How Green Is Target Really?

That big red bullseye – it’s right there and it’s beckoning. I have to admit that when I’m out running errands and pass that familiar logo, the promise of discounted prices tempts me to stop and shop at "tar-zhay".

When I think of Target, I think of cheap plastic. So, I decided to do some research to find out if Target has been inspired to begin adapting to more eco-friendly ways. It turns out that this huge company is making efforts to diminish their environmental footprint through waste reduction, energy efficiency and sustainability – but they have quite a ways to go.

The Target Environmental Services Group is taking a number of steps to go green. They have managed to effectively reduce waste by 70 % by recycling broken hangers and shopping carts, cardboard, shrink wrap and rechargeable batteries.



To conserve energy, each of their stores has installed motion sensor lighting in their stock rooms and compact fluorescent bulbs on the sales floor, and they’re in the process of replacing exterior neon signs with LED lights.

Starting in their California stores, they are working to install solar panel systems on their roofs, and all new stores are built using low-VOC carpet, adhesives, sealants and paint. In addition, they are members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and much of their packaging is made from recycled and biodegradable materials using renewable energy. 

But, what about their merchandise? While many of their products aren’t made with the environment in mind, Target does feature organic cotton towels and linens, Energy Star appliances and electronics, all natural beauty products, non-toxic household cleaners and recycled paper goods. --

The problem is that, although their web site features an eco-friendly section, it’s much harder to identify in-store green products. And there are some "d’oh!" slips: eco-friendly bamboo sheets are made with conventional cotton.

Well, as long as we eco-conscious shoppers know what to look for, we can give into the temptation of affordable merchandise and save a couple bucks without feeling guilty – but at Target, it’s not easy!

Image: Scurzuzu

Sara’s shameless plug: Hi, it’s your editor. De-lurk, dear reader, and leave this fabulous writer a comment. (We love chatting.) You can also share this post with friends – just click your favorite social bookmark listed below. New reader? Be sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter to win free eco goodies! You can also subscribe to any RSS feed your heart desires.