Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Green Monster

Whoever was it that said you cannot teach old dogs new tricks must have never known about the big bad WalMart that is trying to change its image into that of a Friendly Green Machine.
We all know about WalMart's efforts in selling organic produce but its latest effort is even more impressive. It has at least earned my personal stamp of approval :-)
A number of countries have embraced the CFL light bulbs much more widely than the US. Actually a few countries have even banned the sale of the old fashioned incandescent lightbulb. "Giving" the latest book by Bill Clinton estimates that if we were to replace every regular light bulb in the US by a new CFL then we would in effect eliminate the need of the electricity output from around eighty electric power plants. That is a lot of coal that will not have to be used.

So what is WalMart up to? They plan to sell 100's of millions of the CFL's in at least 3000 stores and they plan to do that by selling their own brand, produced by GE and by Phillips, at a 25% discount. I will be visiting my local WalMart today in order to pick up a dozen CFL's, what about you?

11 comments:

Lianne said...

The CFL’s sound like a great idea; I would go to WalMart to buy some. When such a large and well known company like WalMart takes the initiative to sell their customers energy efficient light bulbs, it could have a substantial impact on the environment. They have an enormous customer base that can probably be persuaded to swap their old incandescent bulbs. I think this is an especially exciting and monumental project. Since WalMart is such an influential leader they have the potential to reach and maybe even educate the average consumer about some important environmental issues. Hopefully other businesses will catch on.

llondrigan said...

It is great to see that a store as prominent as Wal-Mart has showed interest in more environmentally friendly products. Of course we see these new forms of more sustainable practices frequently within the wealthier sections of the US. But, it is great to see Wal-Mart adding “greener” products to their list of goods and services. It is important to make these products available, at a reasonable cost for consumers to purchase; especially those with limited funds.

The CFL light bulbs are a great way to cut back on energy consumption, and I for one have installed a few in my home. I hope to buy more in the future, replacing old busted bulbs, but not until then. If I am to throw away all of my bulbs right now and replace them with CFL’s, than that is harming the environment in and of itself. Why would I buy new sneakers when my old ones are fine? I will eventually swap all of my regular bulbs out with new ones, but only when I will not create unneeded waste.

GK said...

Leah,
I think that in this case changing yourlight bulbs is not the same as buying a new pair of sneakers when the old one will do. You see, a CFL will consume less energy whenever you turn it on and so even if you are throwing away a new incandescent the change to a more efficient fixture will be good for the environment since it implies a lower level of demand for physical resources.

Natasha said...

Living a green life can be difficult in terms of buying energy-efficient products. It is wonderful that WalMart is making it easier for consumers from all social classes to live more environmentally-friendly lives. Discounts encourage people to buy products, and by selling the CFL's more people have an opportunity to positively impact the earth. Also, I agree with lianne's comments. This is a great way for people to become educated about environmental issues.

MWEST said...

I also agree that the CFLs are a brilliant idea and that Walmart is using great marketing techniques by selling their own brand at discount prices. This not only helps Walmart by selling more of their product, but also helps the environment by using less electricity and therefore less coal in the long-run. I just think that it’s a shame that the government can’t step in and have a recall on all old light bulbs and have these new ones installed in every home. I know we talked in class that such an act goes against the rules of economics, but it’s unbelievable that a law can’t be passed that the government can step in when it’s so imperative to the environment and our future existence. I just find it funny that the U.S. can pass the Patriot Act, which takes away so many rights, in their fight against terror, but they can’t take as strong measures when dealing with environmental degradation? I just hope that Walmart’s example can truly influence other corporations as well as the general public to follow a more sustainable track, and hopefully move forward without the government ever needing to step in.

Valerie said...

These lightbulbs are a great idea, but I remember telling my parents about these lightbulbs and they looked at me like I was crazy. they told me how these lightbulbs are expensive in some stores, go out faster, and dont shine bright enough. I understand that they are environemntally friendly, but they need to change the lightbulbs. For instance, they need to make them cheaper and don't go out faster. otherwise they are a great idea..

Anonymous said...

These lightbulbs are a great idea, but I remember telling my parents about these lightbulbs and they looked at me like I was crazy. they told me how these lightbulbs are expensive in some stores, go out faster, and dont shine bright enough. I understand that they are environemntally friendly, but they need to change the lightbulbs. For instance, they need to make them cheaper and don't go out faster. otherwise they are a great idea..

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