Attention shoppers: we bring you news of the latest sustainability hotspot, none other than Fayetteville, Ark. Green start-ups are flocking to town, the University of Arkansas has established an Applied Sustainability Center, and the mayor rides an electric bike to work. Why? Because of a certain retail giant whose headquarters lies half an hour away. Say it with us now: Wal-Mart. The mega-store’s recent efforts to be green are apparently luring like-minded (and hungry) companies to the area, including ventures that are experimenting with non-petroleum plastic and fuel-efficient shipping. As a result, Fayetteville has begun to market itself as an eco-haven, even adopting the hopeful nickname Green Valley. “We are driving a stake in the ground to become the center of the sustainability movement,” says Mayor Dan Coody. Adds Jonathan Johnson, head of the university’s sustainability center, “The environmental community is really focused on Northwest Arkansas. There’s a huge experiment going on here.”

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