ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

Wal-Mart's Green Index

Wal-Mart's tracking adoption of certain "green" products among its customer base, showing which ones are leading and which states are further ahead. The adoption rate is the percentage sales of these products in the overall category.

Among the findings:

- CFLs (compact flourescent  lightbulbs) are at a 19.7 percent adoption rate.
- Organic milk, 1.58 percent.
- Eco-friendly cleaning products, 4.77 percent. Product launched in January.
- Organic baby food, 4.12 percent
- Extended-life paper products, 67.5 percent
- Sustainable coffee (fair trade certified, USDA organic, or rainforest alliance certified), 0.35 percent. Product launched in April.

The figures on CFLs were encouraging. Remember when Al Gore implored people to swap out their light bulbs at the end of "An Inconvenient Truth?" But other figures left me scratching my head.

I wondered what "extended life paper products" actually were. As it turns out, this does not mean they have recycled paper content. All it means is the roll is four-times larger than average. Why does that qualify as a green product? Because it saves on driving trips to the grocery store to pick up toilet paper and on packaging. By this logic, any supersize offering would qualify as green.

The figures, while up, also show how modest they are for categories like organic milk.

- Samuel Fromartz