Walmart is literally walking distance from my house. That store recently did a major makeover that involved adding produce, more groceries (along with more natural and gluten free product) along with staying open 24 hours.
In Bend, Oregon, it's not "cool" to admit you shop at Walmart. Folks plaster their cars with no Walmart bumper stickers and if you mention you went there to get something, you'll get the third degree. I don't like to admit I shop there because of this BUT that has all change for me as of Friday.
Recently, Walmart took the lead on Mind the Store challenge. What's Mind the Store? It's a campaign asking the nation's top ten retailers to get tough on toxic chemicals in consumer products! This is big news! Many customers have written letters, done videos and asked Walmart on social media outlets to "mind the store" and protect their customers from toxic chemicals.
Buying safe and natural household and beauty products for my family is the #1 part of our family going green so this step that Walmart is taking will make me stand up and say (without hiding it) I SHOP AT WALMART.
Here's a snapshot of what Walmart is pledging via Mind the Store:
By January 2015 all manufacturers who sell cleaning products, cosmetics, baby and personal care products will have to disclose the ingredients used in their products online. This is a major victory for consumers who, for the first time, will have access to which chemicals are used in certain products.
Walmart prioritized around 10 toxic chemicals (to be announced later) in which they will seek to reduce and eliminate from certain product lines. When Mind the Store spoke to Walmart's Sustainability team, they told us that the chemicals they chose were on the Hazardous 100+ list. These chemicals will be phased out of the following product sectors: cleaning products, baby products, personal care products and cosmetics.
Walmart will work with their suppliers to move towards safer alternatives. This is an important step, since many times as one toxic chemical is phased out and equally toxic chemical will be used as a replacement. Their policy seeks guidance from the Business NGO Workgroup.
Walmart brand cleaners will no longer contain toxic chemicals outlined by the EPA’s Design for the Environment program. Another major announcement, the DfE program has a robust list of chemicals that can’t be used, indicating seriousness from Walmart to increase the safety of their cleaners.
Priority chemicals as a first step. We know there are more than 10 toxic chemicals used in consumer products (see the Hazardous 100+), and hope that Walmart and other retailers work to expand the list of toxic chemicals they are addressing. We’re encouraged to see Walmart classify this as a "first step."
This is good news for those of us who spend a lot of time researching the products we use in our daily lives.
If you would like to ask the top retailers to Mind the Store, visit their website to find out more information.