a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

What’s a PSP? It’s a Personal Sustainability Project  – a step to benefit their health, their local community, or the earth – and it’s an employee initiative making up part of Wal-Mart’s larger campaign towards a more green corporate and retail model. Walmart has a lot of employees and customers, 1.9 million and 10% of all retail spending, to be exact. Although I don’t have any plans to buy from Wal-mart for many long-standing reasons, it makes sense when Charles Fishman, author of “The Wal-Mart Effect” says, “If Wal-Mart is serious about sustainability, it can have an incredible impact on how the economy operates.”

45% of Wal-mart employees in the U.S. have taken on PSP, involving work or home life or both, although there is no financial incentive to do so. The recent article in Mother Jones suggests the seminars which push the pledges are a mix of innovation and greenwashing. I have to agree, although hearing the earnest voices of some employees is both heartening and inspiring. Many are improving their lives as well as fullfilling a sense of purpose. Some are even saving money by following suggestions to shop/spend less on uneccesary things. One employee is growing her own produce, while another feels good about taking bottles and cans out of trash cans to be recycled.

We’ve got a long way to go towards a new kind of more sustainable consumerism and lives, but the road is less rocky and narrow – in fact, when places like Wal-Mart join in, it can turn into a super-highway. However, don’t jump on the Wal-Mart bandwagon too soon – low low prices are a big part of what doomed us in the first place. Look at your own life and needs in an honest way. Make conscious choices and most of all, keep changing.

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One Response to “”

  1. madmilker Says:

    People in America need to realize jus what got America in this shape…”cheap” yes so-call cheap items from a foreign land.

    quote*Wal-Mart firmly believes in local procurement. We recognize that by purchasing quality products, we can generate more job opportunities, support local manufacturing and boost economic development. Over 95% of the merchandise in our stores in China is sourced locally. We have established partnerships with nearly 20,000 suppliers in China. *end quote!

    Now! if there be 182 country’s making items for the world to buy and they have only 5% of the pie in China…duh! This company makes the nice people of China support their currency(yuan) by keeping it in their country working for the people there…. but with the “yuan” going up in value and the US dollar going down…all the foreign items that the American consumer buys thinking it is cheap has went up in price.

    People…its all about the currency and to keep a currency strong you got to keep it floating around the country you live in so it can work for you. For the past 12 years all them US dollars are being shipped overseas to a foreign bank and with the American worker not making anything for the foreigner to buy the “we the people” have to turn to the “second” largest employer in America(Uncle Sam) to sell “we the people” debt in order to get all them dollars back!

    50 years ago a foreigner would had given their left nut for a US dollar or a Hershey’s chocolate bar and today the same foreigner has got Uncle Sam and the American consumer by both all the while Hershey is moving the chocolate factory to Mexico. Wake up! America and think “MADE IN AMERICA.”

    The United States of America government is over $10 trillion in debt and America as a whole is over $53 trillion. Now think for a moment…..what is good for America?

    and if you think it has to do with the word “cheap”…..why didn’t the few fat farmers with the penmanship of a poet put tat word in the United States of America Constitution.

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