Today, reports came out that Target Corp. it is putting recycling bins in all of its stores. Reports say the company will collect items such as plastic bags, beverage cans and bottles, mobile phones, and MP3 players. Target expects to be able to sell some of the recyclables and recover the costs of the program.
Also announced today is that BJ’s Wholesale Club, which already had twelve solar installations in six states, is adding four more. Because of their large flat roofs, the big stores are good fits for solar panels. The panels are supposed to provide lower cost power and reduce carbon emissions for BJ’s.Last month, Wal-Mart agreed to install solar panels at a couple planned stores in California desert townsPerris and Yucca Valley as part of a lawsuit settlement. However, Wal-Mart has a stated commitment to solar, according to a report in USA Today. Wal-Mart is also one of several retailers promoting “sustainable toys” — toys made from natural or recycled materials.
All of these steps by retailers are positive. Not only because of their obvious benefits but because consumers watch these companies. They pay attention to Target ads. These companies influence consumers in a big way. So while their programs may be small compared to what they could do, and often required to be break-even or better for the bottom line, these are steps in the right direction that will help plant more seeds of mindful consumption.