When Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens — well-known for disagreeing with environmentalists — begins to argue for fuel-efficient cars in order to reduce greenhouse gases (as he has done), we know that concern for the environment is becoming universal.
Many, if not most, consumers want to do their part, and retailers can help by stocking, at minimum, a few green items. Start with just one shelf. Perhaps paint it green.
In a clothing store, you might stock that shelf with clothes made from natural or organic fibers.
A bed and bath store could feature cotton shower curtains (a nice replacement for plastic), or natural sheets.
As explained by Green Home Environment, “Bright, white cotton sheets feel natural, but conventional cotton production uses 24 percent of the world’s chemical pesticides and fertilizers yet occupies only 3 percent of the world’s farmland. Much of the bedding available from major retailers is made from polyester, and permanent-press sheets are treated with formaldehyde. Green Home recommends using bedding made from organic cotton, 100-percent chemically untreated cotton, or hemp.”
Grocery stores can offer natural, biodegradable cleaning products, as well as organic produce and meat.
Only if the products are available and within reach are consumers likely to switch. We know that there is growing interest among consumers in ways to support environmental sustainability while shopping. Now it’s up to retailers to carry and merchandize the kinds of products that support these ideals.