How To Inspire Environmental Responsibility When Walmart Dumps Tons of Poisons Illegally
Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Walmart is one of the largest retailers in America, employing millions with minimum-wage jobs, and offering cheap goods and services from a Big Box corporate model. In a six-count offense confession, they have pleaded guilty to dumping chlorine, ammonium sulfate, fertilizers, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals into the local water supply and sewage systems across the country.
Walmart has been fined over $100 million by the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, but this may be a drop in the bucket compared to the billions in net sales they were able to make, and the competitive edge they may have gained over competition in the market place by disposing of toxic wastes improperly. Outrage has come from communities that know employees are not even trained to dispose of hazardous waste in a safe manner.
Phyllis Harris, Senior Vice President and compliance officer for the corporate giant says, “Walmart has a comprehensive and industry-leading hazardous waste program . . . The program was built around training, policies and procedures on how to safely handle consumer products that become hazardous waste, and we continue to run the same program in every store and club that was deployed years ago.”
Despite Walmart’s international presence, with more than 10,800 retail units in 27 countries an over 2.2 million associates around the world, their stock did poorly last quarter. Are negligent environmental actions that poison or food and water going to be fined with consistency for multiple companies like Walmart? They are only one of innumerable corporations playing Russian roulette with the environment, and our health.
In a recent toxic spill, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper told the community they would not fine the Williams Cos. for spilling 10,000 barrels of natural gas and toxic waste into Parachute Creek and the surrounding area in western Colorado.
These are microcosmic examples of macro-cosmic problems in corporate accountability, and once the fines are issued, who cleans up the mess? There are empty fish nets in Louisiana three years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. What amount of money will fix catastrophic environmental damage? What amount of funny money will fix the grotesque physical ailments like unstoppable muscle spasms, skin lesions, respiratory problems and hands that curl up into claws, that accompany a toxic spill? Our planet is hemorrhaging while politicians and government agencies issue meager wrist slaps to corporations that are literally killing us. There are no fines large enough to levy on companies like Walmart, who knowingly, irresponsibly continue to dump toxins in the water, soil, and air while we all sit idly by.
My particular method of fighting back is by writing about it, long, exhaustingly, and loud. A book called Silent Spring, was once credited with starting the environmental movement. “Silent Spring” presents a view of nature compromised by synthetic pesticides, especially DDT, but it could be applied to chemtrails, the toxins in Monsanto GMO crops, or the deadly oil spills across thousands of oceans, bays and tributaries. Henry David Thoreau surely inspired environmental care when he wrote Walden Pond. Could other literary commentaries do the same? As long as books like Silent Spring can make a difference, then I will refuse to be silent.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.
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