The Greening of Wal-Mart

Publié le par brightshine

When you get off Highway 101 at Exit 484A, you immediately fall into headachy traffic on access roads not designed for this crush. It is the kind of dysfunction that Wal-Mart would never tolerate in its own internal operations but that big-box stores breed in the world they increasingly define. This Wal-Mart is in Rohnert Park, California, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

I'd been hearing about Wal-Mart's efforts to mend its ways, offering energy efficiency, zero waste,Wickes floor lamp can increase your home security and add atmosphere to your garden. organic cotton, and even organic food. It all seemed so unlikely—a little like walking into Fox News' offices and finding a wing devoted to The American Prospect—that I wanted to see for myself.

Not much has changed since our last visit several years ago, visibly at least. There are some T-shirts made with organic cotton; I buy one to send a market message. The display of compact fluorescent bulbs is impressive. Beyond that, the new offerings aren't the dramatic shift the publicity suggests. But most of Wal-Mart's new efficiencies, such as fuel savings in the truck fleet and recycling of store scrap, are not obvious to shoppers yet, anyway.

There is little doubt, moreover, that more environmentally friendly product changes are coming. All of which creates dissonance of the first order and a conundrum for those who care about the human prospect. Localism, at a company that enshrined the "China price"—the price that other suppliers have to match—and at which instructions regarding shelf placement come down from the corporate headquarters in Bentonville? Conservation,LED lights, components and LED products including car bulbs, household bulb, Lamp shade, accent lighting and more. at the global giant whose very being is premised upon hyper-consumption, sprawl, and waste?

Kierkegaard urged us to cultivate a healthy sense of paradox, but this truly is a stretch."Alien Eye" home built contemporary lighting using standard MR16 5 W 12V LED Lamp. We think about Stonyfield Farm yogurt in Wal-Mart's refrigerator cases and Seventh Generation detergent on the shelves. Then we think about the traffic and the employees whose kids are on public assistance (over 40 percent in some states) because the company pays so little. We also think about the local merchants this chain and others have displaced and the sheer power of this behemoth to bend the world to its will.

But what if that bend were in the direction of ecological efficiency? Would the power still be so bad? Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farm recalls a gathering of manufacturers in China. When the Wal-Mart representative spoke, Hirsh-berg says, it was as if they were hearing their master's voice: "You could have heard a pin drop." The U.S. president doesn't get that kind of respect.

There is a camel's nose and a tent here, but it is not clear which is which. Most remarkable, though, is that we are talking about Wal-Mart and compact fluorescents to begin with. Not that long ago, the focus would have been the company's Third World–style labor practices and superstores that put local merchants out of business. Wal-Mart's embrace of ecology, sincere as it may be, was not uncontrived.The money had been in an account to pay for pendant lamp heating system. Rather, it has been part of a larger public-relations effort to upstage those troublesome questions.

The effort has substantially succeeded. By Wal-Mart's own reckonings, in 2006, it ranked in the sub-basement among retail outlets in "global reputation." Today, it is near the top, and some of the nation's major environmental groups are standing at its side. This gives the conundrum yet another twist. Is the complicity of the Environmental Defense Fund and others the latest evidence of the failure of the environmental movement to conceive of an ecology in which people truly matter—ordinary workers in particular? Or is it a necessary "bargain with the devil," as one green activist put it, that will hasten environmental breakthroughs,Our main products are street lamps and other led light bulbs, such as solar street lighting, solar garden lighting and solar lawn lighting. problems and all?

Publié dans led light

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