Wal-Mart may have sucked the life out of every downtown in America, but at least their doing a responsible thing by creating eco ratings that will "measure the environmental cost of making their products so Wal-Mart can calculate and post an eco-rating for each item."
Very nice, Wal-Mart ... in theory, at least. (Get ready for my thoughts on Wal-Mart)
In short, I feel that Wal-Mart has watered down the American way of life and eroded downtowns that once served as the glue in a community.
I am exicited at the concept being tossed around of government-subsidized Smart Stores. Smart Stores will be in every neighborhood and will be a one-stop shop for eco-friendly produce and clothing, as well as a place you can go to get preventive health care (screenings, herbal medicine, yoga, ect.). They will serve as year-round farmers' markets, will sell locally made products, and will reward a sustainable lifestyle by offering discounts to those who buy eco-freindly and use public transportation or ride bikes instead of driving.
Rather than make everyone drive to the outskirts of town like Wal-Mart, Smart Stores will be walking distance for smart consumers. How about Wal-Mart takes the whole "responsible" thing a step further and puts a big ticker on the exterior of their stores that calculates how much carbon consumers released by travelling an average of, oh, 10 miles to their super centers.
In all fairness, Wal-Mart creates jobs (low-wage jobs), but it's also closed many, many small shops that can't compete with its prices.
So, don't be fooled, Wal-Mart is simply covering its ass with the whole eco rating move.
Bottom line, even though Wal-Mart's prices are a little cheaper, go to your local corner store and locally owned grocery centers for your foods as much as possible.
And now ... Wilco lyrics:
"I would like to salute/The ashes of American flags/And all the fallen leaves/Filling up shopping bags."