Wal-Mart’s sustainability index, reported today in The New York Times, is an important step in the right direction. Labels indicating a product’s eco-friendliness will help consumers with decision-making at the point-of-sale (POS). The index reflects things like carbon emitted, water used, recyclability, air pollution, etc.
In NYC’s commuter railroad hub, Penn Station, all fast food is now labeled with caloric intake. This mandate is another smart move already having an impact on POS product selection. The latter idea has been legislated, the Wal-Mart idea is their own. (Bravo NYC and Wal-Mart.)
Change doesn’t always come easy. There are still people out there who don’t care about nasty, fatty calories. There are still people out there who won’t mind bringing poorly indexing products to the counter at Wal-Mart. (BTW, I’m thinking the index should be color-coded: green, yellow, red). In fact, there are still doofuses who throw their trash out the window of their cars. But as derision grows and our culture finds these behaviors less acceptable, change will occur.
(And can we lose the word “sustainability” and call it “green” for goodness sake?) Peace!