other protected properties are open to the public. You can learn about these special days by signing for the group’s emails or social media posts on their website. The Texas Land Conservancy also has a great Instagram feed that celebrates Texas landscapes and wildlife.

So run, run, run to your favorite Whole Earth store, try on some Dansko shoes, and support The Texas Land Conservancy.

Roadrunner wearing Dansko Professionals

From Dallas to Cuba at our Dallas Mockingbird Store

From Dallas to Cuba at our Dallas Mockingbird Store

October 5th at 7pm    Dallas Mockingbird Store

Travel restrictions to Cuba have been eased. While it’s still not possible to visit the island solely for the beaches, food, music and cars, with planning, you’ll be able to experience them first-hand. Hostelling International’s Ryan Stimmel will tell you how to plan your Cuban adventure in his presentation “Dallas to Cuba: From One Star State to Another,” at our Dallas Mockingbird store on October 5th at 7pm.

From Austin to Cuba at our Dallas Mockingbird store!

After more than 55 years of limited exposure, restrictions are slowly (or not so slowly) beginning to lift and Americans are increasingly fascinated by the prospect of traveling to this tropical island. While travel is still limited, many are choosing to explore Cuba before it becomes overrun by tourists. This session, hosted by an expert in responsible travel to Cuba, will introduce you to the basics of navigating this new travel opportunity, including legal requirements, logistical barriers, must-visit sites, packing like a professional traveler and other necessities for making your trip come to life. Our presenter keeps cultural, social and environmental sustainability and responsibility at the forefront of the conversation. Bring your questions, doubts and ideas concerning traveling to Cuba!

Ryan Stimmel

Ryan Stimmel was born and raised in the suburbs of North Texas. It took time and effort for this responsible travel expert to become aware of the wider world. Since then, adventure travel and eco-tourism have become pivotal parts of his life. Formally educated in sociology, history and philosophy, Ryan is passionate about the cultures and communities in the developing world and confident in his ability to connect one adventurous spirit to another. He brings years of experience in the travel industry in Latin America, as well as non-profit and small business start-up experience to his already extensive background. Ryan is a co-founder of Southern Star Travel and has led many trips to Cuba.

We hope you’ll join us for this timely presentation on travel in Cuba and take the first steps on a great adventure!

Big Thicket National Preserve Presentation on September 14th at Houston Shepherd

Big Thicket National Preserve Presentation on September 14th at Houston Shepherd

Wednesday, September 14th at 7pm
Houston Shepherd store

On Wednesday, September 14th at our Houston Shepherd store, Josh Stringer of the Big Thicket National Preserve will give a presentation at 7pm on the Preserve, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world outside of the tropics. In 1981, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The Preserve includes nine uniquely diverse ecosystems as well as six water corridors where nature flourishes. Centered around Hardin County, Texas, it extends into parts of surrounding Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Orange, Polk, and Tyler counties and offers hiking and biking trails as well as waterways for paddling.

Josh Stringer is the Centennial Coordinator at Big Thicket National Preserve and will be providing special events throughout the Preserve. He retired from the Army in 2015 after 21 years of service and hopes to inspire us to visit our National Parks.

We hope you’ll join us to learn more about this amazing Preserve, that’s practically on our doorstep!

On the water in the Big Thicket – a USDA photo by Larry Rana

On the water in the Big Thicket – a USDA photo by Larry Rana

Hostelling International USA’s Packing 101 at Austin North Lamar

Austin N. Lamar Store
Tuesday, September 20th at 7pm

Packing for a trip, especially an international one, can be stressful. What are the essentials? Which items might be difficult to obtain during the trip? How do I make the most of my tiny bag? Do I bring a backpack or a suitcase? Am I bringing too little? Too much? Do you want to learn how to pack like a pro? Join us at our Austin North Lamar store for Hostelling International USA’s Packing 101 on Tuesday, September 20th at 7 pm.

Learn to Pack like a Pro!

In this presentation, Kristen Procko will go over the essentials of packing your bags for different types of trips, making the most of minimal space, and she’ll touch on some basic pre-travel preparation to help make your trip smoother. Our own Jeff Jackson will demonstrate some of the items we carry to make packing and traveling easier and more pleasurable.

Kristen Procko is a travel and language enthusiast who is also a former study abroad leader. She has helped large groups of students prepare for various aspects of international travel, and has enjoyed some solo travel in South America and Europe. She is a professor for an online Master’s degree program, and, as a “digital nomad,” she tries to stay on the road as much as possible.

Jeff Jackson is a longtime Whole Earthling, putting in time at our stores for almost two decades. He has taught outdoor skills to Scout groups and is currently gathering materials about the history of rock climbing in Central Texas.

Please join us for HI Packing 101 at our Austin North Lamar store and learn to pack like a pro!

Volunteering in our National Parks – Houston Post Oak August 24th

Become a National Parks Volunteer!

Houston Post Oak Store – Wednesday, August 24th at 7 pm

As a part of our continuing celebration of our National Parks’ 100th anniversary, Whole Earth Provision Co. is proud to announce “Volunteering in the National Parks,” a free presentation by Ric Walters at our Houston Post Oak store on Wednesday, August 24th
at 7 pm.

The National Park Service needs you – to volunteer! Walters’ presentation will include why volunteers are important to the running of the Parks, how to find volunteer positions that align with your interests and abilities, the sign up process, and some of the perks of being a Park volunteer. He has volunteered at Mount Rainier for the past five years. Some of the volunteer positions at Rainier include working in the interpretive division, trail maintenance, backcountry roving, museum docents, campground hosts and traffic assistants.

Ric Walters

Ric Walters has volunteering in his blood. He has volunteered for military service, the Civil Air Patrol, and Disaster Response in Texas for the United Methodist Church. He has loved Mount Rainier for almost 40 years and is delighted to spend part of his year in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, while sharing his love and knowledge with visitors from around the world.

Please join us on Wednesday August 24th at 7 pm at our Houston Post Oak store for Ric’s presentation on Volunteering in National Parks.

From Austin to Cuba at our Austin Westgate store!

From One Star State to Another

August 3rd at 7 pm    Austin Westgate Store

Travel restrictions to Cuba have been eased. While it’s still not possible to visit the island solely for the beaches, food, music and cars, with planning, you’ll be able to experience them first-hand. Hostelling International’s Ryan Stimmel and Dan Siefken will tell you how to plan your Cuban adventure in their presentation “Austin to Cuba: From One Star State to Another,” at our Austin Westgate store on August 3rd at 7 pm.

From Austin to Cuba at our Austin Westgate store!

After more than 55 years of limited exposure, restrictions are slowly (or not so slowly) beginning to lift and Americans are increasingly fascinated by the prospect of traveling to this tropical island. While travel is still limited, many are choosing to explore Cuba before it becomes overrun by tourists. This session, hosted by experts in responsible travel to Cuba, will introduce you to the basics of navigating this new travel opportunity, including legal requirements, logistical barriers, must-visit sites, packing like a professional traveler and other necessities for making your trip come to life. Stimmel and Siefken keep cultural, social and environmental sustainability and responsibility at the forefront of the conversation. Bring your questions, doubts and ideas concerning traveling to Cuba!

Ryan Stimmel

Ryan Stimmel was born and raised in the suburbs of North Texas. It took time and effort for this responsible travel expert to become aware of the wider world. Since then, adventure travel and eco-tourism have become pivotal parts of his life. Formally educated in sociology, history and philosophy, Ryan is passionate about the cultures and communities in the developing world and confident in his ability to connect one adventurous spirit to another. He brings years of experience in the travel industry in Latin America, as well as non-profit and small business start-up experience to his already extensive background. Ryan is a co-founder of Southern Star Travel and has led many trips to Cuba.

Dan Siefken

Dan Siefken was raised on a farm in Southern Michigan and is no stranger to the outdoors. Michigan, known for some of the countries most beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and hiking trails, instilled in Dan an endless drive for adventure. After having lived throughout Latin America and Europe and having worked in the non-profit and higher education sectors, Dan recognizes the need for healthy and responsible travel that introduces the traveler to the host country in an honest, collaborative and non-consumptive way. His passion for responsibility has led Dan to engage travelers and students alike in their pursuit of healthy international travel, including over ten years of travel to Cuba. Dan is a co-founder Southern Star Travel and a program coordinator for Study Abroad at UT Austin.

We hope you’ll join us for this timely presentation on travel in Cuba and take the first steps on a great adventure!

Patagonia Worn Wear Tour stops at our Austin North Lamar store!

Patagonia Worn Wear Tour stops at our Austin North Lamar store!

August 13th, 11 am – 5 pm    Austin N. Lamar store

Whole Earth Provision Co. is excited to announce that our Austin North Lamar store will be a stop on the Patagonia Worn Wear Fall Tour for 2016! On August 13th, from 11 am to 5 pm, members of Patagonia’s repair staff from their Reno Nevada Repair Facility will be on hand to offer free repairs on busted zippers, rips, tears, buttons, pulls and more. They will also be teaching people how to make their own repairs.

Patagonia’s Worn Wear program was created in 2013 as a way to encourage people to take good care of their gear, washing and repairing as needed. The program aims to keep clothing, regardless of brand, in circulation for as long as possible. And when it’s time for a replacement, they encourage you to invest in something that lasts.

“There is nothing we can change about how we make clothing that would have more positive environmental impact than simply making less,” notes Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “Worn Wear is a celebration of quality products and their relationship to our lives. It’s a simple but critical message: keep your gear in action longer and take some pressure off our planet.”

According to Patagonia, keeping our clothing in use just nine extra months reduces related carbon, waste and water footprints by 20% to 30%, simply because less in being made and thrown away. Taken together, the actions that make up Worn Wear – investing in quality products, repairing them and reusing them and eventually recycling them – help to reduce the footprint of Patagonia products and encourage all of us to do the same. Invest in quality, repair when needed, and at the end of a garment’s life, recycle. Patagonia also offers guidance in cleaning and repairing your Patagonia gear on their website.

For this Worn Wear Tour visit, Patagonia will repair clothing, including technical clothing, made by any company. They do not offer repairs on luggage, bags, shoes or any equipment. It’s clothing only! So bring your outdoor clothing in need of repair to our Austin North Lamar store on August 13th. Look for the Worn Wear custom vehicle in our parking lot where they’ll give your garment some TLC. While you’re waiting for the big day, here’s a video from Patagonia that shares some of their favorite worn wear stories.

Chaco Gives Back to the Friends of Enchanted Rock!

Chaco Gives Back

Chaco Gives Back returns to Whole Earth Provision Co. starting June 18th and running through July 5th. During these two weeks, for every full price pair of Chaco shoes and sandals purchased at Whole Earth stores, Chaco will donate $5 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is often short of water, so The Friends are planning to use the money raised this year to create a rainwater collection system for the landscaping around the headquarters building. In addition, our Austin North Lamar store will welcome the Chaco Z the World Tour on Friday, July 1st from 1 to 4 pm. Attractions include – free Kona Ice Snow Cones, swag giveaways, games, a chance to try the Chaco 360° virtual reality experience, and an opportunity to enter the Chaco Sweepstakes. The prize: $5000 in airline travel!

Chacos – photo by Johanna Schmidt

Chacos – photo by Johanna Schmidt

Chaco Footwear, known for their ‘go everywhere, do anything sandals,’ is a very generous contributor to local causes. Since 2008, they have contributed almost $30,000 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock in response to purchases made at Whole Earth Provision Co. stores. The Chaco Gives Back funds have been used for many projects including retrofitting antiquated plumbing fixtures in the Park to low-flow water saving systems; providing funding for visitor trail maps; improving the trail system by reclaiming areas where small game trails had turned into human ones, causing erosion; purchasing recycling receptacles for the Park; and last year, adding Elkay filtered water stations that include taps for the easy filling of reusable water bottles.

Filtered water station at Enchanted Rock. Photo Friends of Enchanted Rock

Filtered water station at Enchanted Rock. Photo Friends of Enchanted Rock

The recycling stations around the park are doing a brisk business. During Spring Break 2016, in just two weeks, park staff and volunteers recycled 269 pounds of plastic bottles from the stations. The annual total has been over 3,000 pounds of plastic bottles. The filtered water stations purchased with Chaco’s 2015 donation have digital counters which show how many bottle fills have been made, and the number is huge: 19,345 fills by the first of May, and that is less than three months after installation! The Friends would like to get that plastic bottle recycling number down, so the park store carries refillable bottles, and they are hoping more and more Park visitors are buying them or bringing their own refillable bottles.

View from the top of Enchanted Rock – photo Sean Bibby

View from the top of Enchanted Rock – photo Sean Bibby

Enchanted Rock is a truly magical place. The exposed pink granite batholith reaches an elevation of 1,825 feet, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding Hill Country. The rock is ancient, perhaps a billion years old and has been called the Heart of Texas. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area covers over 600 acres and is host to over 500 species of plants that live on the rock itself. Wildlife found in the park includes birds, bats, lizards, squirrels and fox. Park visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, rock climbing, bird watching and stargazing. In 2014, Enchanted Rock was designated an International Dark Skies Park, one of the few in the nation.

The Friends of Enchanted Rock (FOER) is a volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1999. Their mission is to work in partnership with Texas Parks & Wildlife to promote conservation of Enchanted Rock’s natural and cultural resources through preservation, education and improvement efforts. FOER is the first and only official support group dedicated to the conservation and protection of Enchanted Rock and has received support from other Whole Earth Community Partners – Central Texas Mountaineers and Texas Parks & Wildlife and through community events like the Granite Gripper Climbing Competition.

Chaco Footwear is ‘Fit for Adventure.’ Their signature adjustable nylon sandals put Chaco on the map for outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Their popularity has grown through the years and styles now include casual footwear and shoes, which you can find at Whole Earth stores. So if you have been thinking about purchasing a new pair of Chacos, now is the time! You’ll have a great pair of shoes or sandals, and you’ll help keep Enchanted Rock a magical place, today and for generations to come.

Dansko Days Check Presentation

Dansko Days Check Presentation

Many, many thanks to all of our customers who bought Dansko shoes during Dansko Days for the Texas Land Conservancy at Whole Earth Provision Co. Your purchases will help TLC to protect those special places that make us proud to call Texas home. From left to right: Stephen Ramirez and Amber Arseneaux of TLC, Adam Schiffman of Dansko, and Jack Jones of Whole Earth.