Can you say ‘sprawl’? Walmart’s biggest climate impact goes ignored

Samantha 2012/04/28 17:50:17
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Sierra Club and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance tried but failed to block a permit for a new Walmart supercenter in the small coastal town of Toms River. The development, now moving forward, will destroy habitat for the threatened northern pine snake. What’s especially frustrating about the project, local environmentalists say, is that Walmart already has a store in Toms River. It’s just a mile down the road and will be shuttered when the new supercenter opens.

The Toms River site is one of several environmentally sensitive areas Walmart aims to pave over in the coming months. Many follow a similar pattern. In Copley, Ohio, Walmart wants to develop 40 acres of fields and wetlands, and then close another store a mile away. In Davie, Fla., the chain is seeking permission to destroy 17 acres of wetlands to build in a location that’s just a 15-minute drive from six other Walmart stores.

Even as Walmart has been hyping its supposed environmental epiphany, it has continued to unroll vast, low-rise supercenters at breakneck speed. Since launching its sustainability campaign in 2005, Walmart has expanded the amount of store space it operates in the U.S. by 32 percent. It’s added more than 1,100 new supercenters, almost all built on land that hadn’t been developed before Walmart showed up. The chain now has 698 million square feet of store space in the U.S., up from 530 million in 2005, plus another 287 million around the globe. Its U.S. stores and parking lots cover roughly 60,000 acres.

Walmart’s imprint on our landscape is “their most serious legacy for the environment,” according to Kaid Benfield, director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “In terms of global warming, it’s a huge issue,” he notes. “Our per-person emissions are much higher in sprawl locations than they are in more walkable locations.

Read More: http://grist.org/business-technology/2011-11-29-ca...

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  • JoeBtfsplk 2012/04/28 18:02:08
    convincing Americans to shop at more expensive stores is your calling

    get on it
  • Samantha JoeBtfsplk 2012/04/28 19:00:33
    Most Americans don't understand the very negative impact of shopping at Walmart.
  • JoeBtfsplk Samantha 2012/04/28 19:40:55
    you've found your life's motivation

    get one of those sandwich boards and stand on a street-corner near your nearest Wal-Mart

    good luck
  • Samantha JoeBtfsplk 2012/04/28 19:50:16
    Once more, your comments are condescending. My goal is to work for a better world not dominated by multi-national corporations. Since you seem incapable of posting to me and respecting me as an adult, perhaps you should move on to torment other people. There's no way you can discourage me from continuing to post articles about Walmart's horrific business practices nor could you ever diminish my self-esteem.
  • JoeBtfsplk Samantha 2012/04/28 20:53:37
    that isn't my motivation

    good luck if you think you can change the course of world-wide economics.

    I'll keep my eyes peeled for your posts.

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