Trickle-down Ecology

Green Revolution in Arkansas




National newspapers report that northwest Arkansas is conducting a huge eco-experiment that regional advocates believe will make it a Green Valley icon of sustainability. It all started when Wal-Mart—a company virtually synonymous with suburban sprawl—announced its intent to become a green enterprise. Now communities all around the giant’s Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters are welcoming an influx of green technology start-ups and satellite offices of merchandise suppliers eager to keep up with their VIP client.

When Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott Jr. told hundreds of suppliers at a screening of Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth that products’ environmental impact would affect corporate purchases, the ball started to roll. A $1.5 million corporate grant to the University of Arkansas also is priming the pump through a new Applied Sustainability Center. Skeptics of the big-box retail scene hope for the best.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Migrating Trees

Three-quarters of American tree species have shifted to the West since 1980 due to dryer conditions in the East and changing rainfall patterns.

Plutonium Problem

To safely dispose of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste dating back to the Second World War, the Department of Energy might replace a glass-log encasement plan with a cement option.

Bat Banter

Computer algorithms helped Israeli researchers decode the language of Egyptian fruit bats and discover that bats exchange information about specific problems.

Tuna Turnaround

Levels of toxic mercury in Atlantic Bluefin tuna declined 19 percent between 2004 and 2012, a drop that scientists attribute to a shift from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.

Buzzing RoboBees

Harvard researchers have invented tiny robotic bees that may be able to eventually pollinate the crops that are under threat because of vanishing bee colonies.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags