Spooky. I was just talking about this a few months again with a friend. What if, we said, you could go into a store like say… Walmart, and choose between different products by a uniform “green” rating system? Wouldn’t that be awesome? I mean, anything from a stereo to a box of Pop Tarts would give you a set of simple ratings that would let you know within instants about the natural resources consumed in the creation and stocking of the item.
Well fellow greenies, the commercial deity, Wal-Mart, has done it. And by done it, I mean they are working on it and it won’t come out for at least a few years.
It is just so hard to research each and every consumer item, even for an informed and concerned shopper. I can pick a tomatoe in my backyard. I can use the same old JVC CD player for 18 years (true story). I can pass on certain luxery items. But when I need a new ultimate frisbee should I stick with Discraft or maybe snag a Wham-o? Oh, and what about the great debate between Coke and Pepsi? Maybe sustainability could be the final deciding factor in the ultimate taste challenge. Should I stick with Dr. Pepper two liters? Or is there a more environmentally sound way to rot out my teeth and develop diabetes?
So many questions could finally be answered with such an environmental cost rating system. Sam Walton, next time I pass through Bentonville, I will lie flowers on your grave, sir. With sustainable, thoughtful ideas like this one and the muscle to force the world to adopt them, maybe Wal-Mart can survive the suburban sprawl it has helped create and actually help us form a better consumer future.