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Retail Therapy

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In the great American quest for more stuff, big-box stores are nirvana, laden with cheaply priced items by the ton, from diamond earrings to toilet paper. So isn’t it a good thing that many of them now tout sustainability? It is, of course, a little more complicated than that.

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  Despite Wal-Mart’s high-profile sustainability campaign and numerous visible changes toward becoming more green, some environmental activists remain dubious whether it—–and other large retailers—–is really committed to the cause. “It’s just good marketing,“ scoffs activist Joseph Feller. ”All they believe in is making more money.“
    Despite Wal-Mart’s high-profile sustainability campaign and numerous visible changes toward becoming more green, some environmental activists remain dubious whether it—–and other large retailers—–is really committed to the cause. “It’s just good marketing,“ scoffs activist Joseph Feller. ”All they believe in is making more money.“
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  2007 revenues 
for Wal-Mart: $379 billion

2007 GDP for 
Sweden: $384.1 billion
    2007 revenues for Wal-Mart: $379 billion 2007 GDP for Sweden: $384.1 billion
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  The list of sustainable products now available at big-box stores is impressive and growing. But, says Michael Marx of Corporate Ethics International, ”it’s still cheap crap that you’ve got to replace. And by replacing it, you use energy.”
    The list of sustainable products now available at big-box stores is impressive and growing. But, says Michael Marx of Corporate Ethics International, ”it’s still cheap crap that you’ve got to replace. And by replacing it, you use energy.”
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  Number of trees needed to offset annual CO2 emissions from a high-energy-using American:  150

Number of trees Ikea plants each year to offset CO2 from customers and employees traveling to and from one store: 33,100
    Number of trees needed to offset annual CO2 emissions from a high-energy-using American: 150 Number of trees Ikea plants each year to offset CO2 from customers and employees traveling to and from one store: 33,100

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