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How Important Is The Green Movement To Major Retailers?
I was reading a very interesting article in a retail journal over the weekend and something caught my attention. The article mentioned that most retailers, while claiming that they proudly offer lots of “green” products, do not actually properly promote or even stock such products. Now, I want to start by saying that I am a big fan of companies that produce products that show concern for our environment – especially since I have four children and do worry about their future. However, I am not an environmentalist and clearly understand the needs of companies and consumers but people must make their own choices when purchasing products at retail stores. I felt compelled to visit a few stores after reading this article to get the real scoop and here are the juicy details that I confirmed myself after taking a trip to a few major retail chains this weekend:
The store employees of the two local mass merchant retailers did not know much if anything at all about what green products they feature other than “staples” such as organic milk and eggs.
When I approached a store clerk and inquired about jeans made from organic cotton (just like the writer of the article did), he had NO CLUE what I was talking about and sent me to a store manager who ALSO HAD NO CLUE what I was talking about. Pretty sad!
Many products claim to be green but in fact are not…they just contain a package that is green by being biodegradeable for example. Having an environmentally sensitive package is NOT the same as having an entire product that is produced in a green matter. It is merely a way for a company to say they are green when in fact they are merely clouding the message by confusing and tricking consumers.
Most retailers do not properly promote or create awareness of “greenness.” There are exceptions such as Whole Foods whose stores are dedicated to providing all natural products that are carefully scrutinized to meet standards that are consistent with the message they project. If more stores promoted green products, many of us would likely pick up that product and consider buying it. We would also learn more about what other products are good for the environment when produced and that leads to a bigger green movement for sure. Saying you are a green retailer and then hiding the message once inside the store is counter-productive and does little or nothing to promote this important cause of environmental sensitivity and sustainability.
The point to all of this is that the big retailers can do much more to promote these products which can be very good and very helpful to the environment. We as consumers can also do more to learn about what products are actually green and what retails stores carry them. We can then shop and decide for ourselves if these products can really do something to help us and our families…..