Bigger is better right? That’s not always the case and RARELY the case when it comes go retail space.

Big box retail refers to super stores like Walmarts and Targets and Home Depots which have commodified convenience at a cost to our environment. From the land amount they occupy to the high volume consumption to the very means of getting to these retail spaces, big box retail has harmfully shaped the ways we live.

We’ve complied a list to help you understand these harms. 

1. Have you ever seen those large plots of land one day replaced with cement and a shopping center equipped with a super Walmart accessorized by a fast food chain, a drug store, and maybe a coffee place or two? Big box retail takes away almost 3,000 acres of farmland, wetlands, and other green spaces every year. That’s the size of the state of Delaware. 

2. The thriving business of these big box stores is reliant on low prices. That means there’s little to no consciousness when it comes to the manufacturing of the items purchased for sale in these stores. This encourages the production of harmful packaging materials like plastics and styrofoam packing peanuts as well as encourages the pollution caused by greater rates of production. 

3. The majority of big box stores are strategically located in suburban or rural areas where people need to drive to get to them. This puts a lot of shopper miles on the road and is defining it not a reduction in transportation emissions. 

4. A big box store is actually more responsible for encouraging over consumption than other stores. Of course every store wants you to buy, that’s how they stay in business, but big box stores rely on selling you quantity not quality so their products are rarely something that will last encouraging you to have to buy it again or something else new.