Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of the report Walmart's Assault on the Climate.

Wally Green World?

Putting Wal-Mart’s green moves in context

What journalists and even environmentalists so often fail to do in reporting on Wal-Mart’s sustainability announcements is to provide some context. Context is everything. Consider Wal-Mart’s latest announcement: It will push some of the factories that supply its stores to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a good thing in and of itself, but what happens when we measure it against Wal-Mart’s overall impact on the production of goods? One of the significant consequences of Wal-Mart’s rise and radical reshaping of the global economy has been a steep decline in the life span of many products. We wear out clothing, …

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Neighborhood stores: An overlooked strategy for fighting global warming

Our new neighborhood fresh food market.What I find most striking about my mother-in-law’s memories of the neighborhood where I live, and where she spent her childhood in the 1940s, is how many businesses our little residential section of town once boasted. Back then, there was a grocery store, hardware store, barber shop, two drugstores, a tailor, and several corner stores. Those businesses all disappeared in the following decades, as the streetcar lines were dismantled, families acquired cars, and shopping migrated out to supermarkets and, later, malls and big-box stores. At the low point, my neighborhood hosted little more than a …

Keep Your Eyes on the Size

The impossibility of a green Wal-Mart

With its recent flurry of green initiatives, Wal-Mart has won the embrace of several prominent environmental groups. “If they do even half what they say they want to do, it will make a huge difference for the planet,” said Ashok Gupta of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Environmental Defense, meanwhile, has deemed Wal-Mart’s actions momentous enough to warrant opening an office near the retailer’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. “If [we] can nudge Wal-Mart in the right direction on the environment, we can have a huge impact,” said the organization’s executive vice president, David Yarnold. Wal-Mart’s eco-commitments are not without substance. …

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