Why Big Box Stores Are Good For The Environment

Daniel Akst argues that large retail stores such as Wal-Mart are good for the environment.
November 4, 2005, 8am PST | Abhijeet Chavan
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"From an environmental perspective, there is in fact much to dislike about the chains...My own view is that, from a save-the-earth standpoint at least, shopping at these stores isn't evil. It may even make the environment better...

Stores like Wal-Mart and Target offer one-stop shopping for families, surely obviating many car trips. By offering only giant quantities, Sam's Club minimizes both shopping trips and packaging -- it doesn't even offer grocery bags...

Large chains are also easier to monitor -- and pressure -- than a thousand local lumberyards or toy stores, in part because they are public companies, with all the disclosure and press scrutiny that that entails...

..for environmental and other reasons, it is much better not to [buy local]...By bringing economies of scale to the distribution of goods and leveraging the differing productive capacities of nations, modern mass merchandisers have found a good way to make the world richer."

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, November 3, 2005 in Grist
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email