Thursday, January 25, 2007

Compostable Clothes Hangers

So I was at Wal-Mart today.

(I know. Bad. But my town is one of those towns with very limited food options--it's either Wal-Mart or the discount store that smells like old meat and sells dented cans that fell off delivery trucks. Or a 120-mile round trip to better options.)

So I was at Wal-Mart today, and I see these clothes hangers that are made of corn.

Yep. Corn.

And the label says that you can compost them.

Googling for more information, I find Wal-Mart's Sustainable Product Success Stories page, and, sure enough, there are the corn clothes hangers at the top of the page.

Now, I am not a lover of all things Wal-Mart. However, like it or not, I am a Wal-Mart customer.

In a quest to learn more about Wal-Mart (in a feeble attempt to assuage my guilt), I have downloaded the unabridged audio version of The Wal-Mart Effect,which is a fairly balanced account of the corporation.

There's a lot of bad that Wal-Mart does, but what surprised me was the good. I learned, for example, how Wal-Mart, through its huge buying power, made that stupid cardboard packaging on deodorant go away.

Remember when all deodorant and anti-perspirant came in boxes, which you immediately threw away?

Wal-Mart didn't like it either, since it added to the cost of the product and took up more shelf space. So in the 1990s they asked their suppliers to ditch the boxes--and thereby saved tons of trees.

The right decision for the wrong reason?


Stephanie said...

There's a lot of talk in environmental circles about some of the big baddies (Wal-Mart, CitiCorp) joining the green bandwagon, motivated by profits. But the only way a corporation will do something is if it brings in more profits. That's their nature.

So your trip there (and financial support) was actually an okay thing, if your shopping to support lack of deoderant boxes....

Elizabeth said...

Um...No, I actually shop at Wal-Mart becuase they, unlike the smaller discount store down the road, sell cage-free eggs, unbleached flour and imported dark chocolate...

Stephanie said...

Well, I'm okay with that too.