Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

April 24, 2008

Wal-Mart...walk the walk!

Some of you may remember last fall when I posted a letter that I had sent to Wal-Marts corporate office regarding the use of the reusable bags that they are selling and some commentary on why I sent it. The jist of it was basically that while I am happy to see Wal-Mart making efforts to reduce their impact and to encourage greener living practices. I am concerned about it becoming little more that window dressing and would like to see them actually support the people who make those decisions. The previous post on this explains it best so I won't re-write it here. Well it's been over four months, and I have seen, not surprisingly, no change. As I said before I know many of you would sooner cut off your arms before shopping at the "Evil Empire" but we have to accept and admit that Wal-Mart wields more power in shaping consumer shopping habits than probably any other entity out their and as they go, so goes the retail nation.
Last week, I found Green Beans post about the super heroes in our midst. I've been reading about BurbanMoms personal action in her child's school, and about Ms. Terry's crusade to get Clorox to take back their used filters and of course everyone knows there's the omnipresent and over-achieving activism of Crunchy Chicken and her, too many to name, challenges getting people, myself included (No Impact week '07), to get up and actually try something new. It's with this in mind that I've decided to try and get in touch with my inner activist as well.
As I said in the previous post, I like the fact that Wal-Mart is making the reusable bags available, and for a very reasonable price ($1.00 apiece). They also seem to be making a concerted effort toward making some more sustainable choices. However like so many things in the area of lifestyle change, and don't be mistaken it is a lifestyle change to get people to use reusable bags, unless it is relatively easy many people won't do it, more often than not myself included.
I've written a letter to Wal-Mart to try to draw attention to the fact that although they are providing the reusable bags, they are not actually facilitating the use of them. Unfortunately, I'm just one person, and no matter how much noise I make, I'm not going to be able to turn this ship alone. But I would like to be the trim tab, and see if I can start the rudder to moving.

Here is the letter that I've written:

To whom it concerns;
Recently, the Wal-Mart Corporation has begun to take steps toward becoming a more sustainable member of the global retail community. As a conscientious consumer, I have noticed and appreciate this. One of the things that I have noticed along these lines is the availability of re-usable bags at Wal-Mart stores. The reason for this letter is to draw your attention to a problem with the use of these bags at many of your locations.
Because of the layout of the cashier’s island at many Wal-Mart stores, it is very impractical to use these bags with any convenience, let alone ease. The carousel style plastic bag dispenser that is in many of your stores does not allow for the cashier to fill the bag, and as customers there is no surface for us to place the items on while we bag them ourselves. Many of Wal-Mart’s competitors still have these options available, and some even offer a small discount to their customers that choose to use this option.
I hope that Wal-Mart Corporation is not being caught up in the green-washing movement sweeping the country or merely offering these items as another opportunity for a small impulse sale. I would like to see Wal-Mart continue to try to reduce their environmental impact, but would also like to see support for the things that they offer as solutions.
Some things that Wal-Mart could do to further facilitate the use of reusable bags would be to provide a table style checkout area similar to traditional style grocery stores where baggers are present, perhaps limit a couple of lanes to reusable bags at least during peak shopping periods and offer a small discount for recyclable bag users.
Wal-Mart is talking the talk. What I would like to see is for them to walk the walk by taking these suggestions under advisement and looking for ways to improve their shoppers experience while also improving their over all sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint.

What I'd like to do is to encourage you to also send an email or written letter to Wal-Mart if you agree with what I've said, whether your a Wal-Mart patron or not. You can even copy and paste the above letter too if you like, or put it in your own words. If we can get together enough people to really make someone at Wal-Mart take notice and take action on this, I think that we could have a huge impact on the number of people that decide to at least try using re-usables. Remember what I said, As Wal-Mart goes so goes the retail nation.

Feel free to link to this post if you like and use the banner at the top. In fact I will follow this post with the code needed to link to it, should anyone want it.


spelled with a K said...

done, now thats a little more trim, lets how the rudder starts to swing.

farm mom said...

I wrote a letter too, and I didn't receive a response at all. But I use reusable bags every week and they're always met with a sigh and a groan by the Wally World employees. But I cannot blame them, those twirly gig things are NOT easy to use the recyclable bags on. I'll try to get a post up this week, I think it's important. Good job p`!

P~ said...

Thanks you two!
FM, it really is a pain using those things isn't it. I think the biggest problem is that many people that would really care about this issue, won't shop at WalMart to begin with, so it's hard for them to understand that it really is a pain to use them.

Thanks again!