Holidays are usually the friend of retailers, unless you’re talking about the one minor holiday in 2009 that threatens to cause major negative consequences for the U.S. retail industry. Until the retail companies that profit from constant consumption figure out how to work with the philosophies of green living, any gains made by Earth Day supporters will eventually cause a loss to retailing.
Let’s state the obvious. Expecting the global retail industry to wholeheartedly embrace the philosophical premise of Earth Day is like asking the Malaysian Palm Oil Transfat Manufacturers Alliance to be the official corporate sponsor of “The Biggest Loser.” It’s an association that might look good on the surface, but which is really fundamentally antipathetic.
Disposable lifestyles and unconscious consuming are at the root of both the global environmental crisis, and the expanding global retail industry. The toxic, disposable consumables that are floating in our oceans, choking our landfills, and chugging out hydrocarbon emissions on our roadways were all acquired through some type of retail channel. When stuff is used, and thrown away, and replaced with new stuff, it is bad for the planet and good for retailing.
Major U.S. retailers that participated in Earth Day 2009