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Thread summary:

Green living: American made clothes, recycle old computers, consumer purchasing, cheap energy, market.

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Old 05-12-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC (Charlotte 'burb)
4,730 posts, read 17,761,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre8 View Post
I will say this for Walmart: they're doing a great job with marketing spin and propaganda. They've turned the consumer culture into "a good thing." Ok, "now wish it to the cornfield, Billy."
So is Duke Energy, SC Johnson, Boeing, etc....are they all evil?

 
Old 05-12-2008, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,818 posts, read 9,905,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groove1 View Post
So is Duke Energy, SC Johnson, Boeing, etc....are they all evil?
The consumer culture in its current form is detrimental to the environment. No way to green-wash it. For Walmart to truly become "green" it would have to promote consumer-responsible behavior, and this would be detrimental to Walmart's bottom line and existence. The two cannot exist together. Any notion that Walmart is "green" is sheer propaganda if not an out-and-out lie.
 
Old 05-12-2008, 02:05 PM
 
39,995 posts, read 24,239,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre8 View Post
The consumer culture in its current form is detrimental to the environment. No way to green-wash it. For Walmart to truly become "green" it would have to promote consumer-responsible behavior, and this would be detrimental to Walmart's bottom line and existence. The two cannot exist together. Any notion that Walmart is "green" is sheer propaganda if not an out-and-out lie.
The point is that businesses are in the business of supplying something to customers. Inherently that is not a "green" activity. But businesses can practice certain green behaviors, like promoting recycling or reducing package waste, and when businesses do so, isn't it in the customer's long-term interests to support businesses that are doing something, anything, that is helpful to the environment rather than supporting businesses that are not?
 
Old 05-12-2008, 02:14 PM
 
39,995 posts, read 24,239,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre8 View Post
The consumer culture in its current form is detrimental to the environment. No way to green-wash it. For Walmart to truly become "green" it would have to promote consumer-responsible behavior, and this would be detrimental to Walmart's bottom line and existence. The two cannot exist together. Any notion that Walmart is "green" is sheer propaganda if not an out-and-out lie.
Also, why can't the two exist together? Are you saying that all businesses that serve consumers are detrimental to the environment? Human beings are not separate from the environment, they are part of the ecosystems. While many of their activities are clearly detrimental, they are not the only animals who have detrimental effects. The social constructs that have evolved as part of human development have costs and benefits. While going "green" might be a noble goal, it is up to people to achieve those goals, and not the social constructs like business, government, religion and so on to do so.
 
Old 05-12-2008, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
Also, why can't the two exist together? Are you saying that all businesses that serve consumers are detrimental to the environment?
Not necessarily, but there's a difference in servicing a genuine need, and quite another when marketers create a need and then provide the service or product -- or in Walmart's case, a bunch of trinkets and cheaply-made consumer goods, most of which we don't need. Walmart does this quite well, and I congratulate them on their sales and marketing skills, but it's fundamentally un-green. All I'm saying is that if Walmart saves costs and reaps profits in Bentonville by changing lightbulbs and recycling (selling) cardboard, just leave it at that -- cost savings and higher profits. It's green around the edges, nothing more. To me it's kind of like clear-cutting the rainforest with a bio-fueled chainsaw and then marketing that behavior as "green." MHO.
 
Old 05-12-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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What makes you think that the local ma and pa store doesn't truck things in? Do you think that everything that they stock was made in your hometown? Virtually EVERYTHING has to be transported by ship, plane or truck. I defy you to do all your shopping at someplace that doesn't rely on fossil fuels. It's impossible.
 
Old 05-13-2008, 07:33 AM
 
39,995 posts, read 24,239,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre8 View Post
Not necessarily, but there's a difference in servicing a genuine need, and quite another when marketers create a need and then provide the service or product -- or in Walmart's case, a bunch of trinkets and cheaply-made consumer goods, most of which we don't need. Walmart does this quite well, and I congratulate them on their sales and marketing skills, but it's fundamentally un-green. All I'm saying is that if Walmart saves costs and reaps profits in Bentonville by changing lightbulbs and recycling (selling) cardboard, just leave it at that -- cost savings and higher profits. It's green around the edges, nothing more. To me it's kind of like clear-cutting the rainforest with a bio-fueled chainsaw and then marketing that behavior as "green." MHO.
I haven't bought a trinket from Wal-Mart in quite a long time. But I've bought milk and tomatoes, trash bags and topsoil, and other things that I do need and would have had to go to several different stores instead of just one if Wal-Mart weren't around. Characterizing Wal-Mart as a trinket junk store really isn't accurate in describing the niche it's carved out. Green around the edges to me is a lot better than no green at all.
 
Old 05-13-2008, 09:58 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,951,855 times
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Time out everyone.

When you don't know where to start, start at the beginning.

And the quote that started this is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by j1n View Post
Not to sound ignorant, but what are some of the reasons for staying away from the big "marts" as a way to be greener? I assume that a big reason has to be patronizing local businesses as opposed to big business that long-distance trucks everything in? Any other reasons?
The question is, are there green reasons for staying away from _Mart? It is not about some notion that _Marts are trying to convince everyone that they are green. Is local shopping really greener?

Do you think your local clothing store gets its stuff made by some local farm lady stitching on a hand made sewing machine? What about canned food goods. I prefer fresh myself (by the way the produce is a lot fresher at my local WalMart than the local grocer) but most people buy cans. You you think there is a cannery within a short Prius drive to supply the store? Do you think that the local hardware store has picture hangers that were made by an artisan in town?

Get real. Answer the original question. Exactly what is greener about a smaller store?
 
Old 05-14-2008, 07:04 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,801,713 times
Reputation: 2772
Wow, what a terrific thread, and what great insights from all.

The older Iíve gotten the more the hidden costs of things start becoming more important to me. Call it buying one too many pigs in a poke.

Iíve tried my best to be impartial making decision to shop at walmart or not (kmart has been a victim of walmart in ny, so I donít lump them together). They do put small business at severe disadvantage (although I wonder if mom and pops do better having internet biz), and having an economic power that exceeds the strength of our own govít is very dangerous. Founders of our country did warn against the corporation, and not much has been done to heed those warnings in DC. Our collective distaste for monopolies isnít imaginary.

The posters pointing out that other businesses are engaged in similar or same patterns- guess who set the precedence?? Theyíre following the lead trying to remain competitive. Walmart redefined business practices for everyone, to the profound detriment of middle mgmt and small biz.

I think this 30 yr war on american middle class has to end, and walmart has profited obscenely through horrible US economic policies that allow such huge trade deficits. Iím hard pressed to find any american made product on any shelf in any store. What does this mean, in terms of where america is going? Are we getting away from industrialization and trending toward intellectual commerce base? Are we being spoiled brats as a nation, having all our dirty work outsourced where environmental laws are soft? Elitist foriegn policy?

Equal time in walmarts favor- those mom and pop shops are so vastly spread out that Iíd spend 2 days and $30 in gas trying to get what I need when I could get it done in 4 hrs, less gas, one reciept. Sometimes the quality is higher at mom and pops, but diversity of choice never is, and itís always at a premium. Walmart isnít out of anything for a week. No bread lines there lol. Transport and delivery systems are set at maximum efficiency with available technology. What would be out of someones reach to afford (needs or wants) has become more attainable.

Blaming walmart for american consumerism isnít a fair argument IMO. They decide based on demand, and if youíre demanding, you canít be mad if they deliver. Itís irrational. To quote nancy reagan- just say no to drugs. Our values change, walmart changes. People commited to being good citizens seems to be the customer base they want, so they will listen. Itís in their better interest to do so. Packaging solutions can only be solved by r&d for manufactures. Walmart can demand, maybe they can deliver if breakthroughs are made. Weíre making progress in that area I think.

Globally its a chicken/egg cunundrum. Did american middle class lose so that chinese lower class could get a leg up? If so why didnít that include the american CEOís? I mean how is that justifiable in any sense of the word? Share holders should reign in that way, instead of sending an employee home at 39 hrs. Sickening, really, when someone of power is enabled to budget for triple dessert by elimitating someone elses vegetables. So many issues swimming in this one thread, itís hard to feel strongly about any one thing before another issue rears its head. Iíll go to walmart when I canít find it in my neighborhood, because economically, walmart redlined my neighborhood. My policy on that is sure- the faithless need not apply in my town.
 
Old 05-15-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 4,934,040 times
Reputation: 1379
I avoid the -marts largely because of the people who frequent them. Call me a snob if you will, but that's the truth.
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