How Walmart spent Earth Day (updated)
On April 22, dozens of Environmental Action members delivered "greenwasher of the year" awards to their local Walmart as part of our campaign to get the company to stop fibbing and live up to it's own promises to protect the planet. Here are some of the reports we rceived from members:
"Today is a wonderful day! I headed to the West Loop Wal-Mart earlier to surprise the manager with the Greenwasher of the Year Award! More surprising, the manager didn't really know about the hidden carbon costs made by the store's CEO and other supporting companies. I explained fully and calmly about the situation at hand and she should pass the information onto her employees as well. All in all, I hope all the shoppers read about this in the future! Happy Earth Day to all and to the Environmental Action team!" Cat from Chicago
"I did some environmental conscious raising for Earth Day. I went to several Walmarts in Indianapolis tonight and delivered 2014 Greenwasher of the Year Award certificates and reports to managers. All three women were interested in learning about the award and indicated that they will read and circulate the associated report." Paula from Indianapolis
"Dropped it off this morning! I was polite but they were a little weirded out. They followed me back out of the store. I thought a picture would be pushing it. I am glad I could participate." Brian from Reno.
"I personally delivered the award to the manager (Joel) of the Boonton Wal-Mart. We spoke for 10-15 minutes regarding the reasons for this award; he seemed to be quite interested and responsive. Was a good experience." Geri from Boonton, NJ.
"Mary, Janet, and I delivered the award to the manager of one of our local Walmart stores at about 2PM today. We explained that his store was one of 140 in the nation selected to receive an award congratulating Walmart for its very effective use of "greenwashing" (the green version of "whitewashing") to cover its depredations against the environment – including failure to reach its stated goal of 100% green operations, support for Keystone XL pipeline politicians, membership on the Board of Directors of ALEC, which funds climate deniers (let alone voter restriction laws, stand your ground laws, privatization of education, etc, etc). We also mentioned in passing that the Walton family is the king of welfare by failing to pay their workers enough to get by without taxpayer assistance to the tune of about $7B/yr. The manager of the store was very gracious to us and we actually had a great time with him in making our case." Robert from Friendswood, Tex.
"I delivered my "award" today with no problem. The manager was very excited when she heard that I wanted to present her with an award. She, however, did not know what the term "greenwasher" meant until I explained it to her. She was then visibly upset and did not want to accept the award. I asked her to send it to her company's home office and left it with her. I would like to report that while I was waiting for the manager, I saw a large stack of a 12-page color magazine called Fresh Start for Summer co-labeled with Better Homes and Gardens & Walmart." Mary from Cary, NC.
I dropped into Walmart in Greece, New York at 4 pm and talked to the assistant manager. I gave him the certificate and we discussed the dismal Walmart environmental record, the employee's lack of a living wage, and the fact that Walmart did not sign the agreement to make working conditions in third world country factories better by making factories safer so no more people will die in factory fires while making their cheap products. He informed me that he would relay my thoughts to the manager and the home office." Kathy from Greece, NY.